Five & Thriving
Arts & Business Cymru is celebrating five years as an independent organisation, following almost three decades of success as part of a UK-wide body.
In that time, the organisation has levered more than £1.5 million from business directly to the arts across Wales and brokered and supported more than 120 new sponsorship partnerships.
But it hasn’t been plain sailing. When A&B Cymru became independent, more than 65% of its income was drawn from the public purse. Several funding cuts since that time have meant a need to adapt quickly if it was to survive.
Rachel Jones, A&B Cymru’s Chief Executive, said: “The last 5 years have thrown up considerable issues that have affected the arts in Wales and also us as an organisation. Our business model has had to respond to this, mirroring the changes that our colleagues in the arts are undertaking.
“Like them, A&B Cymru strives for sustainability without an over-reliance on the public purse. At a time when partnership working is more crucial than ever in the creative sector, we are determined to play our part as, after all, partnership is at the heart of A&B Cymru.”
A&B Cymru’s role is to both promote partnerships and support development. Since launching its Creative Internship Programme in 2013, A&B Cymru has already trained 13 graduates, preparing them for careers as professional arts fundraisers.
In the past five years the charity has also given 209 business managers the opportunity to develop their skills through its Professional Development Programmes, and has strengthened the governance of 282 arts organisations through tailored board development.
Among A&B Cymru’s most successful programmes created since independence is CultureStep. This unique programme invests cash in business and arts partnerships in order to strengthen and sustain them, while engaging and benefiting some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Ms Jones continued: “We are proud of our ability to play an active part in meeting the aspirations of Wales in the 21st century and are delighted that this work is valued and recognised by business and arts members alike.
“Thanks to the hard work of our team, we have not only managed to sustain ourselves through a tough period – but we are doing better than ever. As we move into 2017, we will continue to develop our brokerage service, CultureStep and training programmes to ensure that the Welsh creative sector remains a priority for years to come.”
A&B Cymru promotes, develops and sustains mutually beneficial partnerships of all kinds between business and the arts. It delivers a range of tailored programmes, training and networking opportunities to businesses of all sizes, and arts members ranging from individual artists to national institutions.
Since Independence in November 2011, A&B Cymru has achieved the following:
- Provided 166 arts managers with free of charge specialist business expertise through its Professional Development Programmes, and strengthened the governance of 282 arts organisations through tailored board development.
- Invested in 160 business / arts partnerships.
- Enabled 209 business managers to develop their skills and widen horizons through its Professional Development Programmes.
- Trained 13 recent graduates to be full time professional arts fundraisers through its Creative Internship Programme.
- Levered £1.5 million of business directly to the arts through CultureStep projects.