Six cultural entrepreneurs selected for YVAN project

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Six cultural entrepreneurs with ambitions to either develop new businesses in the contemporary visual arts, or to expand existing businesses, have been selected by the Yorkshire & Humber Visual Arts Network (YVAN) to join their pilot Cultural Entrepreneur Programme (CEP).

CEP is a programme of professional development, funded by Arts Council England, developed by the sector, for the sector.  The programme aims to develop the skills and experience of a small group of cultural entrepreneurs living or working in the Yorkshire & Humber region.  A bespoke programme of activity over the course of this year will provide opportunities for participants to develop their business expertise with support from experts, mentors and trainers.  The programme will include 1:1 and group learning, field trips, coaching support, work shadowing and practical workshops.

YVAN works to champion and connect the visual arts in Yorkshire and the Humber within and outside the region to support and enhance the growing visual arts sector. 

The businesses range from start-ups to established organisations looking to expand in new directions, and the chosen six cultural entrepreneurs, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Jenni Cluskey, Art Bazaar in Hull

Following a successful spell staging cultural events in London, Jenni is developing plans to set up a creative art bazaar and café in her hometown of Hull using an experimental approach to an interactive art space for social innovation. Jenni stated ‘The CEP is a really supportive and positive step forward in realising the ideas and potential for my business.’

  • Paula Denton, Hire Art in Grimsby

Paula is keen to develop public awareness and engagement with art and exposure for artists through a potential Hire Art scheme for businesses in the public and private sectors. Paula stated ‘this is a fantastic opportunity to be able to explore my business idea with the support of the CEP team and mentors.’ 

  • Brendon Hesmondhalgh, Art Market in Holmfirth

Brendon and his business partner Victoria already run the successful Art Market in Holmfirth and are looking to launch a major new Interactive Art and Contemporary Craft Fair event in York in 2014 – MAKE IT UP NORTH. The Art Market will also be developing their online directory providing a showcase for their artist exhibitors all year round.

  • Gill Hadwin, Abbey Walk Gallery in Grimsby

Gill and her business partner Elaine run the only contemporary art gallery in Grimsby. They want to expand the gallery exhibition space to host bigger and higher profile exhibitions, develop their artist representation, provide further space for artists and review the potential for a retail and catering offer.

  • Patrick Murphy, MADE NORTH Gallery/Conference/Network in Sheffield

Patrick already runs MADE NORTH – a platform for northern designer/makers including an annual conference, contemporary gallery space and online resource.  He plans to develop a week-long design and craft festival incorporating the conference and expand the work of the gallery and designer/maker network and online resource.

  • Hannah West, Arts Barge Project in York

Hannah and her business partners are in the process of securing resources to buy a barge to house a programme of arts activities building on the work they have been doing in the city for the last five years.  The programme will include art-making workshops, group sessions, exhibitions, fairs, festivals and the opportunities for artists to sell work.  Hannah stated ‘We are delighted to have been chosen to receive support from the CEP at this exciting and crucial time of development for the Arts Barge Project.’

As a pilot programme, the CEP provides a real opportunity to develop relationships with the local and regional business sector to support entrepreneurship and to showcase a selection of the visual arts talent in Yorkshire and the Humber regions.

Steve Manthorp, YVAN Coordinator, states:

"Yorkshire and the Humber Visual Arts Network (YVAN) is delighted to have appointed the first cohort to its Cultural Entrepreneur Programme.  The six participants have been drawn from across the whole region and represent a wide range of backgrounds. The programme will help them to realise their ambitions to create new businesses or expand existing ones and in doing so, attract additional revenues into the cultural sector."

Cluny McPherson, Regional Director Arts Council England, said:

“I am delighted that the Arts Council is supporting this new cultural entrepreneur programme in Yorkshire. The diverse mix of businesses involved represents an exciting wave of new business models for the arts supporting the development of a next generation of talent. As part of a wider initiative in the North focusing on developing the North's Art Market, increasing opportunities for artists to make a living from their work and promoting strong partnerships that focus on innovation and building business growth, the programme can only benefit the region.”

This first year of CEP is a test-bed for setting up and reviewing the programme prior to potentially rolling out in subsequent years.

Following a tender process Palmer Squared has been appointed as the CEP Project Managers to manage and deliver the 2013 professional development programme.

For more information, please contact Steve Manthorp, Coordinator, Yorkshire and the Humber Visual Arts Network on email steve@manthorp.co.uk or call 07507 400489.