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Achates Philanthropy Prize Shortlist Announced

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The shortlist is announced today for the 2019 Achates Philanthropy Prize, the only annual prize that celebrates first-time supporters of the arts in the UK.

This year's Prize received a record-breaking number of submissions and the shortlist offers a powerful portrait of an emerging generation of cultural supporters and the far-reaching impact of these new partnerships for arts organisations and their communities across the country - from Edinburgh to Poole, Hay-on-Wye to Birmingham.

Each individual and company on the shortlist has been nominated by a cultural organisation to express appreciation for their outstanding contribution, which includes financial gifts and gifts in-kind, experience and skill sharing, as well as network growth and positive advocacy. The shortlist takes in cultural organisations of all sizes and scales - across theatre, literature, visual arts, dance and classical music.

Achates Philanthropy Prize Founder, Caroline McCormick, said: "The Achates Philanthropy Prize is a barometer of how successfully arts organisations are building relationships with their audiences. This year we have seen a step-change in the ways in which organisations of all sizes are working with their communities and celebrating their supporters; we are proud to offer a platform for these leading arts organisations and their partners."

Now in its fourth year, the Prize fund is £10,000, shared between the Individual Philanthropy Award and the Corporate Philanthropy Award, thanks to the continued generous support of Achates Philanthropy Ltd., BOP Consulting and Spektrix.

Both Awards will be presented by the eminent cultural philanthropist, Hannah Rothschild CBE, alongside the five recipients of the inaugural Achates Philanthropy Prize Bursaries at a special Prize ceremony at Rich Mix on Tuesday 19 November.

The Individual Philanthropy Award: Cultural organisations across all art forms were invited to nominate an outstanding individual or trust who has given philanthropically to their organisation for the first time within the last 12 months, at all levels of giving.

The 2019 shortlist is:

  • Arts & Health South West & Dr John Stephen Barnes MBBS MRCPsych
  • Lighthouse & Lyn Glass
  • The Fruitmarket Gallery & Karen and Mark Smith
  • Town Hall Symphony Hall & Mr R Emery
  • World Heart Beat Music Academy & Nick Thomlinson
  • Young Vic & Jamie Wildman

Arts & Health South West (AHSW) & Dr John Stephen Barnes MBBS MRCPsych

AHSW first got to know Dr Barnes when he participated in its inaugural 'Spring School' in March 2018, a residential opportunity for healthcare professionals, researchers, artists and people with lived experience of ill-health to explore creative approaches to improving wellbeing through experiential learning. Inspired by the professionalism and commitment of the artists he met, Dr Barnes gave his first philanthropic gift of £15 to AHSW's 2018 Big Give campaign, followed by a further pledge of £100 in 2019. Dr Barnes describes engagement in culture as both a rights and justice issue as well as a health issue. By celebrating the story of his journey to arts philanthropy AHSW hope to encourage other medical professionals to consider the impact the arts can make on the health sector, thus encouraging new supporters as well as deepening engagement in the arts and health movement.

Lighthouse & Lyn Glass

Lyn has been a regular attendee at Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts, for over 20 years, and in November 2018 the arts centre asked if she would consider supporting their Christmas Appeal - raising money to offer free and discounted tickets for disadvantaged children and families. Lyn suggested that her gift would have a greater impact if she could encourage others to give too and offered to match-fund any donations made to the Appeal during the run of the Christmas pantomime. Lighthouse publicised Lyn's offer across numerous channels, including a shout out from the pantomime cast at the end of each performance, which resulted in a surge in donations. At the end of the run, Lyn gave £4,194 to match all of the support that she inspired with her first-ever philanthropic gift to an arts organisation.

The Fruitmarket Gallery & Karen and Mark Smith

Karen and Mark were introduced to The Fruitmarket Gallery by the artist, Emma Hart, and became the inaugural members of the Emma Hart Supporters' Circle with a donation of £1,000 in September 2018. The Circle unites like-minded individuals with a passion for Emma's work, and enabled the Gallery to commission brand new works from the artist, resulting in a step-change in her artistic practice as well as opening up her work to new audiences. Further to their personal donation, Karen and Mark hosted a cultivation event for thirty people at their home in London to encourage new prospects to join the Circle, which resulted in just over £15,000 in donations. Karen also worked closely with the Gallery to curate a weekend of cultural activities for a 16-strong group of supporters, to both celebrate the opening of Emma Hart's latest exhibition, as well as to strengthen ongoing and future collaborations with the Gallery.

Town Hall Symphony Hall (THSH) & Mr R Emery

In spring 2019, THSH launched a public fundraising campaign for its capital project, Making an Entrance. As a regular attendee, Mr Emery was selected as a prospect and received a letter outlining the organisation's plans. Shortly afterwards, when booking a ticket in-person at the Box Office, he asked to speak to Development Manager, Chris Smith, to explain that he thinks the objectives of the campaign are extremely valuable to Birmingham and believes that the improvements will benefit both the regular concert going audience as well as the local community. He then donated £5 explaining that it was all he could afford to contribute, wishing the project well. THSH have nominated Mr Emery for the Prize to highlight that they value support in all forms. Mr Emery's support of the organisation, by purchasing tickets and coming so frequently, has been invaluable and the fact he still wanted to contribute further gives further endorsement of their plans.

World Heart Beat Music Academy & Nick Thomlinson

World Heart Beat provides grassroots, non-selective, richly diverse, music education programmes for children from a vast array of backgrounds. The organisation was introduced to Nick Thomlinson by a trustee who thought Nick's considerable experience in property would make him a good contact as it began its pitch for a new music education centre and venue in Nine Elms, on London's south bank. Nick met with founder and Artistic Director, Sahana Gero, and came to a number of events including a concert at Speakers House. Inspired by Sahana's vision and by seeing the young people first-hand he became involved in the pitch for the new space, investing time and providing valuable expertise. Following the successful pitch, he personally donated £37,500 in September 2018 - his first meaningful gift to an arts organisation - and worked closely with the team on the capital fundraising campaign leading to gifts and a widening of World Heart Beat's prospect pipeline. Nick has personally secured donations of between £1,000 and £10,000 from individuals, despite initially being reluctant to be involved in asking for people for gifts.

Young Vic & Jamie Wildman

In 2018, Jamie was a participant in the Young Vic's Taking Part programme, working on the original development of Carnation for a Song, a community theatre project for older LGBTQ+ Londoners. After the final sharing, the cast agreed that the production should have a future life as a way to share their stories and raise awareness of the challenges facing older queer people who have paved the way for increased tolerance. With no funds available, Jamie offered to support the project herself, donating £20,000 - her first philanthropic gift to an arts organisation. Her gift allowed Taking Part to restage the production with 20 LGBQ people aged 50+ in spring 2019 with performances at the Young Vic, Tate Lates and Vaults Festival. Jamie's remarkable story - from being a beneficiary of the theatre's community work to becoming one of its biggest funders - has inspired many current supporters and prospects to renew and deepen their engagement with the Young Vic, ensuring that the benefits of her generosity will continue for many years to come.

The winner of the 2019 Individual Philanthropy Award will be selected by an independent judging panel: Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts for the BBC; John Gillman and Mary Winch, winners of the 2018 Individual Philanthropy Award; Sarah Maguire, freelance dance producer; Caroline McCormick, Director of Achates Philanthropy; Patrick McKenna, founder of Ingenious Media and Chair of the Individual Award judging panel; Michael Nabarro, CEO of Spektrix; Francis Runacres, Executive Director, Enterprise & Innovation at Arts Council England; Bill Swainson OBE, Trustee of the Achates Foundation; and Andria Zafirakou MBE, teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent and winner of 2018's Global Teacher prize.


The Award is a sculpture by renowned British artist, Peter Brooke-Ball MRBS. The winning philanthropist will become custodian of the sculpture for one year, and their cultural organisation will receive a £5,000 donation. The 2019 Individual Philanthropy Award is sponsored by Spektrix.


The Corporate Philanthropy Award: Cultural charities across all art forms were invited to nominate an outstanding company of any size, which has supported their organisation for the first time within the last 12 months, at all levels of giving.


The 2019 shortlist is:

  • Candoco Dance Company & ASOS
  • Contact & Mace
  • English National Opera & Hotel Chocolat
  • Hay Festival Foundation & Mountain Warehouse
  • HOME & Dishoom

Candoco Dance Company & ASOS

Candoco Dance Company and ASOS met at the 2018 Paralympics in Seoul where ASOS was an official supporter, responsible for designing and creating the formal and ceremony wear for ParalympicsGB, and Candoco performed as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations. It quickly became clear that there were synergies at the heart of these two considerably different organisations that offered an exciting opportunity. Candoco and ASOS developed a partnership to bring to life their shared values around promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity. The ASOS x Candoco Dance Company Training Intensive, a two-week residential for 15 disabled and non-disabled dancers aged 18-30, aimed to increase opportunities to train in an inclusive environment. ASOS offered significant financial support to develop this pilot, as well as gifted clothing for participants. The partnership took a dynamic and collaborative approach to communications and social media, with Candoco featuring on the ASOS Instagram Stories feed on numerous occasions.

Contact & Mace

Mace, the international consultancy and construction company, is Project Manager on Contact's capital redevelopment project which began in March 2018. As building delays led to an increased fundraising target, Mace volunteered to raise money for Contact by organising a Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge; 25 miles, 3 mountains and a hike between each, to be completed in under 12 hours. A fundraising page was set up and the team raised more than £7,700 with an additional £5,000 donation from the Mace Foundation. This is the first time that Mace UK North has supported an arts organisation and Contact has nominated them for the Prize to thank them for so generously extending their client/project manager relationship to commit at a personal and organisational level to support the capital redevelopment. Contact believe that this partnership demonstrates how it is possible to make a difference without a huge sponsorship budget and hope it will inspire other businesses to support cultural organisations for the first time.

English National Opera (ENO) & Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat is the first Official Chocolate Partner of ENO, working with the organisation to support the delivery of private events for high-level supporters as well as offering amazing opportunities to reach new audiences. With an exclusive 15% discount code for ENO members and over 600 boxes of donated chocolates, ENO has been able to offer 'thank you' gifts to its singers and creative teams who participate in its supporter events, 'thank you' gifts on opening nights, goody bag gifts for VIP guests, and sample products within the Members' Room at the London Coliseum. Hotel Chocolat also donated an exclusive chocolate-making/tasting experience as a fundraising auction prize, and 2000 champagne truffles for the gala performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, enhancing audience experience and reducing costs, ensuring that even more of the money raised was able to support the training of ENO's young singers. This is the first time Hotel Chocolat has ever partnered with an arts organisation and both have been able to grow their audience reach and strengthen their membership offer through the partnership.

Hay Festival Foundation & Mountain Warehouse

Mountain Warehouse, the UK's largest specialist outdoor retailer, used their first-ever sponsorship of the Hay Festival to help raise the profile and funds for the Hay Festival Foundation. Mountain Warehouse designed, produced, promoted and stocked a number of products specific to Hay Festival 2019 in their on-site store, and sold them alongside POS stating the profits from the sale of the items would go to the Foundation. The products helped contribute to a £15,000 donation to the Foundation and communicated the charitable status of Hay to thousands of visitors at this year's Festival as well as to the brand's wider online audience. As the official camping and kit suppliers for the Festival, Mountain Warehouse offered a series of guided walks around Hay as well as sponsored events. This is the first time a part sponsorship-part donation model has been adopted by the Foundation, resulting in both a financial gift as well as a richer and more inclusive audience offer.

HOME & Dishoom

Dishoom, Manchester's much-loved Bombay café, first partnered with HOME, Manchester's leading venue for film, theatre and art, in June 2019 on its annual autumn season of independent Indian cinema, Not Just Bollywood. They gave a £5,000 cash gift to fund the programme, including a £1 donation for every Bollybellini cocktail sold at their Manchester restaurant across the two-month season, also developing a new alcohol-free dry tipple to bolster sales. This was Dishoom's first partnership of this kind with an arts organisation. In addition to their financial gift, Dishoom have supported the season generously by providing competition prizes, hosting press, and treating the HOME team to first-rate Bombay comfort food in their Manchester restaurant. The restaurant group is also promoting the film season to their significant audience online, in print and in their Manchester restaurant, helping HOME to reach out to new audiences. Dishoom's Executive Chef, Naved Nasir, will be hosting a cooking event on HOME's main stage later this year to further engage guests in the culinary and cultural traditions of India.

The winner of the 2019 Corporate Philanthropy Award will be selected by an independent judging panel: Nigel Farnall, winner of the 2016 Achates Philanthropy Prize; David Hall, founding Chief Executive of The Foyle Foundation; Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre; Steven Jackson-Winter, Senior Associate of Achates Philanthropy; Caroline McCormick, Director of Achates Philanthropy; Danielle Sugrue, Senior Commercial Manager at Laing O'Rourke, winners of the 2018 Corporate Philanthropy Award; Paul Owens, co-founder and Director of BOP Consulting and Chair of the Corporate Award judging panel; Libby Penn, digital specialist working across the cultural sector; Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary; and Aliceson Robinson, Executive Director at Russell Reynolds Associates.

The Award is a sculpture by renowned British artist, Peter Brooke-Ball MRBS. The winning company will become custodian of the sculpture for one year, and their cultural organisation will receive a £5,000 donation. The 2019 Corporate Philanthropy Award is sponsored by BOP Consulting.

For more information, please visit: www.achates.org.uk or follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @achatesprize




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