Posts Tagged ‘arts marketing’

In the frame with Brian Griffin

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Brian Griffin Format Photography Festival Commission

Normally used to leading on the creative front, a few of the Katapult team earlier this week became the subjects for a new commission by internationally renowned photographer Brian Griffin.

Brian Griffin, coined “photographer of the decade” by The Guardian, came to take pictures of Dawn and the team for his new commission for the 2013 Format International Photography Festival, launching in March next year.

Brian recently launched “The Road to 2012″ for the National Portrait Gallery, producing portraits of some key figures involved in the bid for London 2012 and responsible for delivering the Olympic Park infrastructure. The project aims to showcase a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympics Games.

Being passionate about photography and having been involved with the branding and marketing for Format for the last five years, we were proud to be asked to be part of Brian’s new commission due to be exhibited in Derby next year. After a thoughtful recce around our building, judging lighting conditions and use of space in each room, Brian finally decided on a location for the piece. Without preconceptions of how he would construct the image, Brian’s imagination and eye for detail in instructing us how to move or where to stand demonstrated amazing creative and technical prowess, which wowed us all. We’re looking forward to seeing the chosen image and displaying it here in the building for all to see in the new year.

Unfortunately we can’t release the background to the commission; the project will remain closely under-wraps until further details are released by Format Photography Festival in the press later this year.

NB: There are now only three days left for all photographers, artists, curators and collectives to upload their work to the Format Exposure submissions site; the theme this year being ‘Factory’.

Cultural Connections fright night at Calke Abbey

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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What a brilliant summer’s evening and a suitably eerie venue to host another great event for our guests: The Woman in Black summer night’s screening at Calke Abbey.

Having worked with QUAD since 2008, we’ve been hosting Cultural Connections, our joint monthly events for clients, suppliers and partners for over a year now. In addition to last year’s outdoor screening of The King’s Speech at Kedleston Hall, we’ve since hosted some fantastic cultural events for our guests including National Theatre Live screenings, exhibition launches, an Olympic Torch Relay celebration party and various film screenings at QUAD.

Arriving at Calke Abbey at 6pm to entertain guests with Pimms and lemonade and strawberries and cream in the evening sunshine, we watched hundreds of others arrive in the grounds to set up picnics and prepare themselves to be scared – pillows and blankets at the ready! We had also prepared some treat bags with a creepy quote from the film to set the tone for the evening. Some of our guests commented on how original it was to spend an evening of informal networking in such beautiful surroundings.

As a location for outdoor cinema screenings, Calke Abbey is not just expansive and visually impressive, but possibly much under explored as a place of historical interest in the region. Currently in the care of the National Trust, the Grade I listed country house estate has an interesting history dating back to the sixteenth century. Before the National Trust took over the care of the property in the 1980’s, it had remained almost untouched for over 100 years. As such, the crumbling paintwork and overgrown courtyards provided the perfect creepy backdrop for The Woman in Black, sharing much in common with Eel Marsh House from the film (and perhaps it even has a ghost or two?)

As the sun began to go down, Calke Abbey came into its own, creating a chilling atmosphere before the film had even begun. Shadows were cast on the walls of the house by people’s torches and candles, really putting the audience in the mood for the jumpy bits that would follow.

Watching everyone settle on the sloping bank on chairs and blankets with candles and bottles of wine waiting for it to get dark, created a feeling unlike that of being in a cinema. It is hard not to feel part of the action on screen when you are out under the stars, not to mention making a film like The Woman in Black hit even harder with its scary punches – cue lots of screams and shouts from the audience along with people ducking under blankets they had brought along (myself included).

With the outdoor cinema events, QUAD have done such a great job in making the most of the limited summer we have; with outdoor screenings taking place at numerous venues around the county between May and September. However, most importantly I think, the Summer Night’s Film Festival has encouraged people from in and around Derbyshire to venture out into the county and explore some of this country’s most spectacular historic properties; and what better way to showcase Derbyshire’s fantastic heritage than providing the setting for some brilliant cinema?

Proposed cuts to arts and culture could threaten future business investment in Derby

Friday, October 28th, 2011

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I speak for us all at Katapult when I say that we were shocked and hugely disappointed to read that Derby City Council are proposing to make drastic cuts to arts and culture in our city. The plans show the intention to completely withdraw funding to two of the city’s key venues, QUAD and Deda over the next four years. Alongside other cuts to cultural and community organisations, this sends out a very concerning message about our city, its ambitions and its future.

The ‘Revenue Budget Proposal’ acknowledges that these venues will now need to source alternative funding and/or become self financing. These organisations were never supposed to be solely commercial venues and would never have received Arts Council Funding if that were the case.

The 2009-2011 Cultural Strategy for Derby ‘Action Plan’ outlined its vision in ‘ensuring that the importance of culture in the economy of the city is better understood’, which is now just one of many points which seems contradictory.

Culturally incredible progress has been achieved in Derby in recent years. Format has been internationally recognised as a leading photography festival and Derby Feste, founded by Keith Jeffrey (QUAD) and Stephen Munn (Deda) attracted over 25,000 people to the streets of Derby last month. This demonstrates the potential for cultural activities and their associated opportunities.

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As well as the social impact, businesses in the supply chain to these venues will be directly affected. QUAD spent £377k with local suppliers in 2010/11, ironically this is more than Derby City Council invested in the venue. Between them, QUAD and Deda have generated millions of pounds worth of international profile for the city, helping to attract new investment. Drastic cuts not only devalue these organisations and their impact, but demonstrate a lack of understanding over the social and economic benefits that culture plays in the development of the city.

It’s certainly important to Katapult, which is why we have invested in and supported cultural activities in the city. A strong cultural offer is key to attracting and retaining creative professionals which is important to our business.

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A city to invest in?

The cuts raise a wider discussion on the future of Derby’s city centre. We know that Derby is home to some strong and established businesses that provide the economic backbone of the city and we hear great things about the city’s industrial strength. However, every top-drawer city has more to offer than industrial heritage.

By further developing the cultural offering – more independent bars, shops and restaurants for example – we could increase footfall, encourage localised spending and help attract new business to the city. It is only through long term commitment and investment that success will be achieved.

The Council states that it expects to make a loss in rental income from Derby’s indoor markets of £210,000 in 2012/2013 and a review of markets will take place to understand the pressures faced. This provides a perfect opportunity for the Council to work proactively with independent and creative retailers on finding a potential solution to these pressures.  The aim should be to produce a more attractive retail offer in line with the type of markets found in nearby cities such as Leeds and Birmingham.

Reports such as the Centre for Cities ‘Shifting the Gears’ claim that Derby must reach out beyond its borders and its traditional industrial base to grow. Shouldn’t now be the time that the city looks to further invest in the creative and cultural industries: the third fastest growing sector in the UK?

The short-sightedness of the council makes businesses like ours concerned about the future of our city.  Culture is a vital aspect of an aspirational city, not just a nice-to-have.

Here’s how you can make your voice heard and support the ‘Save Derby Arts and Culture’ campaign:

1)      Get informed about Derby City Council’s specific plans by looking at the budget proposal
2)      Fill in the feedback form. The section relating to arts and culture cuts is under the ‘Neighbourhoods’ section. You have until Friday 18 November to do this.
3)      Send your stories in a polite email to Derby City Council leader Philip Hickson and deputy leader Hilary Jones.
4)      Share your stories on the Facebook page Save Derby Arts and follow the campaign on Twitter @SaveDerbyArts
5)      Write to the Derby Telegraph with your stories and ask the editor Steve Hall and entertainment editor Nigel Powlson to run a campaign.
6)      Support the organisations affected by the proposed cuts by going to their events and exhibitions, eating and drinking in their cafes and bars and taking part in their participatory projects.

Author: Dawn Foote, Managing Director