Posts Tagged ‘Business to Arts Awards’

2019 Allianz Business to Arts Awards – Judges Reflection

September 6th, 2019

 

At this year’s judging day in The Merrion Hotel were: (from left) Gerard McNaughton, Tilestyle; Donal O Donavan, Independent News & Media; Antonia McTaggart, Facebook; Robert McEvoy, Allianz Ireland; Rachel Hussey, Arthur Cox; Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts; Petal Pilley, Blue Teapot Theatre CompanyPicture Conor McCabe

At this year’s judging day in The Merrion Hotel were: (from left) Gerard McNaughton, TileStyle; Donal O’Donovan, Independent News & Media; Antonia McTaggart, Facebook; Robert McEvoy, Allianz Ireland; Rachel Hussey, Arthur Cox; Andrew Hetherington, Business to Arts; Petal Pilley, Blue Teapot Theatre Company. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

The standard of partnerships in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards is continually rising and judges this year were really taken with the quality of activity and thought that went into the shortlisted projects

“Fusing business and the arts facilitates artists and makes both businesses and arts organisations think differently. The Allianz Business to Arts Awards shortlist demonstrates this. There are so many worthwhile projects which have resulted in wonderful experiences and creations that give back to the community in fantastic ways.” – Rachel Hussey, head of business development and client relations at Arthur Cox.

“The teams on the shortlist have real interest in what they’re doing. Staff are invigorated by their involvement in the collaborative projects and the nourishing two-way exchanges are bringing about something more sustainable than was originally envisaged. The consideration of what a community needed or wanted was quite evident in a lot of partnerships. You could see that this was genuine from both the businesses and arts organisations.” – Petal Pilley, CEO and artistic director, Blue Teapot Theatre Company

For first-time judges Rachel Hussey, head of business development and client relations at Arthur Cox and Petal Pilley, CEO and artistic director of Blue Teapot Company, the judging process was an eye-opener in terms of the extent and diversity of business and arts collaboration going on around the country.

“It was a fantastic experience to see the amazing work that is happening. I was so impressed by how partnerships give back to the community, in both innovative and sustainable ways. Even the smallest of businesses can have a really big impact in their communities and can facilitate artists to access wider audiences,” says Hussey.

One of the things that struck Hussey was how imaginative both business and arts partners are in relation to the types of experiences and creations they come up with. “I really like Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival with Colourtrend, as this has made a real and lasting artistic impact on the local community,” she says.

“Children’s Books Ireland [CBI] has also done some really great work around encouraging children to read. A number of businesses have collaborated with CBI across various projects, including KPMG, Brown Bag Films and Coca-Cola.”

Always a big supporter of Irish visual art in particular, Arthur Cox worked closely with Business to Arts two years ago when it moved its headquarters to a new building on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin. “We had amassed a lot of artworks over the years and the collection wasn’t being displayed in the best way possible. Business to Arts helped us to do that in our new premises,” explains Hussey.

Sustainability in supporting the arts is important to Arthur Cox and Hussey was impressed by the efforts of businesses in the shortlist in this regard. “There are some excellent commissioning practices in relation to working with artists to develop bespoke art for buildings. Businesses are taking part in initiatives seen by a huge variety of people which improve living and working environments in imaginative ways.”

Remarking on the breadth of projects, Pilley noticed a strong emphasis on addressing gender imbalance through art in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards shortlist. “There are more and more collaborative projects in the past few years which invest in the promotion of positive images of women and the advancement of women as emerging artists. In this year’s shortlist, the Female Conductors Programme and Women on Walls were particularly impressive to me.”

Blue Teapot is a relatively small theatre company, which has previously won a number of Allianz Business to Arts Awards. Pilley was the 2014 winner of the TileStyle Bursary for Artists. In this year’s shortlist, she observed that businesses and arts organisations have become much more considered about who they partner with and are putting a lot of effort into finding ‘the right fit’.

“There are some ingenious pairings between businesses and theatre companies which involve healthy risk taking. Businesses are taking a punt and backing innovative projects, such as Irish Rail’s support of ‘A Play for Ireland’ by Fishamble: The New Play Company and Dublin Port Company’s commissioning of Bitter Like a Lemon to produce ‘In our Veins’,” she notes.

This article features in the 2019 Allianz Business to Arts Awards Sunday Independent supplement published on Sept 8th 2019.

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