Businesspeople who have offered support to the arts against a tough funding backdrop are to be recognised at a ceremony in Birmingham.
Mark Smith of PwC, Peter Hill of MFG Solicitors and Laura Jones of FBC Manby Bowdler are among those to be named “Business Champions” at the Jaguar Land Rover Business Champions for Arts & Business event at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The event provides a focus on individuals from the private sector who have provided support for the arts, which has never been more vital with Arts Council England funding having been cut heavily in recent years.
Among the others being rewarded are Paul Hutchins of Deutsche Bank and Zeeshan Masood from DBS Law for their work with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Under Mr Hutchins’ direction, Deutsche Bank became major supporters of the CBSO School Programme which last year reached over 11,000 pupils, with particular focus on working with schools from deprived areas across Birmingham. Mr Masood championed a collaboration which saw the creation of a bespoke concert with a theme of road safety, also in partnership with Birmingham City Council, and over three days, the CBSO performed a series of live and interactive concerts to 2,500 primary school children.
Les Ratcliffe, Head of Community Relations at Jaguar Land Rover said: “Now more than ever the private sector must play a key role in ensuring the sustainability of the arts for the benefit of their communities and it’s a pleasure to publicly say thank you to those champions who are leading the way in this arena.”
The awards ceremony is taking place at the museum on March 22.
Kate Eagle, marketing co-ordinator at architectural firm Aedas is also being recognised for her contribution to projects such as Aedas Presents and Thrift Radiates Happiness, which provide artists with the chance to showcase their work to the business community.
The arts were hit in 2010 when the Arts Council saw a 30 per cent budget cut.
The complete list of this year’s Business Champions is:
Dennis Ayton of IKEA for work with Birmingham REP
Tony Bateman of Pegasus Planning Group for work with Lichfield Festival
Steve Burnside of Ikano for work with Broadway (Nottingham Media Centre)
Kate Eagle of Aedas for work with Aedas Presents and Thrift Radiates Happiness
Will Farmer of Fieldings Auctioneers for work with International Festival of Glass
Mike Finkill of Isis Waterside Regeneration for work with Media and Arts Partnership
Peter Hill of MFG Solicitors for work with Bewdley Festival
Mark Holden of Invigour for work with mac Birmingham
Paul Hutchins of Deutsche Bank for work with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Lindsay Jelley of Jelsons for work with Charnwood Arts
Laura Jones of FBC Manby Bowdler for work with Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Kashif Latif of Latif’s Stores for work with Punch Records
Peter Maskell of BHSF Group for work with Performances Birmingham (Town Hall & Symphony Hall)
Zeeshan Masood of DBS Law for work with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Mark Smith of PwC for work with Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Development Trust
Peter Suddock of Dudley Zoo for work with Leaps and Bounds Trust, Inspiring Change
Thalej Vasishta of Paragon Law for work with World Event Young Artists (WEYA) Festival