2017 Achates Philanthropy Prize Winner!

Hexham and Northern Marts have been awarded the 2017 Achates Philanthropy Prize Corporate Award! The only annual Prize that celebrates first-time cultural giving in the UK. Nominated by Morpeth based performing arts company November Club for their in-kind support during the run of their summer musical Beyond the End of the Road, composed by Katie Doherty and written by Laura Lindow.

Cultural philanthropy represents less than 1% of all philanthropy in the UK, and 60% of this goes to the 50 largest organisations. Corporate support for culture has declined by a third between 2012 and 2016 and in NE England we have the added challenge where the region has few corporate HQs so attracting sponsorship is very hard, especially for smaller arts organisations.

Cinzia Hardy, Artistic Director at November Club, explains: “There’s a need for some inventive thinking about how we, as arts organisations, can work with potential sponsors as well as the ways in which potential sponsors can support culture. Our musical Beyond the End of the Road is inspired by the stories of hill sheep farmers in rural Northumberland so approaching Hexham Auction Mart, where farmers come to sell and buy livestock made perfect sense. I am absolutely thrilled they have won this award, this is a wonderful thank you to them.”

This was the first time the Mart’s Managing Director Robert Addision had ever had a request from a professional arts organisation to present a show in the Mart, and he and his staff rose to the challenge. Presenting the performance at the Mart not only created a unique setting for the performance but also attracted a farming audience that can be difficult to involve in mainstream cultural events as the farming calendar is complex and all consuming.

Robert Addison, Managing Director at Hexham and Northern Marts says: “It is incredible to be recognised for this award. We thoroughly enjoyed working with November Club on the musical and I have had so many people asking when it will be on again! It has certainly opened our eyes to new ways of working, especially at a time when Marts are under pressure and there is a real need for diversification.”

The Corporate Award was awarded by the eminent cultural philanthropist, Omar Al-Qattan, at a special Prize ceremony at Delfina Foundation on Monday 27 November.

Omar Al-Qattan, said: “This timely Prize reminds us that we must continue to rally grassroots support for culture, which is so vital for our well-being as individuals and as a society, while at the same time continuing to lobby government for an adequate level of public funding to be maintained across all the arts and regions”.

Hexham and Northern Marts were successful in winning the award against competition across the UK including Coventry City of Culture, The Plough Arts Centre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Turner Contemporary and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Hexham and Northern Marts were presented with a sculpture by the renowned British artist, Peter Brooke-Ball MRBS. As the winning philanthropists, they will be custodians of the sculpture for one year. November Club received a £5,000 donation from the Achates Philanthropy Foundation which will be allocated towards re-mounting the musical Beyond the End of the Road at other auction marts across the region.

Pictured L to R: Greg Wise (guest at the 2017 awards), Cinzia Hardy (Artistic Director of November Club), Robert Addison (Manager at Hexham and Northern Marts) and Peter Brooke-Ball MRBS (artist who made the Prize Sculpture).

Photographer: Michal Polak

To find out more, please visit: www.achates.org.uk