Ending oil industry sponsorship of the arts
Let these cultural institutions know how you feel about their acceptance of climate-changing funding. Keep it polite and maybe use evidence to back up your points, which you can find in this publication by Platform. Copy us in to your email correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org and publicise it on social media.
This list is not comprehensive and focuses on large nationals with a record of oil sponsorship. This information was correct as of March 2017. Feel free to contact us with further information and updates about fossil-fuel funding of these or other UK-based organisations.
British Film Institute
Shell and BP used to be corporate members but both have now been dropped!
BP is a current 'Global Partner', supporting the public programme annually since 1996 and a sponsor of major exhibitions. They funded the BP Lecture Theatre, as well as various touring exhibitions, the major Vikings exhibition in 2014, the Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation exhibition in 2015 and Sunken Cities in 2016. The contract was renewed in July 2016, for a new commitment period from 2018 - 2022.
Contacts for British Museum
Hartwig Fischer, Director
Address: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG
Tel: 020 7323 8000/8299
Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival was sponsored by BP for 34 years until 2015. In 2016, following protests the previous year by Art Not Oil members and allies, the Festival revealed that this sponsorship deal had ended.
Current corporate members include GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, WorleyParsons Europe Limited ('We cover the full lifecycle, from creating new assets to sustaining and enhancing operating assets, in the hydrocarbons, mineral, metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors') and Tullow Oil:
'Tullow Oil is a leading independent oil exploration and production company, focused on finding and monetising oil in Africa and the Atlantic Margins.'
"We have a fantastic relationship with Kew. Our Corporate Membership gives us a great way to motivate staff, and demonstrate our commitment to the environment." (Karen Ali, Tullow Oil)
Contacts for Kew
Director: Richard Deverell
020 8332 5000; email@example.com
Membership: 020 8332 3200; firstname.lastname@example.org
Shell has been a regular sponsor of major exhibitions, including the Rembrandt exhibition in 2015, and is currently a top-level ‘Corporate benefactor’.
Contacts for NG
Gabriele Finaldi, Director
Address: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Email: email@example.com and copy to
Tel: 020 7747 2885
National Portrait Gallery
The high-profile BP Portrait Award has been going for 25 years. NPG is one of the 'big four' who have a rolling 5-year sponsorship deal with BP (along with Tate, British Museum and Royal Opera House). The contract was renewed in July 2016, for a new commitment period from 2018 - 2022.
Contacts for NPG
The Director is Nicholas Cullinan.
Phone: for complaints, suggestions or praise +44 (0)20 7321 6610
National Maritime Museum
Part of the Royal Museums Greenwich group. Supported by BP Shipping Ltd and Shell Shipping.
Contacts for NMM
Kevin Fewster, Director
Address: NMM, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Tel: 020 8858 4422
Shell has been sponsor of a series of classical dramas at the National Theatre and used to be a top-level corporate partner - recently downgraded to 'Platinum'. Current partners such as the fossil fuel financing Royal Bank of Canada gain anonymity about their perks. At a lower level, Platinum Members such as Shell and Delta Airlines and Gold Members such as Rio Tinto are offered a wide range of hospitality, tickets and behind-the-scenes opportunities.
Contacts for NT
Rufus Norris, Artistic Director.
Address: NT, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Tel: 020 7452 3400
Natural History Museum
The Museum’s mission is deeply ecological: ‘Through our collections and scientific expertise, we are helping to conserve the extraordinary richness and diversity of the natural world with groundbreaking projects in more than 68 countries.’ In 2014 we were pleased to see it had ended its relationship with both BP and Shell. Sadly, the museum has replaced them with Dong Energy - a company which specialises in renewable energy but also undertakes oil and gas extraction.
In the past, Shell was sponsor of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, until protests by the Art Not Oil campaign resulted in the end of that deal. But Shell continued for another few years as a ‘Diamond Level’ Corporate Member, as was BP. ‘Emerald Level’ Corporate Members still include mining goliath Rio Tinto.
The NHM also still retains some financial links with the oil industry, boasting here of ‘confidential petroleum consultancy work and training’ carried out for a host of oil and gas companies, including: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Amerada Hess Ltd, BP/Statoil Alliance, British Petroleum Exploration Co. (Colombia), Hardy Exploration & Production Ltd (India), Mobil North Sea, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Shell UK Exploration & Production Ltd, AMOCO Exploration Co. (UK), Philippines Ministry of Oil & Gas Production Ltd.
Contacts for NHM
Michael Dixon, Director
Address: NHM, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email via the contact form
Tel: 020 7942 5000
Science Museum Group
The Science Museum in Kensington is the largest of the museums in the Group, which includes the National Media Museum in Bradford, the National Railway Museum in York, MOSI in Manchester and other venues. Both BP and Shell are top-level Corporate Partners, with their support most visible in London, where Shell sponsored the Science Museum’s permanent exhibit exploring climate science, 'Atmosphere', until it was exposed in 2015 for influencing the content of Atmosphere, and its contract was not renewed. In 2016, BP sponsored the 'Cosmonauts' exhibition, and the museum launched a new permanent children's gallery 'Wonderlab', sponsored by Norwegian oil company Statoil.
Contacts for SMG
Ian Blatchford, Director
Address: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD
Tel: 0870 870 4868
Royal Opera House
The ROH includes the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet, the ROH Orchestra and the ROH Chorus. ROH also runs the cultural education ‘bridge’ organisation for ACE, for schools in four English counties. The upper echelon of ROH funders, known as the ‘Chairman's Circle’, includes BP. BP funds the ‘BP Big Screens’ programme of video link-ups across the UK. The ROH's CEO, Alex Beard, sits on the philanthropy board of the DCMS which encourages greater corporate sponsorship in the sector. Their BP contract was renewed in July 2016, for a new commitment period from 2018 - 2022.
Contacts for ROH
Alex Beard, CEO
Address: ROH, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Email: email@example.com and copy to more contacts here
Tel: 020 7240 1200
Royal Shakespeare Company
BP is a Corporate Partner of the RSC. It sponsored a major series of plays at the RSC in 2012, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival. It is currently supporting 'BP £5 Tickets', the RSC's initiative to provide cheap theatre tickets to 16-25 year olds. For the first time, in July 2016, the RSC signed a 5-year contract with BP, due to run from 2018 to 2022.
Contacts for RSC
Gregory Doran, Artistic Director
Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director
Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director
Address: RSC, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BB
To email, use the contact form
Tel: 0844 800 1110
'Shell Classic International' has been the most visible expression of SBC’s partnership with Shell. We were pleased to hear in January 2014 that Shell has terminated the 8 year deal, and the concerts are renamed International Orchestra Series. However, the relationship will continue as Shell is a ‘Corporate Supporter’, Shell’s HQ is a close neighbour of the SBC, and both are planning major building developments. Shell has previously funded upgrades, and there is a ‘monument’ to this fact in the Royal Festival Hall. You may wish to ask about plans for continued sponsorship.
Three of SBC’s Governors (May 2015) are heavily involved in the oil industry:
The Chair, Rick Haythornthwaite, is President of Petro Saudi UK and Chairman of Centrica, which owns British Gas. He has been CEO of Blue Circle Industries, a Director of Premier Oil and President of BP Venezuela. He has been on boards of many cultural organisations.
Deputy Chair, Robin Woodhead, has been CEO of the London Commodity Exchange, Chair and CEO of National Investment Group plc and Chair of International Petroleum Exchange Ltd.
Susan Gilchrist is CEO of the Brunswick Group, which has delivered corporate communications for Shell.
Contacts for SBC
Chief Executive: Alan Bishop
Artistic Director: Jude Kelly
Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX;
BP was a major sponsor of Tate from 1990 until 2016. The sponsorship deal was last renewed in December 2011 despite massive opposition from Tate members, visitors and the wider public as well artists. In 2013 Tate Britain’s main collection was rebranded the 'BP Walk Through British Art'.
Victoria & Albert Museum
The V&A Museum has a comparatively good history in relation to oil sponsorship, although a recent touring exhibition about Pearls was sponsored by Shell and Qatar Gas. It is continuing to develop its main building and is opening a new branch in Dundee, which will require continued corporate partnerships so it is one to watch!
Contacts for V&A
Dr Martin Roth, Director
Address: V&A Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2RL
Tel: 0207 942 2000
TOTAL is listed as a Corporate Member.
Contacts for Wallace Collection:
Director: Dr Christoph Vogtherr, firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries concerning governance: email@example.com
Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
Telephone +44 (0)207 563 9500