CityAM spoke with Colin Tweedy, chief executive of the charity Arts & Business, about banks and their ardent love of art in all its forms:
Supporting art, whether by maintaining collections, sponsoring art events or funding public and community art, aligns the bank with a world that is seen to have just the right mix of prestige, glamour and intellectual merit, which in turn attracts the right sort of people.
“It’s about reaching key audiences, and associating themselves with the very best of what’s going on,” says Tweedy. “In the past it might have been sponsoring film premieres or charity galas, but art became the new sexy kid on the block, and it’s stayed there.”
Exhibitions and art fairs provide a suitably elite atmosphere for entertaining clients, and cutting edge contemporary art makes for a more impressive business space. Art’s associations with social enrichment also make it a favourable place for banks to focus their corporate social responsibility activities, through involvement in educational programmes and community schemes. […]
“We like to be shown to be living our values,” says Gerlach Jacobs, ING UK’s chief executive. “This charity offers real opportunity to people who want to establish themselves as artists, and that’s our motivation for supporting it.”