Posts Tagged ‘ Corporate ’

Looking ahead to 2015

It’s been such a long time since we’ve been in touch and we hope you forgive us. Since PROPHESY finished it may seem like we’ve been quiet, but we promise a lot of exciting things have been happening in Baz HQ.

 

With a new year comes a sense of self-reflection and Baz has been no different. As we look towards the future we’ve returned to our values and the mission we set down right at the start. Are they still valid? Are those commitments and promises still relevant? Is the Baz of today the same as that of 2010?

 

We have certainly changed: 2 marriages; a career change; a Baz baby and countless jobs have seen our time grow increasingly more precious, forcing us to focus on how best to protect what we love most about Baz amongst everything else that comes with running a company.

 

Our priority is the development of new and exciting work. To do so requires money. And, oh the irony, our least favourite part is raising the money… Exactly what we need in order to achieve the priority. Fundraising is the hardest and most time consuming part of running an arts company and requires every ounce of energy. It’s a full time job on it’s own requiring a skillset not always compatible with theatre folk. We’ve been incredibly lucky in the level of support, financial and otherwise, that we’ve received over the years from our audiences and friends and we’re determined to honour our promise to pay a living wage to our cast. We’re also determined to do so without pestering those who show an interest in our work and exhausting ourselves. Which is why we’ve been quiet…. We’ve been spending time working out how we can use our skills in order to become financially viable, and consistently so, in order to focus on the best bits of Baz – the work.

 

Excitingly we’ve been working with Teach First; a fascinating charity that trains graduates and supports them through their first years on the job. Alongside their existing program we have developed a series of workshops that we are delivering to their participants. Providing a toolkit of skills, both physical and vocal to improve teacher presence, has been exhilarating and rewarding. Not to mention providing us with a steady income. We intend to build on this side of Baz Ed as well as delivering a pilot scheme for Teach First in both London and Ipswich over the next few months which it is hoped will be rolled out to all new teachers. To help us achieve this we’ve enlisted PJ Crabb as our Education Manager and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Baz Team. With this now in place we can use our precious time to devote to the next project we’re planning for 2016.

 

The brief was quite simple, and set over a boozy lunch…. It had to be bonkers, European and female. After a lot of reading August Strindberg’s A Dream Play seemed to fit the bill. It ticked the first two boxes straight away and although not written by a woman, it’s sole protagonist is one; a female character that navigates the weird and wonderful dystopian dream-reality. A rare thing in a play written at the very beginning of the 20th Century. We love it. We spent the first half of 2014 exploring it, playing with it and pulling it apart in monthly workshops with the team and a group of invited musicians who have helped open up a whole new world to us. Although workshops are in a hiatus as we concentrate on venues and details and exactly how we want to approach the text, we’re thrilled with the work so far.

 

So I hope that fills you in. We may occasionally forget to blog and post and tweet, but we promise that’s just because we’re so wrapped up in ensuring the future and focusing our time where it’s best placed. We don’t want to be in touch only when we need something. We want a financially stable company with a secure future in order to retain everything we believe is unique and special about Baz.

Money makes the world go around

Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go ’round.

Sadly, last week we discovered we didn’t receive the Arts Council Funding we applied for. Despite an application assessed as strong throughout, and a strong recommendation to fund our project (with particular praise for our innovation, our company structure and our finance planning), it seems there just wasn’t enough to go around. The decision is bittersweet; to find out there was nothing we could’ve done to strengthen our application and improve our chances was tough to hear. There simply are too little resources to fund everything, which is indicative of the climate as a whole right now, and I’m sure we share our disappointment with many other worthy projects.

A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go ’round.

So – where do we go from here? Well, we apply again! But with a 3 month turnaround on decisions over 10k, we’ve decided to put a corporate funding plan in place, and apply for a smaller amount which can be assessed in a shorter period. This means it’s all hands on deck as we look into other avenues to raise funds – we’re launching our schools work, with the help of the newly assembled Baz-Ed team, and have used the lessons learnt from the showing in April to reassess our budget.

Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money

Mainly, though, we need to find lovely companies and individuals willing to invest in the arts.

This is easier said than done – large corporate companies are notorious to infiltrate, so we’d like to ask you a favour and give us a helping hand in the following ways…

  • If you work in a company that may be interested in arts investment, please let us know who we should contact.
  • If your company has a team that deals with corporate responsibility, please could you let us know. We’d love to drop them a line and see if our work and ethos would sit nicely with theirs.
  • If you have a friend/brother/mother/cousin who works in this sort of area, we’d love to speak with them and pick their brains, please let us know.
  • If you yourself, or a lovely friend/brother/mother/cousin/fairy godmother likes giving and helping people achieve their potential and has an interest in the arts, please let us know.

With only 4 months to go, we need to act fast.

Marks … set … go!