Arts organisations turn to video in campaigns to raise wider awareness of the value of their work.

Still from the film of a man wearing headphones
Still from British orchestras: making everyday life special


Two short films celebrating the role of the arts in everyday life are aiming to raise public awareness of the arts and the value of arts funding. The Association of British Orchestras’ 90-second video focuses on the work of British orchestras in films, games, TV and radio shows, and rock and pop groups. It is accompanied by a report, Making Everyday Life Special, which describes collaborations involving British orchestras. Some of the world’s most successful films, such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and Lawrence of Arabia, were recorded by British orchestras; top UK and international bands and artists, including Kylie Minogue, Ray Davies and the Pet Shop Boys have worked with them; and they feature in soundtracks for console and mobile games such as Candy Crush and Harry Potter, as well as the anthem for the UEFA Champions League. The report concludes that this track record of success, in exports, job creation and tourism, rests on public investment in the UK’s orchestras, which allows them to retain and support the best players.

The release of the film comes just a week after Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) launched a video giving a tongue-in-cheek answer to the question “What has Wales Millennium Centre ever done for us?” WMC has been announced as Wales' National Treasure in a poll conducted by the National Lottery to find the most popular Lottery funded project, and the new video is fronted by comedian Rhod Gilbert, with stars including Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Sheen, Siân Phillips, Bryn Terfel, Griff Rhys Jones and Dame Edna Everage all having given their time freely in support of the centre's aim of being recognised as a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and participate in the arts.

WMC receives £3.6m a year in public subsidy from the Arts Council of Wales, 19% of its total income, but Managing Director Mathew Milsom said: “Few realise that Wales Millennium Centre is a registered charity. Indeed few realise, that as a successful arts centre, we still need to fundraise to do more free activities out in our communities; extending horizons, enabling our children and young people, who would not otherwise have access to the arts, to enjoy a whole range of educational arts projects… We can change lives, and we do through many of the fantastic projects we undertake.” WMC is encouraging followers on social media to share the video with friends, relatives and colleagues across the globe.

Liz Hill