Café Oto and the future for arts development

Congratulations to Café Oto’s Hamish Dunbar, who has scooped the inaugural £25,000 Genesis Foundation Prize! A richly deserved award for a superb artist/entrepreneur.

The Genesis Foundation works to support outstanding young artists, by helping them with mentoring through institutions to prepare them to set out on their own. The prize is the only one of its kind, which rewards outstanding young mentors of artistic talent. It will be awarded every two years.

Hamish won the award for his outstanding work developing Café Oto, from an abandoned warehouse to a ‘go to’ venue. His plan is to use the money to further the work of Café Oto in promoting experimental music, pairing emerging youth talent with established musical performers.

Café Oto takes a bold approach to new music

This award is absolutely the sort of model we believe should help shape arts funding over the coming years, . It is a great philanthropic award allowing an established enterpreneur such as Hamish to do more of what he does best in  developing the next generation of artists across music and sound art. Café Oto is also a great example of an arts-based social enterprise that Cause4 is keen to support – one that can play a vital role in developing the sector and also run itself as a successful enterprise.

This builds on our thinking last week about what support musicians and artists might need to establish themselves in a more entrepreneurial space, as I discussed at the Guildhall School’s Reflective Conservatoire Conference (read that talk here). How do you think entrepreneurial training could be done best? Should there be an element of entrepreneurship in all arts teaching so that young people have the confidence to drive change in the arts sector? We would welcome your thoughts.

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