17/09/2008 - 22:00

Good start to partnership plan

17/09/2008 - 22:00

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LAUNCHED by former premier, Alan Carpenter, last July, the WA Premier's Arts Partnership Fund is off to a good start with $35,000 of private business contributions locked in already.

Good start to partnership plan

LAUNCHED by former premier, Alan Carpenter, last July, the WA Premier's Arts Partnership Fund is off to a good start with $35,000 of private business contributions locked in already.

The Australia Business Arts Foundation initiative has an annual fund of $100,000 - half of which is contributed by Mirvac and the other half by the Department of Culture and the Arts - for matching new partnerships and projects between businesses and the arts.

Seven programs between businesses and small to medium arts organisations and artists have been approved during the past two months, totalling $35,000, with these contributions matched by the fund.

Azimuth Financial Advisors' contribution to WA Youth Jazz Orchestra is one of the initiatives approved to have its donation matched by the program.

"With our donation matched by the fund we felt that it was a really good opportunity to leverage contribution and make it significant," Azimuth managing director Stephen Hogden told WA Business News.

Irrigation and plumbing products wholesaler HR Products' managing director, Noel Kagi, who is partnering with ThinIce Productions, said getting more mileage for each dollar was an attractive incentive for businesses.

Although being associated with an arts organisation brought benefits to the company image and its staff, Mr Kagi said the contribution didn't necessarily serve a marketing purpose.

"If you look at the stats, the people who would go to this type of show [ThinIce shows] tend to be women between 30 and 55 years old, with a bit more money than the average. Is that our market? Not really," Mr Kagi said.

Leanne Mason is a professional dancer who is about to open her own performing studio space business, the Physical Space.

Although she appreciated there was a sense of achievement in giving, the deciding factor to give to Ausdance WA was the marketing benefits for her business.

Clancy's Fish Pub's $2,500 donation to musician Freya Hanly is also being matched by the fund.

Owner Joe Fisher said his business had always supported the WA music scene by way of business partnership, through hosting live performances in its hospitality venue.

"I'm not a big fan of just giving out money; I think both parties have to make it work. It's purely a business decision. It shouldn't look like a handout, but a partnership," he said.

ThinIce managing director Natalie Jenkins said that, although the matched fund was a good incentive, partnerships between business and the arts didn't happen overnight.

"A lot of it comes from contacts, building networks by finding those supportive of your work with an alignment of branding and positioning in the marketplace," Ms Jenkins said.

"It's also a big education process and arts organisations are not always aware of what the drivers are."

The other organisations to participate are Westside Auto in partnership with the Performing Arts Centre Society, Last Byte Pty Ltd with artist Alice Holland, and Erceg Management with theatre company So Frenchy Productions.

AbaF WA manager Henry Boston said that while the first year of the program would go ahead, it might have to be renegotiated with the new government for future years.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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