Fancy a new challenge?
Thursday 4 October 2018 at 5.15pm
at Belfast Exposed, 23 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2FF
Join us at a networking event where our Board Bank and Young Professionals programme alumni will share their experiences of volunteering on the board of an Arts organisation. Speakers and a guided panel discussion will compare and contrast the different challenges and triumphs our alumni have faced in their roles, as well as how they have benefitted personally and professionally from their experiences.
Give back, learn, network, develop your CV, meet new people, have fun
We will be having nibbles and drinks and then, to finish off our evening, we will hear about the Late Night Art scheme and will go for a wander together to see what is on offer in our city centre galleries.
If you have been through our programmes already or if you would be interested in hearing more about them, for yourself or for your staff, just register attendance by email to Sarah at: email@example.com
Our wonderful friends at Cinemagic are running their children’s film festival again in October and we will join them to celebrate another exciting programme of family-friendly films.
RSVP to Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org
How to choose and manage an Arts partner – An A&B NI business member event
28 November 2018 8.30am-10am
The Moreland Room, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Harbour Office
Corporation Square, Belfast BT1 3AL
When you want to take a more creative approach to your business strategy and have allocated a budget, how should you go about selecting an arts organisation and crafting your next steps together?
Join us to hear from experienced business members who have already been there, done that and done it well. Learn how to choose a partner, make a plan, get started and keep your project on track.
The purpose of this event is to provide practical guidance for our business guests as to how best to choose and work with an arts partner to ensure outcomes correlate with business objectives, delivering maximum and measurable impact.
It is anticipated that this will be a very practical session with speakers sharing their experiences of pitfalls to avoid, questions which they wished they had asked at the outset and learnings/recommendations.
RSVP by email to Sarah at email@example.com.
Arts Uncovered - Christmas
Date 6 December 2018
Venue Golden Thread Gallery
A relaxed get-together for our business members to get in the mood for Christmas. Join us for a mince pie and a glass of something warming as we enjoy the seasonal arts and crafts market and a tour of the gallery.
RSVP to Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org
Allianz Arts & Business NI Awards 2019
Thursday 24th January 2019
Venue to be revealed
This is the big one, the highlight of the year, so polish your sequins and practice your surprised face in case your business is one of our winners. At Arts & Business NI we know how to throw a party and with over 100 arts organisations in our membership we are spoiled for choice when it comes to top quality entertainment. We like to celebrate our business and arts partnerships in style so let us put some sparkle into your January.
RSVP to Sarah email@example.com
Join us for the next in our Arts Uncovered series: informal, behind the scenes style events which give you the opportunity to find out more about arts organisations and activities you might not have experienced before.
The curatorial staff of Void will give our guests an introduction to the gallery while we enjoy a light lunch before guiding us through the current exhibition Opened Ground, which topically explores the experience of borders.
Reserve your place by email to Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Riddel Hall Belfast
Our seventh annual Arts & Business Northern Ireland Trusts & Foundations Symposium took place on Wednesday 6th February 2019 in Riddel Hall, Belfast. Eight Trusts & Foundations attended including representatives from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Children in Need, Halifax Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and joining us for the first year, DWF Foundation.
Follow Up Follow Through
At the morning plenary we heard from James Magowan, Northern Ireland Development Officer at Association of Charitable Foundations who offered key advice 'Follow up. Follow through.' Lou Errington from The Paul Hamlyn foundation urged Arts organisations in Northern Ireland to ensure to submit their funding applications Clare Beavan introduced the DWF Foundation, founded from DWF LLP a multinational law firm headquartered in Manchester with 27 offices across the world.
Time to recalibrate
Damian Smyth represented the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and pointed out that the spending on Arts per head per capita in Northern Ireland is £5.37 whereas in other parts of the U. K. this figure rises to £10.58 per person, he highlighted the need to recalibrate to increase this figure for Arts in Northern Ireland moving forward. The morning plenary concluded with a question and answer session addressing NI arts organisation’s main concerns, including the ability to apply to Trusts & Foundations to cover core costs. Trusts & Foundations highlighted that applicants must bear in mind that they are also charitable organisations, therefore they share in some of the issues that small Arts organisations face such as dealing with a limited amount of staff.
There was also a strong emphasis placed on the importance of forging a strong funder-applicant relationship and the necessity to communicate, update and clarify before applying. Brona Whittaker, Arts Manager at Arts & Business NI reiterated that Arts & Business supports members in their applications to Trusts & Foundations with the understanding that time constraints play a huge role in application rates, therefore she encouraged Arts members to avail of the resources provided in the member only section of the Arts & Business NI website and reach out for support while crafting and refining applications.
Access and communicate
In the afternoon ninety-six knee-to-knee funding surgeries took place with our Arts Members personally meeting the Trusts & Foundations. Our inaugural Trusts & Foundations Symposium Business Exhibitors were in attendance, including Edwards & Co, Forde Campbell Law, Millar McCall Wylie and Whitenoise who provided helpful advice and services to Arts members throughout the day.
Photo left to right: Mary Nagele, CEO – Arts & Business NI, Jessica Warner, Programme Manager - The Wolfson Foundation, Lou Errington, Grants Manager - Paul Hamlyn Foundation, James Magowan, Northern Ireland Development Officer - Association of Charitable Foundations, Clare Beavan, Foundation Manager – DWF Foundation, Valerie Ingram, Executive Director - Ulster Garden Villages, Sinéad Tierney, Freelance Assessor - BBC Children in Need, Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature – Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Photo Credit – Aaron McCracken Photography.
Belfast Exposed Photography
Creative Staff Engagement Business Breakfast
At our recent Creative Staff Engagement business breakfast in Belfast Exposed Gallery, 50 guests heard from business leaders who have seen the advantages of taking a broader view in relation to engaging and developing their staff through creative partnerships.
Collaborations which have enabled the businesses to
Local singer songwriter Aidan Logan played original music whilst our guests enjoyed breakfast, before we heard from our inspirational speakers.
Sean McCready MD at Doyle Shipping Group shared some of his exciting collaborations with c21 Theatre Company. Knowing that his staff interact on a daily basis with customers who have disabilities – and that two staff members have children with disabilities themselves – Sean made a strategic decision to address the area and the issues around it. He had noticed some concerns among staff about the use of particular language and terminology around disability and arranged for them to take part in disability equality training.
Enlisting the help of his trusted long-term arts partner, c21 Theatre Company, allowed Sean to transform his vision into something exceptional. Together, they set about coming up with a way to use the medium of drama to educate and raise awareness about disability. With c21’s expertise, the partners produced a bespoke drama ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ about attitudes towards people with disabilities – performed predominantly by people with disabilities. c21 consulted with DSG staff on their experiences and incorporated them into the script. Initially performed at DSG’s offices, the show then toured to youth groups and schools across Northern Ireland as well as to one-off events hosted by Cedar Foundation and Disability Action NI.
According to Sean: ‘"It's not about putting thousands of £s into advertising, it's putting TIME into the community; supporting your staff to get properly & deeply involved".
This amazing project won the Allianz Arts & Business NI Staff Engagement Award 2019 at our ceremony in January.
Gerarda Morton, Legal Manager (Disputes) at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) shared details of their new partnership with Belfast Ensemble, a truly innovative staff engagement project entitled ‘Intermezzo’. 20 members of staff will be taught an orchestral instrument for one year, working towards Grade One, offering HSF people the chance not just to develop skills in the musical arena, but also to develop soft skills that are equally complimentary to their legal career such as collaboration, commitment and creativity. In addition, the project will reinforce HSF’s focus on mental health and wellbeing amongst their staff.
Running alongside this, the HSF senior leadership team will receive conducting classes, where they will learn what it means to ‘lead without words’, focusing on non-verbal communication and connection skills, broadening and challenging their perspectives of leadership. The project will culminate in a public performance, where the Belfast Ensemble will be conducted by HSF senior leadership team, and will be joined by the 20 trainee instrumentalists.
Gerarda commented: ‘Like most businesses, we want to minimise turnover of our people. As business leaders, we have to face the fact that young people in today's market want more than just the 9-5pm office experience. As competition for good people strengthens, we firmly believe that our Arts and Business partnerships enhance the HSF working experience, and secure and enrich our future as a business.’
Nicola Laight, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator at Farrans Construction told us about their exciting ‘InsideOutside’ project delivered with partner Arts Care, as part of Farrans’ corporate social responsibility under the Considerate Constructors Scheme. One of its key objectives was to address mental health and wellbeing on construction sites and in the wider community. The Arts Care artist-in-residence conducted workshops with 10 different groups which resulted in the creation of 50 large scale artworks which were displayed on the hoardings around the construction site. To engage with Farrans construction staff, Arts Care set up a table in the middle of the site where they could come during their tea break, explore how to make artworks and express how they felt about working there. “It was an environment where they were able to forget about everything and open up about mental health and stress,” says Nicola. “At first, they were apprehensive, but Bronagh (artist) facilitated things by making the process relevant to them and helping them to produce blueprints that related back to the construction site.”
It gave the staff involved a huge sense of achievement and pride to see their names up on the hoardings next to their artworks. One participant said that being given the opportunity to create a piece of artwork to display was like putting their own stamp on the building.
This project allowed Farrans to memorably engage their staff, stakeholder groups and the local community and won the Allianz Arts & Business NI Cultural Social Responsibility Award 2019.
Deirdre Robb, Chief Executive at Belfast Exposed, gave a brief introduction to Northern Ireland’s premier contemporary photography organisation and to the Arts Council of NI Photography Collection, on display within the gallery. We are very grateful to Belfast Exposed for extending this exhibition especially for our Creative Staff Engagement breakfast event.
If you would like to explore how you could introduce creative staff engagement into your organisation please speak to the Arts & Business NI team on 028 90735150 or email email@example.com. We will be happy to meet with you to understand your priorities and to recommend artistic partners and creative projects which will enable you to deliver your objectives in a unique, effective, unexpected way.
The Black Box
30 guests recently gathered in The Green Room in The Black Box for a relaxed post-work event to launch the popular Arts & Business NI Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme, which places the best up-and-coming NI business talent on to the boards of leading local arts charities.
Now in its 12th year the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and provides training and support to ensure young professionals in the early stages of their careers (aged 21-35 years) truly benefit from this practical, hands-on strategic leadership experience.
First up Jess Pearson, Investment Manager with Cunningham Coates Stockbrokers who was placed on to the Board of Queen Street Studios (QSS) outlined her challenging experience of discovering the morning after her first board meeting that core funding had been 100% cut. Jessica opted to remain on the Board in the knowledge that she had full support from the team at A&B NI.
QSS successfully appealed the funding decision and 100% of core funding was reinstated. Since then Jess has been involved in redrafting the organisation’s business plan and has advised on new social media initiatives. Jess commented: “I really cannot emphasise enough how much I have gotten out of this process - my confidence in my own capabilities has increased tenfold, and this is something that I find has helped my own professional performance considerably, too. Along with the personal and professional development benefits, it’s a great way of bringing together people from all industries to give back to the community.”
Wayne Nickels, partner at Cunningham Coates then detailed the benefits of the Young Professionals programme from a business perspective. Wayne outlined that Cunningham Coates has a strong people focus, wanting to recruit - and more importantly retain - the best talent for the future “Arts & Business NI Board Matching programmes benefit the future of the Firm as well as empowering our employees with additional skills and knowledge. It also allows the business to give back to the Arts community.” To date Cunningham Coates have put 4 employees though the Young Professionals programme.
Margaret Henry, Chief Executive, thrive and Aaron Roddy, Assistant Solicitor at Carson McDowell who was placed on to the Board of thrive, spoke about the Young Professionals programme from an Arts perspective. According to Margaret, “thrive has been involved for 10 years in A&B NI’s Young Professionals as it’s a great source of new and fresh voices to add to the balance across the board. We know we will always get a high calibre of board members who are well trained, so they are clear about their role and responsibilities when joining the board. It also helps that the A&BNI team know thrive and our ethos as an organisation so they can match up with young professionals that fit, which is great.”
Margaret continues “It is a privilege to be involved in someone starting their Board journey and we take that seriously in thrive with a full induction process. We encourage all and especially new board members to come and see us delivering events and get a feel for what we do. We provide information about the wider sector context we work in and we look to organisations such as A&BNI for ongoing board training.”
It was positive word of mouth from the many Carson McDowell past participants that made Aaron Roddy decide to take part in the Young Professionals programme. He wanted to further his own professional development by utilising his legal skills in a different context, commenting “The key to finding my voice on the board of thrive was to not rush the process but let it grow organically alongside my confidence in my position and role on the board, and I feel like this has been of benefit in the long run. I’ve also realised that my voice needn’t be constrained to my particular professional skill set.
“From a professional perspective” Aaron continued, “I have further developed many skills which are complimentary to a career in legal practice. For example, the strategic and critical thinking which is required on a board carries over to the advice which I provide to my clients in private practice. I have also grown in confidence from stepping out of my comfort zone and continuing my own professional development. Finally, from a personal perspective, I enjoyed the training and the friendships I formed with my fellow Young Professionals, and hope that those relationships will continue throughout my career. “
The final speaker, Noyona Chundur Head of Campaigns & Digital Solutions at Invest Northern Ireland was placed on to the Board of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in 2013 via the A&B NI Board Bank programme for middle to senior managers. Noyona loved her job, and didn’t want to leave it; however she wanted to find a fresh challenge. She wanted to be seen as a leader, both inside and outside the organisation, so decided to combine formal learning on the Institute of Directors Company Direction Programme, with practical experience via the Arts & Business NI Board Bank. As a passionate lover of the arts Noyona felt that experience on an arts Board would not only build her leadership skills but would help her make a positive contribution to the sector.
Now Chair of CQAF, Noyona observed “Being on the CQAF Board hasn’t been without challenge. Arts organisations have big ambitions but typically are small operations that run a tight ship, with income and funding secured annually leaving little room for strategic planning. You get to meet incredibly talented, passionate and creative people, who know their craft inside out, but who have also had to deal with some hard knocks along the way given the backdrop of diminishing funding for the arts. CQAF was no exception, so early on I decided my focus would be to help build long-term sustainability by improving strategic direction, governance, resilience and succession planning.”
Noyona continued “There is no doubt that the Arts & Business NI Board Bank helped to hone my leadership skills and augment my track record. But I was also able to use my experiences at CQAF to get appointed to the Board of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, where I am now Chair of its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. Invest NI has also seen benefits; as a member of their Senior Leadership Team, I lead cross-cutting strategies for the Northern Ireland economy, deliver against both Programme for Government and corporate scorecard targets, and develop resources and capability to drive business transformation.”
Tania Carlisle, Development Manager at Arts & Business NI brought the inspirational event to an end: “At A&B NI everything we do aims towards getting the arts and business sectors to work together. Our Board matching programmes, Board Bank and Young Professionals on Arts Boards, help business individuals develop personally and professionally by using their skills on the voluntary Board of an arts charity.
At the same time, their skilled input helps strengthen our arts sector to deliver quality artistic, cultural, social and economic impacts. These partnerships are a classic case of win-win, and a perfect example of pragmatic idealism in practice”.
Arts & Business NI ‘s Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme 2019-20 still has a limited number of spaces available; applications close on Friday 28 June 2019. https://www.artsandbusinessni.org.uk/business/our-talent-development-programmes
If you would like to find more about their Board Matching programmes please speak to Tania Carlisle on 028 90735150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
U105, City Quays 2, Clarendon Dock, Belfast BT1 3FD
75 guests recently gathered in U105 to recognise and celebrate the arts organisations and their business partners who received funding in 2018-2019 from the Arts & Business NI (A&BNI) Investment Programme (funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland), which stimulates and strengthens partnerships between business and the arts.
The event, kindly sponsored by A&BNI business member Citi, provided inspiration to businesses in the audience by giving examples of how other businesses are partnering with arts organsiations to deliver strategic commercial objectives via creative collaborations.
Mary Nagele, CEO at Arts & Business NI thanked the business and arts partners for the creativity, energy and vision that they bring to utilising the important fund.
“Each year Arts & Business NI makes the case and applies for the Investment Programme fund within our Arts Council of NI application. In times of limited resources, innovation can be inhibited. The Arts are about pushing barriers and challenges norms - hence arts organisations are perfect partners for fresh thinking and new approaches. This fund offers both the arts and business partners a safe space, an R&D fund, to test opportunities that use creativity through the arts to support private sector companies in addressing key business issues such as retaining and attracting talent, creatively developing staff or to address important societal or wellbeing issues in communities and the workplace.”
Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts and Education at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, welcomed the variety and depth of the partnerships celebrated at the event, highlighting how much the two sectors can achieve when they combine their distinctive strengths.
“These partnerships are bringing a wide range of significant opportunities and benefits to both parties. We are nourishing a healthy interdependency, whereby our communities are strengthened by the presence of a rich creative culture and an enterprising business sector, just as these same communities provide a source of inspiration for our artists and a source of revenue for our businesses. Everyone benefits.”
One of the partnerships supported through the Investment Programme fund was Citi and Tinderbox. Arts & Business NI works closely with all Citi Networks to introduce creativity in to their programmes of activity, and connected Citi disAbility Network with Tinderbox to develop an innovative staff engagement project around mental health, to mark World Mental Health Day 2018. The partners scheduled a dedicated on-site performance of ‘The Man who Fell to Pieces’, a ground breaking comedy that deals with the profound themes of Mental Health, followed by a Q&A around issues raised. 80 Citi staff attended the on-site performance, and participated in the Q&A session.
Post-performance, Citi followed up with 9 Tinderbox staff workshops over the ensuing months, enabling Citi staff to explore Perception, Inclusion and Diversity.
Leigh Meyer, Managing Director, Citi Belfast Site Head and key sponsor of the event commented:
“Thanks to the introduction from A&B NI to Tinderbox, we now have a thriving relationship and have rolled out a series of theatre based Mental Health Awareness workshops, open to all staff, throughout 2019. We have five diversity networks in Citi Belfast, and utilising the Arts & Business Investment Programme support, in partnership with Tinderbox we have developed a series of fantastic events with each network this year."
Patrick O’Reilly, Artistic Director at Tinderbox, led guests in an interactive, fun sampler of the Perception Programme workshop currently being delivered in Citi. Additional performances on the day included Katie Richardson and the Glider Band, whilst Beat Carnival performed a rousing drumming finale to the event.
Another partnership supported by the Investment Programme was ISL Waste Management (ISL),The Grand Opera House and Beat Carnival’s exciting ‘Electro Funk Junk’ project. As a commercial waste management company, ISL Waste Management prioritises supporting education to change perceptions surrounding waste. Aimed at Primary 7 pupils, the school engagement initiative encouraged the school children to think more about recycling, while engaging them in music workshops and technology. Barry Donaghy, MD at ISL commented:
“Creating music from junk was a fascinating idea and the creativity of all the young people involved was a joy to support. Opening their minds to the fact that we cannot live in a world of single use products is vital and at ISL we are dedicated to helping our children lead the way.”
Business member U105 kindly provided the fabulous event space - Peter McVerry Executive Director at U105 commented:
“As a keen advocate of the Arts, U105 was delighted to welcome fellow Arts & Business NI members to our state-of the-art waterfront broadcast studios and showcase our hireable event space with stunning views over the ever-changing Belfast skyline”. Please contact Peter if you are interested in the U105 event space.
An inspirational full colour booklet, kindly designed and printed pro bono by Whitenoise Design Ltd and Nicholson & Bass, was launched at the event, giving summaries and photographs from the 32 amazing partnerships which received funding through the Investment Programme in the last financial year. See the booklet here
If you would like to find out more about adopting a creative approach to your business challenges, please speak to Maeve McKervey about A&BNI business membership on 028 90735150 or email email@example.com
Join us for an event on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 at the Arts & Business NI offices, 2 Paulett Avenue at 12.30 - 4.30pm.
This half-day workshop looks at best practice and at the realities of arts charity governance.
We’ll take a thorough look at the compliance requirements of being on a Board, covering roles and responsibilities plus managerial, legal and financial duties. But that’s only half of the picture!
We’ll also discuss organisational performance, business models, income streams and what makes a Board/Board Member effective.
For: Trustees/Board Members or anyone who is considering joining a Board or would like refresher on the changing requirements.
Cost: £25+VAT (Sandwich lunch included) Tickets available directly on Eventbrite via this link.
Crescent Arts Centre, University Road, Belfast
‘You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.' - Wayne Gretzky
For this session we are delighted to welcome Anne Orr. With over 15 years of experience, Anne builds quality management systems and delivers change management through established tools and techniques developed from ISO, Six Sigma and Design Thinking methodologies.
Crescent Arts Centre on Tuesday 24th September from 9.30-11.30am
Anne is passionate about supporting the arts, creative industries, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors by applying business skills and knowledge to improve their sustainability, innovative culture and commercialization. Since 2013 Anne has volunteered on arts boards, mentored arts and culture groups and facilitated strategic workshops with Boards of Directors and membership groups. Anne has also delivered training and talks on organisational efficiency in the arts sector, managing risks on boards and the challenges and rewards of being a Non-Executive Director.
Anne has recently launched a tech product called ALUNA, which is an app that helps boards manage their governance and compliance requirements.
This will be a highly practical session looking at why 'risk taking' needs to be a part of the conversations you have with your team, the board, stakeholder and funders.
To book at space at this session please contact Brona Whittaker firstname.lastname@example.org
Our arts members Cinemagic have very kindly offered A&BNI business members a number of free tickets to their screening of Vincent and Me and a Q&A with Tchéky Karyo who you will immediately recognise as the star of Baptiste and The Missing.
Vincent & Me was the first film shown at the first Cinemagic Festival and was on the same screen at the same time on the same date 30 years ago so this is a very special birthday occasion for the Cinemagic family.
To register for your tickets (max 2 per person please) just email me at email@example.com with your names and I will have you added to the guest list at QFT on Saturday 21 September. This event is sure to be a sell-out so don’t delay!
Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People is an award-winning charity that has been educating, inspiring and motivating young people across the world for the last three decades. Cinemagic is an organisation with international networks and a worldwide reputation for excellence in children’s programming. As the largest film and television festival designed for and by young people in the UK and Ireland around 40,000 young people (aged 4-25) participate in Cinemagic events in Belfast, Dublin, London, France (Castres), New York and Los Angeles each year.
Since it was established Cinemagic has engaged with almost 1 million young people, screened over 3,000 films, and hosted over 500 masterclasses, industry workshops, Q&As and special events. Our film production projects have received international acclaim for their ambition, quality and reach.
Cinemagic embraces the magic of film, television and digital technologies and offers young people the chance to develop real skills, explore opportunities, and reaffirm their belief in what they want to do and their own ability to achieve it.
To find out more about Cinemagic and their work, follow the link https://cinemagic.org.uk/
Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
Leadership is not a job. It is taking your values and leading forward, bringing people with you, stepping out in front, to make change happen. You can call this activism. You can call this leadership.
We are delighted to welcome Jude Kelly CBE who will share experiences from her incredible career. Jude is a successful theatre director and founded the acclaimed West Yorkshire Playhouse. She was Artistic Director of Southbank Centre from 2005 to 2018, and founded the WOW Festival in 2010. Now a significant global brand, WOW Festival celebrates the lives and achievements of women and girls all over the world, bringing together artists, performers and speakers from a huge range of disciplines and backgrounds to spotlight womens lives, their successes, and the obstacles against which they continue to struggle.
For more Information on the event & to book limited tickets - follow the link here.
Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.