Do sponsorship protests damage relations with sponsors and philanthropists?

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Museums Association
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Pressure groups such as Art Not Oil aim to sever the link between corporations such as BP and the cultural institutions they sponsor through direct action. But how effective are such protests?

But theatre critic and historian Kate Maltby, in an article for the Financial Times at the weekend, suggests that, in a climate of government funding cuts, “if protest pushes BP away from its philanthropic commitments, we will all be the losers”.

It is ironic, she writes, that the anti-capitalist groups that criticise corporate philanthropy only make the arts less accessible to all.

Campaign Against Arms Trade is campaigning to stop cultural organisations hosting corporate events for the arms trade link, but the list on its website shows that many continue to do so.

BP ended its sponsorship deal with Tate last year, after 26 years. According to a report in The Independent, the oil company said it had ended the deal due to an “extremely challenging business environment”.

Others attributed the end of the deal to campaigning by groups such as Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil.

So who is right?





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