Why there's an art to bringing in more funds: Art bonds to fund community projects

Innovative new scheme from The North East Enterprise Trust launched to use art to help charity ventures

Artist Naomi Blayney is among those who are taking part in the Art for Enterprise initiative
Artist Naomi Blayney is among those who are taking part in the Art for Enterprise initiative

North East artists are following in the footsteps of their American counterparts to launch the UK’s first Community Supported Art and Enterprise programme.

Dubbed Art for Enterprise, the scheme sees nine award-winning artists commissioned to produce 50 special edition, signed and numbered pieces.

Art lovers can buy bonds in exchange for the art and proceeds will be re-invested to support North East communities.

Around 30 such schemes exist across the pond but this idea, from The North East Enterprise Trust, is thought to be the first in the UK.

“Our Art for Enterprise programme is a great way for The North East Enterprise Trust to take the lead in encouraging individuals, businesses and organisations to be more creative when it comes to social responsibility and supporting local communities,” said Sir Peter Vardy, patron of the trust.

Individuals, groups or businesses are now invited to purchase bonds, which cost £1,000.

Nikki Key was one of the first individuals to secure her art bond. She said: “I have worked for several years with business throughout the North East, and it’s great to be able to support the region in this way – it’s my way of doing something that I think is very creative and saying thank you at the same time.”

Today, from 11am to 3pm, prospective bondholders are invited to preview the complete collection and meet some of the artists that have been chosen to take part at Bentley Newcastle. “Becoming a, Art for Enterprise bond holder is a unique opportunity to do something that is absolutely unique and lots of fun,” said Mike Storey, chief executive officer of The North East Enterprise Trust.

“It’s a fantastic way for people to make a creative investment in the northeast and at the same time, engage with art, support artists and build their very own beautiful limited edition collection.

“We have timed the issue so that bonds can be released just ahead of Christmas, so they are timed to be perfect as Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones, or as special and well deserved treats for bond holders.”

Bonds can be purchased and reserved by calling 0191 586 6010 or emailing artbond@theneet.org

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