Global creative company M&C Saatchi Group today announces that it will become a Principal Patron of Saatchi Gallery in a three-year partnership that will deepen access to contemporary art and broaden learning opportunities for young people in the UK and worldwide.
The global creative company's collaboration with the renowned contemporary art gallery will include community engagement projects, a cultural change programme to identify the next generation of artists influencing real societal change, an annual art prize and an expanded learning programme.
As a charity, Saatchi Gallery engages with students and community groups through free exhibition visits, on-site workshops, online resources, and a dedicated learning space. M&C Saatchi has already reached thousands of young people through popular creative access initiatives including Saturday School and Mentor Black Business, which teach creative entrepreneurs from under-represented groups about business, Carbon Academy, which connects with female inner London sixth formers, and Open House, its free online marketing and advertising training programme available to people of all ages from anywhere in the world, including under-represented groups.
The partnership comes as M&C Saatchi Group enters a new chapter under the leadership of CEO Moray MacLennan, who took over the global creative company in January 2021. Since stepping into the role he’s reset the strategy, introduced a new global operating structure focused on simplification and integration and returned the Group to a strong financial position.
Creativity changes everything
Richard Thompson, M&C Saatchi UK Group Chairman, comments: “As we emerge post-pandemic, our partnership with Saatchi Gallery will reignite innovation in, and access to, contemporary art. From influencing human rights and conflict prevention to addressing the climate emergency, M&C Saatchi has always believed in the power of iconic creativity to change the world.”
Moray MacLennan, M&C Saatchi CEO, comments: “This ground-breaking partnership will provide a meaningful contribution to the arts. Our ambition is to bring art and culture to a younger and more diverse audience because, quite simply, creativity changes everything.”
The partnership is founded on a shared mission in making art, culture, and creativity accessible to everyone – including youth participation in the arts, which has been linked to positive academic and social outcomes later in life[i]. However, opportunities for students to interact with contemporary art, in classrooms and school trips have been significantly reduced. The number of students sitting GSCE art exams has fallen by almost 40 percent since 2010, while the numbers of pupils taking art A level has dropped by almost a third.
Ed Steven, Board Representative for Saatchi Gallery added “We are thrilled to work with another large team of creatives who are also committed to supporting living artists as well as rendering contemporary art and culture accessible to all, not just the exclusive ‘artworld’. Through this partnership, we will provide greater opportunities for our Learning Programme to stimulate creativity, innovation and cultural change whilst helping us discover and bring into the limelight the next generation of young artists. The partnership comes at a crucial time when funding and access to contemporary art is in decline, however there is a strong desire from the public to visit our exhibitions and be inspired. We are excited to see what we can now achieve together.”
[i] Source: National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Arts Participation