Millions of people are passionate about the arts. So, in addition to offering four Sky Arts channels dedicated to the best arts and culture from around the world, we are one of Britain's largest supporters of the arts, partnering with cultural organisations to help open up the arts to more people.
Since 2007, Sky Arts has been the broadcast sponsor of the Hay Festival, one of the world's leading literary festivals, and offers audiences at home the chance to enjoy some of the festival's best sessions. Building on the success of its special Hay editions, Sky Arts' Book Show went on the road last year to visit four more leading literary festivals in the UK and Ireland.
For the past two years, Sky Arts has supported Artichoke, the leading public art producer, to develop a series of projects that have delighted audiences around the country. Events this year included 'The Magical Menagerie', a giant carnival roundabout at the Milton Keynes International Festival, and 'Dining with Alice', a spectacular re-creation of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
One of the biggest challenges in the arts world is securing funding to support new and innovative works of art. That's why, in April 2011, we launched Sky Arts Ignition, a new initiative that will seek to collaborate with six arts organisations over three years in the creation of brand new works. For each of the chosen projects, Sky Arts will provide a cash investment of up to £200,000 and work with the arts partners to bring their projects to a wider audience on-air, online and on the ground.
In addition, the Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund is designed to help young talent to bridge the development gap from school or college to becoming a working artist. The fund will support five individuals aged 18–30 with a mentor from Sky and a bursary of £30,000 each.