Arts Election Hustings
Client Profile and Issue
In discussions with Audiences NI, the Audience Development Agency for Northern Ireland, and Arts & Business, a plan was put in place to help advance the arts agenda in Northern Ireland in advance of the 2011 Assembly Elections. The challenge was to host an innovative election hustings in what is often a crowded arena during election time.
Stratagem worked closely with Audiences NI and Arts & Business, with support from Voluntary Arts Ireland, to design the event and engage with key players in the arts and business sectors to ensure the event was successful.
Rather that concentrating on just the arts and culture, plans were made to invite stakeholders from the creative industries and business sectors to further enhance the discussion and the debate about the economy and the arts.
Prospective Assembly candidates from the five main Assembly parties including the former Culture Minister Nelson McCausland MLA took part in the panel. Chaired by the BBC Arts Extra Correspondent Marie-Louise Muir, the audience gathered also heard from one of the most influential figures to emerge from the Derry/Londonderry arts scene, Declan McGonagle, who is currently the Director of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.
The parties were all enthusiastically in support of the arts in relation to the economy and cultural tourism, a shared future, and education. There was also consensus that a good society is one which has a vibrant cultural scene.
Twitter was used successfully to engage further with political and arts audiences while Stratagem worked alongside media company partner Box 42 to record vox pops of all the speakers, which resulted in a two minute clip to showcase the event.
The arts hustings event helped build successful political networks for the organisations involved as well as raise the profile of the arts and the economy and provided a platform for further engagement.
“Stratagem were a great team to work with. They helped us negotiate the political waters in terms of briefing the MLAs, but were also on hand to help with operational issues when we found that there just weren’t enough staff to go round. Stratagem staff were more than happy to pitch in and help, and were very much a key factor in the success of the arts hustings event.”
– Steven Hadley, CEO, Audiences NI