Our seventh annual Arts & Business Northern Ireland Trusts & Foundations Symposium took place on Wednesday 6th February 2019 in Riddel Hall, Belfast. Eight Trusts & Foundations attended including representatives from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Children in Need, Halifax Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and joining us for the first year, DWF Foundation.
Follow Up Follow Through
At the morning plenary we heard from James Magowan, Northern Ireland Development Officer at Association of Charitable Foundations who offered key advice 'Follow up. Follow through.' Lou Errington from The Paul Hamlyn foundation urged Arts organisations in Northern Ireland to ensure to submit their funding applications Clare Beavan introduced the DWF Foundation, founded from DWF LLP a multinational law firm headquartered in Manchester with 27 offices across the world.
Time to recalibrate
Damian Smyth represented the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and pointed out that the spending on Arts per head per capita in Northern Ireland is £5.37 whereas in other parts of the U. K. this figure rises to £10.58 per person, he highlighted the need to recalibrate to increase this figure for Arts in Northern Ireland moving forward. The morning plenary concluded with a question and answer session addressing NI arts organisation’s main concerns, including the ability to apply to Trusts & Foundations to cover core costs. Trusts & Foundations highlighted that applicants must bear in mind that they are also charitable organisations, therefore they share in some of the issues that small Arts organisations face such as dealing with a limited amount of staff.
There was also a strong emphasis placed on the importance of forging a strong funder-applicant relationship and the necessity to communicate, update and clarify before applying. Brona Whittaker, Arts Manager at Arts & Business NI reiterated that Arts & Business supports members in their applications to Trusts & Foundations with the understanding that time constraints play a huge role in application rates, therefore she encouraged Arts members to avail of the resources provided in the member only section of the Arts & Business NI website and reach out for support while crafting and refining applications.
Access and communicate
In the afternoon ninety-six knee-to-knee funding surgeries took place with our Arts Members personally meeting the Trusts & Foundations. Our inaugural Trusts & Foundations Symposium Business Exhibitors were in attendance, including Edwards & Co, Forde Campbell Law, Millar McCall Wylie and Whitenoise who provided helpful advice and services to Arts members throughout the day.
Photo left to right: Mary Nagele, CEO – Arts & Business NI, Jessica Warner, Programme Manager - The Wolfson Foundation, Lou Errington, Grants Manager - Paul Hamlyn Foundation, James Magowan, Northern Ireland Development Officer - Association of Charitable Foundations, Clare Beavan, Foundation Manager – DWF Foundation, Valerie Ingram, Executive Director - Ulster Garden Villages, Sinéad Tierney, Freelance Assessor - BBC Children in Need, Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature – Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Photo Credit – Aaron McCracken Photography.
Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.