23/09/2010 - 00:00

Arts foundation banks on advice

23/09/2010 - 00:00


Save articles for future reference.

A ROW of Sidney Nolan portraits line the dark entry hall, while hand blown glass sculptures decorate the foyer and antique vases add colour to the wooden boardroom.

Arts foundation banks on advice

A ROW of Sidney Nolan portraits line the dark entry hall, while hand blown glass sculptures decorate the foyer and antique vases add colour to the wooden boardroom.

Walking through the KPMG building to property developer Hawaiian’s offices, it is obvious how much the arts are appreciated by the organisation’s owners and staff.

Burrowing deeper into Hawaiian’s community engagement policies, it is evident that appreciation for the arts is channelled into sponsorship and support, not just by way of handing out cheques, but by lending the organisation’s people power to Western Australia’s cultural sector.

Hawaiian’s management team is heavily involved in the arts, with chief executive Russell Gibbs on the board of Australia Business Arts Foundation WA, and general manager marketing and public relations Kate O’Hara on the board of the Black Swan Theatre Company.

Ms O’Hara is also involved with AbaF’s AdviceBank, a function of the foundation that links businesspeople with arts organisations needing specific expertise.

She most recently worked with production company ThinIce to develop its branding.

“I had done a couple of workshops for AbaF where they had arts groups in, their marketing people, the heads of communications or CEOs,” she said.

“So many arts organisation in this state just don’t have enough money. The workshops are all about how to build your brand so you can build your alignment with corporates and build your sponsorship and grow the stability of the operation.”

By helping to develop branding, Ms O’Hara said corporate entities are more likely to feel comfortable aligning to any arts group, whether it is emerging, established or otherwise.

It was after one of her workshops that ThinIce approached Ms O’Hara, requesting her assistance.

“Their idea was a bit loose; they already had a good board and program but they were keen to get some focus,” she said of her partnership with ThinIce.

Ms O’Hara worked with the organisation to assess the existing brand and its focus and to develop a new identity.

She then facilitated the development of ThinIce’s new branding with advertising agency 303, who agreed to a contra arrangement.

“303 came out with something they (ThinIce) think is pretty reflective of their strength; strong, bold, not going to date too quickly, visually dominant,” Ms O’Hara said.

Ms O’Hara said engaging with AdviceBank meant both sides of the partnership benefited.

“It is great for me personally, it is work I love to do, it is great for the company because the company profile is getting stretched and it is great for the partnering company to become an advocate for us,” she said.

“It also grows our word of mouth in the arts network. The boards that are involved in those groups become aware of what we do and Hawaiian’s contribution. We are about contributing back first, give and you shall receive type sentiment.”

Ms O’Hara said she hopes the corporate support for the arts will ultimately encourage greater community involvement at a consumer level.

“We need to shift the local markets mind to going to shows and galleries,” she said.



Subscription Options