Arts Sector Supports #SaveCultureNI

Arts organisations, venues and festivals respond to Arts Council's 100% funding cut – read a selection of comments and discover how Culture NI is valued as a frontline cultural marketing tool

Arts Care: 'As a small but transformative organisation, Arts Care enables people in health and social care to transform their lives through participation in creative activities. The key to creating access is the development of strong creative partnerships with organisations such as Culture NI, who promote our events and raise our profile to a national audience. We value the dedicated support and professionalism of Culture NI for their coverage throughout the Here & Now Arts & Older People's Festival because their articles and reviews increase audience attendance at our public performances, exhibitions and workshops during the festival.'

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival: 'For an arts organisation like ourselves, with huge pressures on our marketing budget, Culture NI has played a highly important role in our campaigns to raise awareness of our two annual festivals, CQAF and Out to Lunch. As media partners, they have previewed both festivals extensively, carried thoughtful and extensive reviews of our shows and interviewed numerous performers in advance of their shows. Our surveys show that significant numbers of our audience have become aware of our work through Culture NI. We hope there is some way funding can be found to sustain this valuable platform for smaller arts organisation.'

Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre: 'Managing a regional, local authority arts centre without dedicated marketing staff and restrictive budgets is extremely difficult, and without the continuation of Culture NI will prove even more challenging. Having undertaken numerous marketing surveys with our users and non-users over the last four years, one of the questions asked was which other cultural organisations/publications/newsletters/services did they consult regularly for events information. Culture NI was the most popular, contributing to an average of 49% of total responses.'

NI Opera: 'Culture NI’s coverage of our work since our inception in 2010 has been invaluable and comprehensive, in both advertising and reviewing our output. In a close-knit artistic community such as exists in Northern Ireland, the intelligent commentary and committed promotion Culture NI offers every art-form, not least opera, is crucial to the cultural fabric here. The internet is only going to become more important in raising the profile of the arts, and communicating its importance to as wide an audience as possible, and Culture NI plays a crucial role in this process.’

Lyric Theatre: 'Culture NI has been a hugely important resource for many years, and to lose it would be an enormous blow to the arts in Northern Ireland. Well written, well read and well respected, Culture NI has opened a door to music, theatre, film and the visual arts for countless people. We simply cannot afford to let Culture NI disappear.'

The John Hewitt Society: 'As digital partners of the annual International Summer School for over six years, Culture NI’s promotion of the event has been key in reaching a wide span of varied audiences. We have relied upon Culture NI as a resource, not only for listing and publicising our events but for allowing us to be immersed in other literary and cultural events taking place across the country. The John Hewitt Society has gained new supporters and fruitful partnerships across the world due to the support of Culture NI. Their closure would leave a huge void in the coverage of arts events here, and bring the loss of an irretrievable cultural archive.'

Craft NI: 'Craft NI has benefited from a greatly supportive relationship with Culture NI in the ten years since we were established. Craft NI has no dedicated marketing budget, and we have relied on the work of Culture NI to support our digital marketing strategy. For the last seven years, they have been our official online partner for August Craft Month, our key programme of region-wide craft events, to promote the craft sector and engage audiences in NI. This is an invaluable partnership to generate wider marketing and promotion for this event. Due to the work of Culture NI, audiences for craft have undoubtedly grown.'

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company: 'Culture NI provided excellent publicity support to a range of Echo Echo projects, including Without and Echo Echo Festival of Dance of Movement. Furthermore the website commissioned independent critical reviews, which have been invaluable in promoting tours of locally-produced new work nationally and internationally.'

Belfast Exposed Gallery: 'Culture NI has continuously and enthusiastically supported Belfast Exposed through reviews, features and the coordination of Late Night Art. It provided an important service for arts organisations and audiences in the city by highlighting the wealth and breadth of arts activity happening in Belfast. It will be a big loss to the cultural sector not to have the support and public presence of the Culture NI website.'

Cinemagic: 'Culture NI has been an excellent outlet to promote Cinemagic’s news and events over the years, with opportunities for arts stories celebrating young creative talent and promoting cultural cinema and the creative industries through editorial and competitions. It is an important vehicle in communicating information about the arts to the Northern Ireland public, and it will be a significant loss to the sector.'

Grand Opera House: 'Culture NI has always been a priceless resource and supporter of the Grand Opera House. It not only plays an instrumental role in publicising and reviewing our visiting productions but also provides a vital outlet to promote the up and coming talent of the Northern Ireland-based amateur theatre companies. We sincerely hope Culture NI can find the necessary funding for it to continue.'

Bruiser Theatre Company: 'Culture NI have been a constant source of support to Bruiser Theatre Company, since Culture NI's inception ten years ago. Their reviews resuscitated a somewhat stuffy reviewing pool, providing a broad spectrum of high quality arts coverage, enhancing the awareness of arts for all, and directly influencing audience attendance and box office sales.'

Cahoots NI: 'Over the years Culture NI has covered numerous productions for Cahoots NI, engaging their audience with our shows. We have been profiled, reviewed and featured on the Culture NI website, all of which have been invaluable to the promotion of Cahoots NI's work.'

Millennium Forum: 'As the main portal for all cultural events here in Northern Ireland, Culture NI provide a much needed digital platform for assisting venues like the Millennium Forum in promoting events on a national and international scale. Culture NI has complimented our digital marketing over the years, resulting in increased online ticket sales for us. No other organisation details the cultural diversity of Northern Ireland in today’s digital age as Culture NI – they are successful in doing this because of their talent and passion for promoting the arts here. We simply must not lose this crucial organisation.'