DCMS blog

A Catalyst for growth

by

Victoria Pomery

Director of Turner Contemporary

Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary, explains how the Catalyst Endowment campaign will help the Kent gallery.


Turner Company in MargateOn Tuesday, Turner Contemporary celebrated its second anniversary. We’ve welcomed more than 860,000 visitors since Tracey Emin and Jools Holland declared the gallery open in 2011 and have already seen a significant impact on the regeneration of Margate and East Kent, with an estimated £21.1m being added into the local economy.
The response from visitors and the media to the new gallery, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, has been phenomenal and surpassed all our expectations. Ambition has been central to delivering Turner Contemporary.
It began when Kent County Council commissioned David Chipperfield to design the building. It’s being continued through all areas of our activity. Since 2011, our programmes have included a diverse range of exhibitions and commissions including historical and contemporary art from JMW Turner to Lindsay Seers, Rodin to Alex Katz.
Turner Contemporary is a charity and receives some funding from Arts Council England and Kent County Council. We also generate earned income through our retail, catering and venue hire activities, but we actively seek support for our work from trusts, foundations, companies and individuals.
Last year, the Catalyst Endowment campaign was launched by DCMS and Arts Council England to broaden philanthropy in the arts. Turner Contemporary is part of this initiative and is seeking to raise £1m over three years which will be match funded by DCMS, so there has never been a better time for our supporters to give.

Support from a local

We’ve just announced that Goldman Sachs Gives has donated $800,000 (£530,000) to our Endowment Campaign which is fantastic news. The gift was made possible through a recommendation by Margate-born Peter Selman, now co-head of Americas Equities Trading and Global Equity Derivatives Trading at Goldman Sachs in New York.
Peter was born and grew up in Margate until the age of 18. He studied economics at Cambridge University before working in London and New York. Peter has said: ‘I was aware of Turner Contemporary before it opened and once it launched I visited and was determined to give it any support I could. It has been so transformative for the town of Margate. I hope this gift from Goldman Sachs Gives contributes to the long-term security of the gallery and will be the catalyst for many other gifts in the future.’
Victoria Pomery
As well as this fantastic donation, highlights from our first two years have been a visit by Her Majesty the Queen, the arrival of the Olympic torch, Stephen Fry and Tracey Emin in conversation, dance by Siobhan Davies and Wayne McGregor Random Dance, plus performances by Josh Arcoleo Quartet.

New commissions

Our Learning and Public programmes have enabled young and older people to participate in workshops and experience music, dance and performances as well as hear artists such as Peter Blake, Alex Katz and Mark Wallinger speak about their work. Our intergenerational group, Blank Canvas, meets regularly and we now have a team of Youth Navigator gallery guides who are regularly on hand to talk to our visitors.
The combined sum of £1.06m from the Catalyst Endowment campaign is an amazing start and has already helped Turner Contemporary to diversify its funding portfolio. The interest on the investment will be used for a number of specific projects including commissions in the public realm and residency programmes, as well as ensuring we can continue initiatives like those mentioned above. Over time, we are keen to increase our endowment pot enabling Turner Contemporary to continue to support the transformation of Margate and be a sustainable organisation.

Further information

Anyone wanting to join the endowment campaign fund or support Turner Contemporary should email Lhosa Daly, Head of Development, or call 01843 233000.
More about how we support a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture.

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