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'Fighting for' the Arts

Sioned YoungSioned YoungSioned Young's work is no easy task, however it brings her "great pleasure".

Sioned from Penygroes near Caernarfon, has embarked on a ten-month internship with Arts and Business Wales at Bangor University’s Pontio Arts and Innovation Center, looking for new ways of fundraising for the arts.

Sioned said: "I’m training to be a professional fundraiser for the arts. There’s a great demand for this type of work as very few people do it."

After completing a degree in Creative Studies at Bangor University and graduating last summer, Sioned was eager to be involved in the business side of the arts.

She added: "I didn’t know much about professional fundraising at the beginning, but I was very passionate about the arts and wanted to fight their case."

And fight we must, she added, because local authorities and public bodies are facing even more cuts that affect arts services.

Sioned said: “I’ve had a great start to my internship and I’ve learnt so much already. One key highlight was hearing the great news that my first grant application has been a success. The grant is from Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Festival, a month long festival in May which celebrates creativity in older age.

“With the grant we are planning to show a classic film alongside a sing-along session to follow – specifically for people living with dementia or older people who are more prone to suffer from social isolation.”

Elen ap Robert, Artistic Director at Pontio Arts, said: "Sioned has been with us since October, and has brought a breath of fresh air and energy to Pontio. For the next 10 months Sioned will develop her understanding of the various fundraising areas for the arts, by considering public funding, trusts, foundations and private sponsorship. It's a very wide area - and she will spend time here with me at Pontio Arts, with the University’s Research and Enterprise Office and also with the Development and Alumni Relations Office - we all offer a very different insight into the available fundraising opportunities.

"Sioned will also help us explore ways of establishing a membership scheme, co-ordinating an evening to encourage businesses to support the arts, and also help us to set up the Pontio Arts Development Fund.”

"Arts fundraising is becoming an increasingly important and relevant area of focus for companies and creative organisations as we all try to find new and innovative ways to raise money and ensure viability.

"The Arts and Business Cymru internship scheme has been running for five years and we’re delighted to say that Pontio internshipis the first  to be held through the medium of Welsh. The other internships this year are in Cardiff, so this one in the north is quite unique.

"Being able to offer this first step to a young person like Sioned at the start of her career is very exciting, and as a team, gives us great satisfaction. We want to take the opportunity to make the most of her contribution and hope that her new experiences will provide a solid foundation for her future."

Publication date: 17 January 2018