Archive for September, 2015

Business to Arts announces three-year partnership with Bank of Ireland to support creative crowdfunding site

September 28th, 2015
Richard Andrew Michelle Dave Ailbhe BOI announce 1

Pictured at the announcement of Bank of Ireland’s three-year partnership with to support the further development of Ireland’s leading creative crowdfunding platform were Richard Kelly co-creator of the boardgame SMORGASBOARD; Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts & Co-Founder of Fund it; Michelle Darmody of Cake Café; Dave Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland; and Alibhe McDonagh, cellist with Trio Elatha. Richard, Michelle and Ailbhe have all successfully raised finance for their creative projects on

We’re delighted to be working with Bank of Ireland to further its support of Ireland’s entrepreneurs and creative sectors through our crowdfunding platform was established in 2011 as Ireland’s first crowdfunding website for creative projects that, in its first four and a half years, has successfully hosted approximately 1,200 projects ranging across publishing, film, music, food, events, fashion, science, performance and more.

The investment from Bank of Ireland over the next three years will allow us to invest in and develop the technology of the site, and expand the categories available for fundraising, as well as continuing to provide the hands-on moderation with local knowledge, which has contributed to Fund it’s success rate of 72% and higher and ensured the finance created remains in Ireland. It will also help us to keep costs low for project creators through supporting ongoing costs, and expand Fund it’s presence internationally through engaging with new markets.

Fund it website has consistently had a success-rate of over 72%, which has resulted in over €3.2 million of funds coming to Irish creative and start-up projects from 58,000 people based in over 60 countries around the world. Fund it is among the most successful reward-based crowdfunding websites globally. Bank of Ireland’s partnership will assist in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of new forms of funding opportunities to their growing community of start-ups, supporting platforms that help early stage start-up ideas. It will also further expand on the financial support available from the traditional banking sector.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts and co-founder of said “Bank of Ireland was a founding patron of Business to Arts 27 years ago and we are delighted that the company’s commitment remains strong as both our businesses have evolved. This three-year investment in Fund it will help us to develop the reach of the platform, leverage the assets we have and safeguard the future of a key funding tool for so many communities, artists, and projects in Ireland. We are really looking forward to working with the team in the Bank to support their work with the startup and entrepreneur communities to create a crowdfunding opportunity to help develop talent in Ireland. The core concepts of crowdfunding are transparency and community engagement, so we’re delighted to be bringing in a new partner to Fund it that already know us well and believes in what we do, to help us support the growth and development of the site.”

David Tighe, Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland, said “As a leading financial services company in Ireland, we are committed to supporting Ireland’s entrepreneurs and the wider communities we work in and we are looking forward to partnering with Fund it to support their ambitious growth plans. We have an extensive programme of activity ongoing to support entrepreneurs alongside the provision of finance including partnering with the Startup Gathering, a major new national initiative as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015. Taking place from 5-10 October 2015, the event will showcase our vibrant startup sector to an Irish and International audience with events taking place in five cities on the theme ‘Start, Scale, Succeed from Ireland’. Our partnership with Fund it is a significant addition to our ongoing support for startups.”

First Irish Sky Arts Amplify project confirmed as Enda Walsh & Donnacha Dennehy’s ‘The Last Hotel’

September 28th, 2015


We’re delighted that the first Sky Arts Amplify project from Ireland has been confirmed as the Landmark Ireland and Wide Open Opera production of ‘The Last Hotel’, a new opera by Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy. The production, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August, is currently playing at the O’Reilly Theatre Belvedere as part of Dublin Theatre Festival.

As part of their Amplify programme, Sky Arts will work with Brink Films to capture the critically acclaimed new opera ‘The Last Hotel’ both on stage, as well as in the atmospheric setting of the Bray Head Hotel, which hosted the initial photoshoot by Hugh O’Connor.

Business to Arts has been proud to work with Sky Arts on this project for the past 10 months, with a speed-dating event earlier this year to encourage arts organisations and film production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to €1.35million annually for new TV ideas designed to foster integrated partnerships between creative institutions and TV production companies, bringing the vibrancy and breadth of the arts in the UK and Ireland to life on screen in innovative, new ways.

Enda Walsh said: ‘We’re very excited to have the opportunity to capture and re-imagine The Last Hotel for Sky Arts. It’s strange suburban ‘gothicness’ seems very suited to the world of film and it’s thrilling to delve deeper into the quiet horror of this story.’

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts added : “Amplify with Sky Arts is all about finding new ways to bring great arts content to the screen and with Enda Walsh’s unique adaptation of his hit opera The Last Hotel we have just that. We are thrilled to be working with the cream of Irish talent on this project which builds on last year’s Sky Arts Ignition: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and our current Sky Academy Arts Scholar for Ireland Kevin Gaffney.”

Fergus Sheil, Artistic Director of Wide Open Opera said: “The Last Hotel has been one of the most successful operas to emerge from Ireland in recent years. It is unprecedented for a new Irish opera to be showcased at top international venues and festivals in Ireland, UK and USA. Now in collaboration with Sky Arts, the production will reach an even wider audience internationally. With Sky we will capture the energy and intensity of a live performance at the Dublin Theatre Festival, but we add an additional dimension through our plans to film scenes of the opera in the atmospheric Bray Head Hotel. The result will be a fantastically mesmerising and unique experience for television audiences showcasing the formidable talents of arrange of Irish artists in the cast, orchestra and creative team.”

Andrew Hetherington of Business to Arts said “We’re thrilled that Sky Arts continue to be committed to supporting Irish artists and Irish cultural content, with this, their first Sky Arts Amplify investment in Ireland. Business to Arts is very proud to work with Sky Arts in Ireland, most recently with Sky Arts Ignition : The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and Sky Academy Irish Scholar Kevin Gaffney.”

Creative Leadership for Growth

September 24th, 2015

Alternatives Elect

As part of a recent co-hosted event with Alternatives Elect, leading business and cultural figures Derek Kehoe, CEO, BNP Paribas Group; Simon Taylor, Chief Executive, National Concert Hall; Angela Dorgan, CEO, First Music Contact; and Gerry Macken, CEO, Digital Hub Development Agency were interviewed on the topic of ‘Creative Leadership’ by Andrew Hetherington.

“Our wide ranging conversation covered the diverse aspects of creative leadership from what it meant and how achievable it was within an organisation. It was especially interesting to get our speakers’ perspectives on how they facilitate creative leadership and their insights into how to take on that mantle. At Business to Arts we engage with the corporate and cultural sectors in many ways, and support, advise and develop creative solutions for our members – the emergence of a culture of creative leadership can only be beneficial to the arts and commerce.” Andrew Hetherington

After the morning briefing, Charley Stoney, Group Managing Director, Alternatives Group, commented, “What we’ve learnt is that the notion of Creative Leadership is no longer something abstract and conceptual – instead it has become a commercial imperative that can be applied in many different, tangible forms within progressive Irish businesses that wish to develop and expand, building a strong and imaginative team culture that also helps to attract and retain talent.”

Quotes From Speakers
“Apathy, scepticism and fear are the enemy of creative leadership. Encourage ideas and take risks, you’ve no option but to.” Angela Dorgan

“Don’t be hierarchical; be more fluid in the way you work; make use of the full range of skills and talents in your organisation.” Simon Taylor

“No business, no matter what size, is an island. The organisation should reflect the world in which it operates in. Challenge the enterprise to move out of its natural comfort zone to embrace new thinking and new ways of conducting business. And benchmark how that change is progressing.” Derek Kehoe

“Accept that creativity is a key skill for the modern day leader – it may sound counter intuitive – it’s not. Take a risk and adapt quickly to change.” Gerry Macken

Allianz Ireland extends sponsorship of Allianz Business to Arts Awards until 2018

September 11th, 2015
Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts speaking at the 24th Allianz Business to Arts Awards with Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Brendan Murphy, Allianz and Keelin Shanley

Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts speaking at the 24th Allianz Business to Arts Awards with Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Brendan Murphy, Allianz and Keelin Shanley

Allianz Ireland have announced an extension to their 15 year relationship with Business to Arts for title sponsorship of our annual awards, to run up to our 30th anniversary in 2018.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and celebrate businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships, working together on sponsorships, mentoring, training, staff development, commissioning and community-based cultural projects.

The 2015 Awards programme saw a 25% increase in nominations, with projects valued over €10m put forward for consideration. The 24th annual Allianz Business to Arts Awards took place on 1 September at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, attended by over 500 arts and business leaders.

The partnership has evolved this year to include a Sponsorship Report which covers Music, Arts and Festival Sponsorships, to be released in early October.

Allianz’s title sponsorship of Business to Arts’ awards has seen Allianz build on over two decades of support programmes for Irish arts and sports communities. As public funding faces further pressures, Allianz continues to encourage leaders in the business community to look to the creative sector to achieve business advantage, and to learn from the achievements of the Awards alumni who achieved mutually beneficial relationships with the arts community.

Speaking about the extension of the partnership, Brendan Murphy, Chief Executive of Allianz said : “For the last 15 years Allianz has, through these awards, acknowledged those who enrich and embolden their communities and helped both themselves and others through all important collaboration. Artists and arts organisations who dared to think beyond public commissions have grown in confidence and established not just new friends and support, but through greater business acumen reinforced sustainability and enriched both the understanding and the value of their creations. This virtuous circle of creativity, innovation and collaboration must continue to be encouraged and Allianz is both privileged and delighted to play our part in it doing so. We believe this so fundamentally that we are building on our previous 15 years of active engagement with Business to Arts to extend support for these awards for another 3 years – up to and including the Allianz Business to Arts Awards of 2018.”

Chief Executive of Business to Arts, Andrew Hetherington said “The Allianz Business to Arts Awards are our flagship event and a long-term collaboration between Business to Arts and Allianz. So we are delighted that our relationship with Allianz will continue for another 3 years. We have ambitious plans for 2018, which is Business to Arts’ 30th anniversary, so I’m delighted to have the Awards as an integral part of our plans. With the team at Allianz, we set new standards and innovate each year through the process and the event. Similarly, our new sponsorship report will add to our collective thought-leadership and advocacy work, and tools for those seeking to enter the arts sponsorship arena, which will feed the Awards nominations of the future.”

Allianz Business To Arts Awards 2015 Winners Announced

September 2nd, 2015
Paul O'Kane, daa; Brendan Murphy, Allianz; Minister Heather Humphreys TD; Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts; and Gerard McNaughton, Tilestyle

Paul O’Kane, daa; Brendan Murphy, Allianz; Minister Heather Humphreys TD; Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts; and Gerard McNaughton, TileStyle

KPMG, The Irish Times, Dublin Port, NCAD and The ESB were among the winners at the 24th annual Allianz Business to Arts Awards ceremony at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on 1 September 2015.

Leading the congratulations among 550 business and arts leaders was Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD.

Both finalists and eventual winners represented a broad range of artistic and business interests ranging from the theatre groups who use acting as way to explain complex issues to children, to large financial services firms supporting young artists at third level.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships, bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.


The Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2015 Winners are:

Judges’ Special Recognition for Portfolio of Investment:

Best Small Sponsorship – under €25,000 value:
PwC & National College of Art & Design

Best Long Term Partnership:
The Irish Times & The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards

Best Large Sponsorship – over €25,000 value:
The Naughton Foundation & Royal Irish Academy – Art & Architecture of Ireland

Best Use of Creativity in the Community:
Bord Gáis Energy & Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards

Best Creative Staff Engagement:
KPMG & St Michael’s House – Sensory Stories

Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice:
Dublin Port Company & Dublin City Council – Cliona Harmey’s ‘Dublin Ships’

Jim McNaughton / TileStyle €10,000 Artist’s Bursary:
Gearóid Solan and Máire Carroll

Allianz Community Art Prize:
Super Paua – Aunty Ben

Dublin Airport Authority €5,000 Arts Award:
Pallas Projects/Studios


Speaking at the announcement of the winners, Minister Heather Humphreys TD said “The Allianz Business to Arts Awards provide a valuable showcase for the types of relationships that can be fostered to the mutual benefit of the business and arts sectors and ultimately society as a whole. They allow us to acknowledge and celebrate our country’s fantastic talents, their stories, their successes and their passion for art in all of its forms. The creativity of the short-listed projects is plain for all to see. Creativity is necessary to both the arts and successful enterprise. It allows us to view things in new ways or from a different perspective, and aids more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.”

Brendan Murphy, CEO of Allianz said, “The 2015 Allianz Business to Arts Awards have once again demonstrated the ever strengthening relationship that exists between businesses and the arts in this country. Creativity and the arts plays such a vital role in shaping the wellbeing of our society. The arts is essential to our national identity and contributes greatly to how we are perceived on the world stage. The Allianz Business to Arts Awards seek to highlight the best of the arts while commending the businesses that invest in them through financial means and business advice to secure their longevity.”

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts, said “This year’s Allianz Business to Arts Awards winners represent companies, commercial semi-states and foundations investing considerable financial and human resources in arts sponsorship, philanthropy, commissions and creative CSR activities. Each winner has achieved incredible results with their partners. Nominations to this year’s Awards increased by 25% and represented a staggering €10 million worth of investment in the cultural sector in the past year. Like many of this year’s winners, Allianz and Business to Arts’ sponsorship relationship is a long-term one, which has helped sustain private sector investment in culture, and in communities, in recent years.”

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