|Serpentine & Almeida formally requested to review sponsorship|
|Friday, 15 January 2010 23:55|
Along with their free diaries, co-directors of the Serpentine Gallery, Julia Peyton-Jones & Hans Ulrich Obrist, received the following letter:
Dear Julia Peyton-Jones & Hans Ulrich Obrist,
Please find enclosed a copy of the Art Not Oil 2010 diary. I hope it’s a celebration of art’s extraordinary ability to provide an emotional context to where we find ourselves today politically, socially and ecologically.
On Jan 21st 2010, diaries were delivered to all Serpentine employees, on which date we had still received no reply from the Serpentine, whose 2008 and 2009 Pavilions were sponsored by NetJets, the largest business jet company in Europe.
NetJets boss Mark Booth is on the board of the Serpentine Gallery, as is Colin Tweedy, boss of Arts & Business. From the Gallery's website: 'NetJets Europe is the title sponsor for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009. Mark Booth, Executive Chairman, said: "Sejima and Nishizawa’s design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2009 is truly breathtaking. The incredible light and openness of the concept will make for a stunning structure, which will raise the bar even higher for the much-anticipated Pavilion. Design is an area that we’re passionate about at NetJets: we’re firmly focussed on how we can bring world-class design to our customers’ flight experience; just as the Serpentine Pavilion brings world class architecture to London. We’re delighted to be a partner in this project and are looking forward to seeing the finished Pavilion."
Plane Stupid's take on business jets: http://www.planestupid.com/video/biggin1
This letter was sent to the Board of the Almeida Theatre on 21.1.10
cc. Michael Attenborough, Neil Constable and other Almeida board members
Dear Board member,
Art Not Oil campaigns in part to persuade cultural institutions, as part of their responsibility to present and future generations, to turn down funding from companies whose core business is in fossil fuels.
I am writing to you as a member of the Board of the Almeida Theatre to request formally that the issue of BP sponsorship be discussed by the board as soon as possible. I also ask that, if possible, the Board mandates the Almeida to review its sponsorship criteria and to adopt new climate-friendly guidelines.
There is a detailed report about BP’s involvement in Canadian tar sands included in this mailing, but please let me know if you would like a more detailed critique of BP, or if you would like to know more about the Art Not Oil project.
Finally, I would like you to ask the Almeida’s management team if ignoring a series of polite, serious communications on this issue reflects well on the theatre. (The first of those is on the back of this letter.)
Thanks for reading, and all good wishes for 2010,
Art Not Oil – ‘for creativity, climate justice and an end to fossil fuel industry sponsorship of the arts’ c/o 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES.
Tel: 07709 545116 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artnotoil.org.uk
cc. Michael Attenborough
Dear Neil Constable,
I’m writing to you with our concerns about oil industry sponsorship of arts and culture, and in particular about BP, which I see is a sponsor of The Almeida.
It’s our view that oil is a curse that fuels wars for resources like that now being waged at such a high cost in Iraq. It is also the greatest cause of climate change, which, according to the government’s Chief Scientist, could result in the death of 400 million people, mostly in the poorest countries of the world.
Wherever BP operates, it takes a catastrophic toll on lives, livelihoods and the environment, (some of which are listed on the other side of this letter.) Perhaps most worryingly, late in 2007 BP bought a large share of Husky Energy, a company committed to extracting oil from the tar sands of Alberta in Canada. Tar sands contain oil which is massively energy-intensive to bring to market.
Obviously, funding for the arts is scarce at present, but there seems to be a great irony in the fact that government funding is pumped into fighting wars that are to a great extent about securing oil and gas reserves, leaving theatres etc. with almost nowhere to turn but to the oil and other fossil fuel-intensive companies for support. Might there be public support for a campaign initiated by cultural institutions for a massive cut in military spending, and a diversion of money saved into essential services, not to mention arts and culture?
We believe there can be a greener and fairer future for the planet and its people, a future which
Thanks very much for taking the time to read this letter.
And here's a list of Almeida Board members, in case you want to write (politely!) to them too, with guesses at addresses (as the Almeida wasn't able to forward our letter to them):
Mary Francis CBE (Treasurer) Formerly Director General of the Association of British Insurers, Director of the Bank of England, a non-executive director of Centrica plc, and a member of the Press Complaints Commission, (Halton House,
London EC1N 2JD.)
Jill Barton Governor of Islington Arts and Media School, (Turle Road
Michael Gwinnell Part-time advisor to Atlantic Philanthropies, member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Business and Community Committee and a Trustee and Deputy Chairman of Young Concert Artists Trust, (23 Garrick Street,
Giles Havergal C.B.E. Works as an actor, director of plays and operas, adaptor and teacher. He was from 1969 till 2003 a Director of the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow. He is an Associate Artist of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and is a Board Member of the Unicorn Theatre for Children, (147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ.)
Linden Ife Barrister at Enterprise Chambers
(9 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, London WC2A 3SR),specialising in Chancery litigation (business and property). Until recently was a trustee of Disability Equality in Education and of London Metropolitan University. Formerly a Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards panellist. Lives in Islington and also chaired the Almeida Local Liaison Committee.
Tamara Ingram Has been in advertising since 1985. Her career has seen her become CEO & Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, followed by a CEO position at McCann and then Grey. She is currently responsible for the global P&G business across all WPP (
27 Farm Street
Jagdip Jagpal Founder of Anareva, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BD
the executive search consultancy. Jagdip trained as a solicitor after reading Law at LSE. She has held senior positions in radio (BBC) and television. She is a board member at Franklin Rae Communications (the broadcasting and creative content public relations agency) and a Trustee of the Wallace Collection. Formerly a Non Executive Director of Noel Gay (Artists) Limited. She has a passion for sport, fashion, theatre and the arts.
Rosemary Leith Vice Chair of Almeida's Development Board and member of the Strategy Committee. Director of Hilvern Management Limited (Private Investment and Management), Founding Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, Director of the Web Science Trust, Member of the Tate Foundation Advisory Board. With a commercial and investment background she is active in global philanthropy and advises a number of non profit organisations in fund raising and strategy.
Ray O'Connell (c/o Almeida Street
N1 1TA) Trustee of the Northcott Theatre where he chairs the Finance Committee. Non-Executive Director of the Devon Partnership NHS Trust and Chair of their Finance & Investment Committee. Formerly Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer, Capital Markets at Lehman Brothers.
Rufus Olins Managing Director of Haymarket Management Publications, (174 Hammersmith Road London W6 7JP) where the magazines he publishes include Campaign, Media Week, Management Today, Third Sector and Eye. member of the Development Board of the National Portrait Gallery, a Governor of the Salusbury School, vice-patron of Working Families and a member of the advisory council at The Royal Society of Arts Industry & Commerce.
Co-Founder and Director of Hayfield Group Ltd, (1 Ropemaker Street London EC2 Y9HT) where she is a performance coach to senior executives in FTSE100 and household name companies. She is a Trustee of Community Links, a Newham based charity. In January 2010 will join the Board of a FTSE250 company as a Non Executive Director.
Roy Williams OBE, Methuen, (8 Artillery Row, London, SW1P 1RZ).
Playwright currently writing new plays for the Royal Court, RSC, Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre, and previously Writer in Residence at the Almeida Theatre. He is also currently developing television series for Company Pictures and Feelgood Films. His plays have previously been performed at theatres including the Lyric Hammersmith, Soho Theatre, National Theatre and Hampstead Theatre.