Report of the Managing Director.
Members received a report of the Managing Director providing updates from the Barbican Directors on their respective areas. The following comments were made:
· It was noted that many Members were involved in the successful Informal Session of the Boards of the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School on 26 September 2018.
· The Managing Director and Deputy Chairman represented the Board at a Digital Culture Event which was attended by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Minister for Culture.
· Modern Couples opened in the main gallery on 10 October with critical success. It was noted that visitor numbers were slightly under target but was expected to improve.
· The Chairman hosted the Barbican’s first Annual Residents Reception on 30 October with a private viewing of Modern Couples and drinks reception for Barbican residents. The Chairman gave thanks to Wendy Mead for her assistance in organising the event.
· Members were advised that a new format was being used for classical musicals and had been popular with young audiences.
· Squish Space launched in October providing an inclusive, sensory environment full of playful ideas for under 5s and their parents/carers. This space has already received over 3,000 visitors.
· The Barbican Box 2018/19 launched in September. The Centre was working with a number of theatre companies with the programme aiming to diversify audiences.
· Members were advised that the new vision for Operations and Buildings was to create an environment that enables and inspires others to achieve their best. This would be achieved by providing services that were compliant, efficient and appropriate.
· The Projects and Engineering team have continued to deliver an unprecedented level of work with fewer people following the restructure of two separate teams. A number of projects have now been delivered including works to the Hall, foyers, kitchens, Green Room, as well as significant security and fire-related work.
· A new amber risk for the delivery of the fire-related projects has been introduced as a Departmental Red Risk.
· The Barbican co-hosted a CPNI conference course working with the Corporation and City of London Police contacts.
· The Barbican hosted a fundraising event as part of The Art of Change season for the Die Stadt ohne Juden ‘The City Without Jews’ performance raising £20k.
· It was noted that the Barbican’s retail review had now begun.
· The Managing Director advised that the Barbican Guildhall Creative Alliance (Appendix B) was included to update the Board on the co-working between the Barbican and Guildhall School.
· A Member enquired how much of the excellent work the Barbican was doing was getting publicised. The Managing Director stated that there would always be lots going on that would go under the radar but noted that the Centre was forming good community and local links through different projects. An Officer added that the new guide would be a good way to publicise Barbican activity.
· In response to a query regarding the new Spektrix ticketing system, Members were advised that there were limited systems on the market that could offer everything required but that Spektrix was a system used by a number of other Arts Organisations.
· A Member noted a complaint from Golden Lane residents received information about the Guildhall School but not the barbican Centre. Officers agreed to follow up to ensure they were included.