It has been six months since our Arts Programme Manager, Holly Foskett joined the team at Arts & Business NI. We caught up with Holly to find out what they have been working on and what’s planned for the Arts Member network over the next few months.
Getting stuck in
Since joining A&BNI in June, I have organised and delivered my first Cultural Governance Conference to help inspire good arts governance, created Fundraising Connections: a peer led, quarterly, networking and information sharing event, submitted my master’s dissertation and made numerous of cups of tea (some good, some awful!)
I have really got stuck into organising our arts programme, researching funding opportunities and meeting with our members. It has been a real joy making connections with everyone in our membership network, helping them explore options for income diversification and alternative funding, finding out more about their plans and generally have the craic.
Looking forward to 2024, I wanted to share some of the exciting arts member events I have been working on with the rest of the team.
January: Pitch Perfect Events
We are kicking off the new year with an online introduction to Trusts & Foundations (T&Fs) on the 10th January along with Head of Arts, Brona Whittaker. In this session, you will learn how to prepare for our annual Trusts and Foundations Symposium which is due to take place on 22nd February. We’ll discuss which trusts and foundations will be joining us in Feb and highlighting their key areas of funding so you can fine-tune your project idea(s). We’ll also explore how to make the most of your one-on-ones and how to keep on track with submitting your applications.
Then, to help you further fine-tune your ‘elevator pitch’ for potential funders and partners, we have The Art of the Pitch back on the 25th January. At this intimate workshop we’ll share essential presentation skills and provide practical advice and feedback on how to make you pitch, well, pitch perfect!
I am also delighted to be part of the A&BNI Awards which celebrate creative arts and business partnerships. Huge congratulations to all of the shortlisted applicants and I’m looking forward to celebrating with everyone on the night.
February: Launching the Trusts and Foundations Symposium 2024
Supporting our arts member network with fundraising, building connections, income diversification and applying to trusts and foundations is a big part of what we do at A&B NI and we are excited to announce that our annual Trusts and Foundations Symposium is back in the Crescent Arts Centre on the 22nd February. Save the date and click this link to find out more.
This event gives those in the arts and cultural sector the opportunity to pitch and talk to prospective funders one-to-one, to cultivate a relationship and take the first step in completing a successful application. Attendees will hear directly from the foundations on their funding priorities, gain an insight into the decision-making process, and receive top tips for applications.
Following this event, I’ll be taking a deep dive through the data to pull out our member insights into trusts and foundations applications and the impact they have within the arts and cultural sector in NI. So, keep a wee eye out for that blog piece in 2024!
March: Supporting your Fundraising
Our march events programme will kick off with a practical Strategic Fundraising session with fundraising consultant, Dana Segal on 4th March. We will explore the core building blocks of strategic fundraising, how to think about medium- and long-term development, how to invest strategically using funding and how to unlock greater levels of investment from funders.
Building on our T&F Symposium, we will be hosting a T&F Bootcamp on the 21st March. This all-day session will give organisations that have less fundraising capacity the chance to write an application for a trust or foundation, receive feedback and get the opportunity to network and chat with others on all things fundraising!
Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.