It is an absolute honour to be nominated for an Arts & Business Cultural Champion Award, let alone be selected, with the added bonus of winning the 'Champion of Champions' Award! This renowned annual award was won through initiating both the Aedas Presents and Thrift Radiates Happiness projects.

Arts & Business was formed 35 years ago on the principle that a strong relationship between the arts and business is mutually beneficial and encourages both to prosper.  So it is key that through these projects I have been able to spark new partnerships between commerce and culture and offer the expertise to both parties.

It is only through developing ongoing relationships, as I have with the Royal Institute of British Architects, Birmingham City Council and TROVE Gallery; that has meant that we, as established partnerships, can make such exciting dreams into reality.

So as this years 'Champion of Champions' (I will not get sick of using this!) that I would like to encourage anyone who has an idea for an event to start talking about it to your networks (whether cultural organisations or corporate), put in the hours, but don't think about it too much - just make something happen!  It is possible!  A story which I regularly tell is that Thrift Radiates Happiness was an idea that was stumbled across over a glass of wine.  But just by making the commitment, this event proved to be such a success: Over 1,500 people through the door: Over 600 favourites, comments and retweets on social media alone: Extensive coverage in local and national press including amazing reviews: A sell out of investment pieces before the end of the show!

Nearly four weeks on from Thrift Radiates Happiness I am still overwhelmed with the success of the event, and indeed loved every second of it, so am keen to get going on the next project!

I wish you all the success with your own projects!

Kate Eagle

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