HSBC, Travelex, Siemens plc, Ekspan and Sky Arts were among the big business names to be named as this year’s top collaborators with arts at the 32nd Arts & Business Awards.
Nine awards were announced at a ceremony attended by the Minister for Culture and 400 leaders in business and the arts, hosted by the Museum of London.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“Enlightened business engagement with the arts is absolutely vital. It delivers benefits for the arts, for business and for society as a whole. I applaud the ingenuity, innovation and enterprise of those businesses and arts organisations whose success is being recognised tonight. Awards like these are incredibly important in showcasing the very best partnerships and challenging other businesses to partner with the arts.”
Colin Tweedy, Chief Executive of Arts & Business, said:
“It is necessary for many arts organisations to tap into the only area of growth – business. We know that business engagement in the arts is not only critical for survival in this harsh age but actually makes good business sense. We believe culture is the most cost effective way for businesses to reach out to consumers, develop staff and take their brand around the world – and these awards demonstrate this in a powerful way.”
The winners, announced last evening at the Museum of London, are:
Jaguar Land Rover A&B Community & Young People Award
• Ekspan & Open Door Theatre
Sheffield engineering firm Ekspan transformed a 15,000 square foot factory into a theatre with Open Door Theatre Company. It is now a fully licensed arts venue hosting a wide range of community projects which involve young people and showcase local talent.
The judges applauded the journey for both partners resulting in a long-lasting outcome for the local community. They wanted to recognise the cost effectiveness of the project and the level of engagement with staff and customers as well as the community.
Anthony Bradbury, Marketing Director, Land Rover said:
“We are delighted that a company that has shown such commitment to bringing art to their local community has won this Award. Ekspan have set themselves apart by helping to create such a legacy.”
Prudential A&B People Development Award
• Siemens Plc & Hallé Concerts Society
Siemens found a way to improve change management and drive business by working with Hallé. Singing workshops aimed to push employee boundaries and results showed that actual business performance improved. Employees experienced increased confidence and a willingness to stretch themselves.
The judges felt this project was imaginative in its design and covered the dynamics between individual and collective performance. They were impressed by the involvement of all parts of business from senior management down. For the arts partner it was an excellent example of widening its business model and deepening engagement with an existing sponsor.
Rob Devey, Chief Executive, Prudential UK & Europe said:
“Siemans showed insight and imagination in their partnership with Hallé to tackle some key business performance issues. People are at the heart of business and using culture as the common language can bring the best out in employees.”
Lloyd’s A&B Business Innovation Award
• Travelex & National Theatre
This impressive programme pushed digital and technical boundaries by delivering broadcast theatre live (or as-live) from the stage in London to over 300 cinemas in the UK and around the world. Travelex, long-time sponsors of National Theatre, helped make NT Live a reality as well as supporting the global transactions.
The judges felt that this was a partnership in the truest sense, with a very innovative range of collaborative activity and campaign platforms. They felt it closely met all of the criteria for the category – breaking new markets and attracting new audiences. In addition, the partnership had very clear and quantifiable objectives for both partners, which were not only met, but exceeded.
Suzy Black, Head of HR at Lloyd’s, said:
“We applaud partnerships that strive to push boundaries – to take risks and reap the dividends. Travelex and National Theatre show how ambitious projects can be realised, backed by the confidence of a sound partnership.”
Classic FM A&B International Award
• HSBC & The British Museum
This project exemplified HSBC’s ‘world’s local bank’ strapline. Their support of the British Museum’s Indian Summer programme reached 2.78 million people and 5,000 HSBC customers internationally across the UK, India, Australia, the USA and the UAE.
They judges felt this was a true partnership, where both organisations extensively leveraged the sponsorship to extend their brand reputation in an international market. It demonstrated true global impact with clear measures of success.
Darren Henley, Managing Director, Classic FM said:
“This exceptional winning partnership shows how culture speaks the world over. HSBC and The British Museum have truly used culture to engage global audiences.”
Prudential A&B Board Member of the Year Award
• John Middleton & The Broadway
During his two years as Chair of The Broadway John ensured the rise of a much needed cultural outlet in Barking. He brought in a new Artistic Director / CEO, steered in a new brand and helped diversify their funding base. A 30% increase in Black, ethnic minority and refugee audiences and participation is one key success of his tenure.
The judges were impressed by John’s personal commitment, enthusiasm and leadership style. He clearly exercised judgement about when to intervene, when to step back and when to take calculated risks.
Barry O’Dwyer, Managing Director, Retail Life and Pensions from Prudential UK & Europe, said:
“Strong leadership builds strong organisations. It is fantastic to see such impact from an individual who rolled up his sleeves and delivered real support to an arts organisation at the right time.”