A glimmer of good news, in a week which may go down as one of the worst news weeks of the decade and beyond, came last week through Four Colman Getty’s membership of the Creative Industries Federation.
The CIF is a relatively new body of over 220 of the UK's public arts, cultural, education and creative industries organisations, set up to highlight success and press for change on cultural policy issues. No sooner had Brexit been announced than a message pinged through from them pledging ‘to play a positive role in safeguarding the future of the UK’s arts… and their significant contribution to the economy in light of the decision to leave the European Union.’ As a first move, they’re planning a series of events around the country to bring the sector together, to marshal experience and opinions, and to come to decisions about the way ahead.
That, combined with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey’s call for the arts to be used to heal the rift in the nation, is a hugely positive boost for the importance of the arts in times of trouble. As Ed so rightly said, ‘… it’s the arts that brings us together.’
On a more celebratory note, June saw the Borough Book Bash, the first in what we envisage as a series of informal get-togethers for the growing number of people in the booktrade now working in the London Bridge area. The book bashes are going to be taking place at the George Inn – by far the oldest pub in London, with links to Dickens and Shakespeare – every third Thursday of the month. So if you work in the book world and are free, do come along!
PEN, the brilliant organisation which campaigns to defend writers and readers around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk, is Four Colman Getty’s chosen charity. Throughout the year we support PEN with news stories and strategic comms advice. We were thrilled this month to be able to announce Man Booker winner, Margaret Atwood, as the winner of the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize. You can read more about that prize and its significance below.
As a result of our work with the team at Metal in Southend, I'm so pleased to that we are working on two further projects that epitomise people coming together for social good. The first is an exhibition, at City Gallery and Museum in Peterborough, by Lucy and Jorge Orta who have, for many years, used food as a means to examine and interrogate social issues. It comes following a residency at Metal in the city which saw 500 local residents come together to share in a spectacular meal. Meanwhile, RAGA DAWN, an ambitious new work by Caroline Bergvall, with music composed by Gavin Bryars, premieres this September, before touring around the northern hemisphere in 2017. The dawn performance is followed by a communal breakfast, encouraging the audience to share their thoughts, hopes and fears for the day ahead.
Before I sign off let me flag up a couple of noteworthy events for you to watch out for this weekend.
Friday 1 July of course marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Our client, the online ancestry site Findmypast, is to spread awareness on how we can trace the heroes in our own families who were involved.
And then the following evening, Saturday 2 July, will witness London’s first ever Art Night 2016, a new annual contemporary arts festival curated by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) with Kathy Noble. So if you’re free on Saturday night, check the website and come along!
Finally watch out this weekend for a shock horror story involving galleries all around the UK. My lips are by necessity sealed for now since the story is still under embargo but something interesting is definitely afoot in the gallery world ….
More on that and other exciting Four Colman Getty projects next month!
All the best meantime