Arttenders 2016 review

Our first year in business as Arttenders | Seven highlights of 2016

Siobhan BurgerNews

We can’t believe it has been almost year since we started Arttenders. With a new year around the corner, we took some time to look back. Here are some of our highlights of the year 2016.

Faye & Siobhan

1. OPTIC: Our first project EVER

The international research for the Stichting Modern Glas and Hans van Bentem was the first project after Arttenders was founded. It resulted in a great collaboration with Titus Eliens, the initiator of the exhibition and behind the scene tours at Glasmuseum Leerdam and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The exhibition, titled ‘OPTIC: The Wonderful World of Hans van Bentem & Optical Glass from the Czech and Slovak Republics’ was captured by photographers Erik & Petra Hesmerg and resulted in a beautiful publication. We would like to thank Hans and Titus for their trust in the early stage of our company!

2. The Extended Arttenders Team

This first year would not have been possible without the support of so many people around us!

We are so grateful for the three team members Arttenders had in 2016. Big shoutout to Sofia Gilioli, Eleonora Meinhardt and Marco Lambooij for your support. Thanks to Cynthia Almansi for setting up our communication strategy. Also thanks to the extended Arttenders team: Joost Kroon for our amazing office space; Meng Li from Skndal for building our website and your ongoing digital support; Jennifer Xu for advising us NOT to become a foundation but start a proper business in a field where this is very uncommon; Joke Jonker and Els Ellen for helping us find our way in 101 accounting; Rutger Burger from FotostudioZ for the pictures that helped us get started; Wim Noordzij for being our patron in the field of sponsorships. Last but not least we have to thank all our friends and family for being our biggest ambassadors. We would not have gotten this far without you!

Also we are happy to have found an advisor: starting from December 2016 we can officially call Oscar van Veen whenever we have no clue what we are doing ;).

The 2016 Arttenders team. From left to right: Marco Lambooij, Sofia Gilioli, Faye Ellen, Siobhan Burger, Eleonora Meinhardt

3. Opening CIC x Arttenders Art at Work Project

In February 2016 CIC became our first launching costumer. In startup land a launching costumer is an established company that puts their trust in a starting company by giving them their first big assignment. CIC was not our first client, but with their international brand and the scope of the CIC x Arttenders Art at Work Project, their commitment were a big deal for us. And trust us, this vote of confidence did not happen without some internal lobbying from Marcus Fernhout and Melissa Ablett. Guys, we are your biggest fans!

We were able to collaborate with six different artists on several spaces. Roel van Eekelen, Rotganzen, Studio Maky, Sigrid Calon, Iwan Smit and Luuk Bode you were great! With your creativity we were able to create an inspiring environment in the office interiors of the CIC spaces, ranging from crazy bathrooms to fun signage. It was also our first collaboration with Kraaijvanger Architects and Designbrokers, we hope there are many more to come.

Stay tuned in 2017, because we are getting ready to start phase 2!

4. Amsterdam Oersoep THE MOVIE

Arno Coenen, Iris Roskam and Hans van Bentem asked us to support us with their communication on Amsterdam Oersoep. We did this not only by approaching printed press, but also by targeting online media outlets. What better way to do this than to create a short showreel on the project! The team of No Dutch No Glory partnered with us in creating this short clip, we simply love how it came out!

5. Passionate conversations, La Cabane De Fabian, Negroni’s and Champagne

The first year of being an entrepreneur comes with ups and downs. It comes with struggles between founders, highs, lows, financial struggles, opportunities, business meetings, exciting openings, scouting talents, finding good interns, defining your business proposition, laughs, tears but most of al a lot of fun. When blowing off steam we love to go and have a big lunch af La Cabane de Fabian, an Italian sandwich shop on the corner of our street. Also a great way to mature your business is to every now and then combine serious talks with team building and a drink. Not every occasion asks for champagne, so we officially can call the Negroni our office drink of the year 😉

At the end of this year we realized how much we have grown as a team. In the beginning of this year we were discussing almost every step we took to make sure we were always on the same page. Now, in important meetings we only need one glimpse to know that we fully support each others judgement. Now, we have passionate conversations on strategy and both have our set of responsibilities and strengths within the team. We promised ourselves that we would schedule an evaluation at the end of 2016 to see if having a company together was really what we wanted. And we can now honestly say YES!, so plenty of reasons to pop another bottle of champaign don’t you think?

6. Preliminary helloing

In April we finally launched the research ‘The Future of Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts‘. During Siobhan’s research on collaboration with companies and the arts, we needed to come up with a name for the process of introducing yourself to potential partners before an actual project comes up. This is necessary to prevent approaching partners in specific projects for the wrong reasons and potentially harming other collaboration possibilities in the future. We decided to title this exploratory meeting ‘preliminary helloing’.

Along the way we realized that we really enjoy preliminary helloing. It gives us the opportunity to really get to know companies, their strategies and wished and enables us to know exactly when to approach which clients. This way we avoid wasting time by non specific propositions, a bad habit that unfortunately characterizes the cultural field.  It also has led us to many amazing events, ranging from participating in a Cultural Trade Mission to New York with the municipality of Amsterdam, representing our startup at the How To Get There Summit; the annual real estate fair Provada and  many conferences and formal and informal events. Want to know more about applied arts in e.g. office spaces, real estate or other types of collaboration with the arts? You know where to find us!

7. Spreading the Arttenders gospel

Months before we ‘officially’ started Arttenders we were already sharing our inspiration through our Instagram account. Every day we post a work that inspires us or is directly related to our field of applied arts, creating identity and shaping experiences. Now, almost 10k followers later, every now and then we run into people that know us through our social media profiles. Weird, but cool! We use this inspiration to show our clients the wide range of possibilities collaborating with the arts offers.

Besides our online presence we also think it is important to reach out to our community in other ways. We have been invited to speak about our goal to create a financial sustainable art world and collaboration between companies and the arts during Creative Mornings Rotterdam; have presented the Art at Work Project during a recent gathering of Venture Cafe; were asked to program inspiring speakers (including Faye) during the Nationaal Monumentencongres; were in the panel of Destination Rotterdam at TENT and are hosting several guest lectures at different colleges next year.

On top of that we published an article in SponsorReport on the research on corporate sponsorships of the arts and were featured in NRC, NRC Next, AD Rotterdam and Elsevier. Faye Ellen was nominated for the Jong Monumententalent Award 2016. Siobhan Burger for a VIVA400 Award in the category ‘business wonder’. It has been so rewarding to see something we are so passionate about resonate with a larger audience!


Thank you for an amazing 2016!

We hope you will stay tuned on our Arttenders adventures in 2017!
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