Leeds Rugby is the world’s biggest rugby club, comprising two teams, Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Tykes. Already reaching over one million people a year with their sport and associated outreach activities, Leeds Rugby were not satisfied with just that and looked at ways in which they could use arts and cultural activity to reach new audiences and broaden experiences for existing users. the hub were hired to pull together a comprehensive fundraising strategy for a visual artist-in-residence annual programme, provide help with funding applications and offer advice on how to manage the programme of actvity. It was recognised that a visual arts programme could touch new users in a way that rugby cannot. All people respond in different ways to alternative ways of communicating and interacting; visual arts is a powerful medium that will enable Leeds Rugby to increase its reach.
Documents provided were designed to be packed with useful and practical advice in order that they did not gather dust on shelves but were effective tools to secure funding and get the ambitious programme up and running.
We have enjoyed working with Leeds Rugby and look forward to establishing relationships with other companies and organisations outside of the creative industries. This project could be an inspirational case study for others, in the UK and internationally. It will demonstrate how combining arts and sports can develop new work and creative talent as well as encourage new audiences. The link between arts, culture and sports is prevalent with the advent of the 2012 London Olympics and many other arts and sports organisations could benefit from the fulfilment of this project and others like it.
Do we think the arts have all the answers? No we don’t, that’s why we work in other sectors and share what we know with them.