We chatted to theatre PR supremo Chloé Nelkin about keeping the arts world alive during this difficult time as well as celebrating the 10th anniversary of Chloé Nelkin Consulting (CNC) last month.
Hi Chloé, I hope you’re safe and well. This is such a difficult time for every industry. How do you think we can try and keep the arts industry going right now?
Thank you – I hope you are too and thanks so much for wanting to speak to me. We can try to keep going by remembering that we aren’t alone and capitalising on the amazing spirit and resilience being shown across the industry. There is so much incredible digital activity already taking place, and I think this is crucial for ensuring people carry on being creative and that audiences have a platform to watch arts in these uncertain times. Even if an organisation doesn’t have the resources to join the digital outpouring, they should make sure to be part of the conversation in a small way. The arts knows how to survive in the face of adversity; it will get through this fighting.
What would you say to small theatre companies worrying about making it through this period of uncertainty?
You are not alone. Take each day as it comes and try to find positive ways through this period. Can you swap skills with a colleague in the arts? Can you join one of the main amazing networks that are developing such as the mega producers’ chats on Zoom? Can you offer your services pro bono to a charity? Can you plan for a future project when all this is over? Don’t let the negativity of these weird times weigh you down. Let the industry support you.
How have you been trying to stay positive throughout this time?
I know it’s very easy to say ‘think positive’, but I do think it’s essential. This won’t last forever and we are going to get through this. We’ve been sharing messages of positivity and hope in CNConnect on Fridays, and on Tuesdays we’re running #TalkToUsTuesdays on our Insta Stories where we answer questions and lend advice to anyone who wants. We’re trying to share our skills and knowledge to support others.
On a happier note – congratulations on Chloé Nelkin Consulting’s 10th-anniversary celebrations! How was that?
Thank you so much! It’s so weird to think how much has changed since the beginning of last month. But it was an incredible celebration and really special to bring so many of our clients and journalist friends together. Many CNC clients have become my close friends, and it’s a joy when these people call us with a new project. As clichéd as it may sound, CNC really are a family, and it was special to share the moment with the all-round amazing team who work with me on a day-to-day basis.
What do you love the most about working as part of the arts industry?
I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a huge range of arts worldwide – whether theatre, art, opera, circus or heritage. The things I’ve seen throughout my life remain with me as cherished memories. I’ve seen numerous versions of some shows and the magic remains just as vibrant as on my first visit. That is the power of wonderful art and why I think it’s so special to share it and spread the word. And, that is what I love most about this industry – the diversity, the magic and joy and the incredible creatives we get to meet and work with.
What do you hope will happen to the arts industry after we all get through this time? We’ve spoken about the importance of positivity and the incredible networks of support that are already building. It’s a tough time right now for our industry and those in any creative fields but I
have no doubt that we are going to come out of this fighting, producing better and more exciting projects than ever before. Audiences will be desperate to have their culture fix when we’re all allowed out again and I know there will be amazing projects ready to greet them.
By Emma Clarendon