A Scottish charity promoting closer collaboration between the cultural sector and the business community is to launch a series of online events to help drive recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
Arts & Business Scotland, as part of its new Building Capacity: Developing Skills (BCDS) programme, is to hold six events aimed at the regions of Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and South of Scotland.
The body, which became in independent charity in 2011, has over 25 years experience building links between business and the arts.
Expert speakers and leaders from a diverse range of businesses will talk about the benefits of partnering with the culture sector and how they can be instrumental in the rebuilding of town centres, helping businesses reach new audiences, supporting staff retention, and improving corporate social responsibility, among many other things.
David Watt, Arts & Business Scotland chief executive, said the events aim to support arts groups to build relationships with business while also highlighting sources of funding available to support collaborative projects.
He said: “These events are about enabling culture sector organisations to see what they do through the eyes of a business.
“It’s about encouraging them to reach out to businesses local to them, at a time when so many are struggling, to find new ways to work together and support communities as they face struggles caused by lockdown and the pandemic.
“We want businesses to know that the funding is there for cross sector collaboration. Funding that will double your financial investment and pay dividends when it comes to the positive impact on every aspect of your business.”
Businesses encouraged to get on-board
The events will give advice on how to create effective partnerships and how they can work.
Examples of successful projects brokered by Arts & Business Scotland include John Lawrie Metals working with The Swan Trust in Shetland on a project that transforms plastic waste retrieved in beach cleans into sculpture by artist Julia Barton.
Ray Grant, John Lawrie Metals environmental director, said: “We have first-hand experience of what a culture sector partnership brings to a business.
“We were a new business when we decided to team up with the Swan Trust and our project #LitterCUBES not only helped us develop our community links as a developing business in the area, it also allowed us to meet our objectives of promoting our environmental credentials, image, and brand awareness throughout Shetland.
“It surpassed our expectations.
“If I could share one piece of advice with anyone thinking about partnering with the culture sector – be it with a local theatre, charitable trust, or community run castle – it would be just do it.”
The project was supported by the Culture Business Fund Scotland which is funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland.
Leah Hodder, Aberdeen Performing Arts director of marketing and communications and Arts & Business Scotland and Visit Aberdeenshire board member, said: “The culture sector has much to offer to our local businesses, and the Building Capacity: Developing Skills programme puts a welcome spotlight on Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to demonstrate the reciprocal benefits of working in partnership, providing networking, peer-to-peer learning, training and funding opportunities for business as well as the culture sector in the north-east.
“We would encourage anyone interested in finding out more to attend the free regional online events.”
Highlands-based D&E Coaches linked up with Eden Court to sponsor the pantomime.
Donald Mathieson, D&E Coaches managing director, said: “Sponsoring Beauty and the Beast has given us great promotion around the Highlands as well as being a fun way to engage with our staff, clients and hopefully new customers.”