Leading accountancy and advisory firm KPMG and local artists’ body the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA) are this year celebrating 10 years in partnership.
Their partnership is one of the longest and most fruitful between a business and an arts organisation in Northern Ireland, and together they have helped raise in excess of £1.2m in sales over the last decade.
Mary Nagele, Chief Executive at Arts & Business NI, who brokered the partnership 10 years ago said: “We commend KPMG on its 10-year partnership with the RUA. KPMG are a shining example of a business that has partnered and invested in the arts for sound business reasons, but also because they see the broader benefits of a vibrant cultural sector to our creative economy and the society in which we live.”
KPMG and RUA’s 10-year association will be recognised at the RUA Annual Exhibition 2017, at which works by both emerging and established artists across all disciplines of visual arts will be showcased.
This year, the RUA has experienced an increase of 500 artists’ submissions to the annual exhibition, taking the overall tally to 1,801 from across 20 countries, including Germany, Poland, USA, France and Italy.
The annual exhibition has been held in the Ulster Museum since 2010, and this year’s event, which will see over £7,000 in prize money awarded to exhibiting artists, is once again being sponsored by KPMG.
Dr Denise Ferran, President of the RUA said: “The RUA Annual Exhibition is one of the most important dates in Northern Ireland’s cultural calendar, and attracts wider and more diverse audiences and participants every year.
“We would be unable to deliver the event to such a high standard without the continuous support of KPMG, whose sponsorship over the years has contributed greatly to the positive impact on both its local and international profile.
“Furthermore, during the past ten years the RUA Education Programme has been a real focus for us, and having KPMG as our sponsor has helped us develop a dynamic and exciting programme extending to schools, teachers, and thousands of people, young and old. We simply could not do this work without the ongoing support of KPMG. Their contribution has been immense.”
John Hansen, Partner in Charge at KPMG in Northern Ireland said: “We are extremely proud to have been able to contribute to the development of the RUA over the last 10 years.
“Being closely associated with the RUA has given us the opportunity to take part in creative projects, as well as challenge and stimulate our own teams at KPMG on the important contribution which art makes to the world.
“One aspect which has always stood out for me personally, is the support we can give to young artists, championing their talent and opening up networks for them to develop relationships with potential future collectors. That has been hugely rewarding for us alongside the ever-widening educational outreach programme.”
He added: “Our successful partnership with the RUA is a prime example of how business and arts organisations working together can be a positive and rewarding experience. We would encourage all businesses to think about their relationship with the arts and culture sector and get involved.”
The RUA Exhibition opens to the public on Friday 6th October 2017.
Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.