AWB is an initiative which seeks to bring the worlds of artists, creative industries and businesses closer together, encouraging new partnerships and collaboration for the benefit of all. The arts have much to offer the business community through creativity and innovation, whilst businesses present artists with a new realm of engagement and a valuable insight into operating on a commercial scale. AWB therefore seeks to capitalise on these opportunities whilst highlighting the real quality and dynamism of artists and creative organisations in Buckinghamshire.
The AWB initiative was first trialled in 2006 with it being broadened out throughout 2007/08 and subsequently adopted by each of the county's districts. As part of the next phase of the scheme's development, a brand new website was also launched in early 2009, and this has been designed to act as the stimulus for bringing together artists and businesses throughout Buckinghamshire whilst generating new partnerships and exciting collaborations. So far in 2009, the initiative has been very successful in developing a number of high profile projects which have benefited artists and businesses in a number of ways; these include partnerships with John Lewis High Wycombe, Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire County Council, BP Collins Solicitors and also integrating into some large scale community-driven regeneration projects in Great Missenden and Buckingham.
Whilst AWB gives artists the opportunity to pursue exciting opportunities, work with new audiences and gain a greater appreciation of the skills required to operate at a commercial scale, their innovation and creativity can also be of great benefit to business. This can be in a number of forms:
Exhibitions: provide space for an exhibition either with a single artist or group, taking a percentage of sales as commission either for you or for a charity of your choice. Remember to choose an artist whose work suits the scale of the space you have available; small spaces are no barrier to successful exhibitions.
Artist Residency: involve an artist with your daily routine, offering you valuable insights and feedback about your business as well as stimulation for your staff and customers.
Team Building: work with an artist to motivate and inspire your staff though creative thinking and to improve relationships within your workplace.
Innovation: employ an artist to help you to address specific issues within the business such as design, illustration, brand image, promotion, creative development and marketing
Artist Talks and Demonstrations: invite an artist to demonstrate their skills and talk about their work. Choose your artist carefully and this could provide a strong link to your business and an excellent public relations or marketing opportunity.
As such, AWB could be a real opportunity for both artists and businesses in and around High Wycombe and we would be very interested in following up this initial circulation of information if at all possible.
For a more detailed background on AWB and the associated benefits and opportunities take a look at the website (www.artworksforbusiness.co.uk
) - this also includes some case studies which illustrate how the initiative can work in practice. Further information on the Creative Bucks Partnership can be found at www.creativebucks.org.uk