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Helen Mirren supports creativity venture

Actress Helen Mirren has lent her support to a collaborative creative initiative spearheaded by the University of St Andrews.

The actress has agreed to become the first Honorary Patron of the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity. The Institute, formed to address the need for specific management training for Scotland’s creative talent, hopes to play a key role in boosting the creative industries in Scotland.

Dame Helen, the Oscar nominated and Emmy-award winning actress, director and producer is best known for her pivotal role as DCI Jane Tennison in the television drama ‘Prime Suspect’. She has also appeared in starring roles in ‘Elizabeth I’ for television and in films such as, ‘The Madness of King George’, ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’ and, most recently, her highly acclaimed role in ‘The Queen’.

The actress, who received an honorary degree (Dlitt, Doctor of Letters) from St Andrews in 1999 said:

“I am delighted to offer my support to the new Institute for Capitalising on Creativity by accepting the position of Honorary Patron. I will watch the progress of the venture with great interest and wish it every success.”

The Institute, based at the University of St Andrews is a unique, consortium which brings together top creative and management professionals from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee; the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; the University of Abertay Dundee and the University of St Andrews School of Management. An international dimension is provided by a partnership with the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

The Institute was recently awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to run a series of workshops on creativity and the creative industries, which were launched in October 2006. September 2007 will see the start of a pioneering postgraduate course in Creativity Management, tailored to the needs of creative entrepreneurs. The course will empower creative individuals to better manage their own career or team while continuing to hone their individual creative practice. It is hoped that it may also persuade Scottish-grown talent to stay in Scotland and develop businesses here, while also tempting international students to study and work in Scotland.

Institute Director Professor Barbara Townley, of the University of St Andrews’ School of Management, said:

“We are thrilled that an actress of Helen Mirren’s status and calibre wishes to be associated with the Institute as an Honorary Patron. It is recognition by those who are established in the creative professions of the importance of what we aim to achieve with the Institute, and the uniqueness of the new Masters programme, combining advanced creative practice with management knowledge, that will help individuals build a successful career in the creative industries.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Around 7% of Scotland’s employment is in, or linked to, creative industries, a sector which generates £5-7 billion in revenue. Around 100,000 people are employed in Scotland’s creative industries, boasting an annual turnover of around £5 billion. UK-wide, employment in the sector is growing by 9% a year compared with 1.5% for the rest of the economy. Scotland has the highest concentration of creative industries outside London.

The Institute for Capitalising on Creativity was formed in response to a feasibility survey by independent technology think-tank, Technology Development Group, which identified a need for specific management training targeted for Scotland’s creative talent. The postgraduate course contributes to the ‘pathway to success’ identified as being so important by the Scottish Executive as part of its response to the Cultural Commission report.

The recently-launched workshop series, entitled ‘The Discipline of Creativity: Exploring the Paradox’, was one of 13 awarded under a competitive scheme run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Arts Council (England). A series of five one day academic workshops (between October 2006 and May 2007) will explore the interplay of discipline and creativity that characterise the creative industries, culminating with a sixth event in September 2007 for industry professionals.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT PROFESSOR BARBARA TOWNLEY ON TEL 01334 461974, OR EMAIL BT11@ST- ANDREWS.AC.UK

www.capitalisingoncreativity.ac.uk

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

ARCHIVE IMAGES OF HELEN MIRREN RECEIVING HER HONORARY DEGREE ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.

Issued by Beattie Media – www.beattiegroup.com On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk Ref: Helen Mirren 091106.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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