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Face Britain wins Arts & Business Digital Partnership Award

— May 2013

Associated media

Buckingham Palace illuminated with the Face Britain panorama

Overthrow Digital, Photobox and The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts (Children & the Arts) have announced that they have won the Arts & Business Digital Partnership Award.

The Arts & Business Awards in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover celebrate the thriving collaborations and relationships between businesses and arts organizations that enrich communities across the UK. 

The nomination was for Children & the Arts' Guinness World Record-breaking Face Britain project, an imaginative and inspiring mass collaborative arts initiative from September 2011–May 2012, which engaged over 200,000 children with the arts nationwide and raised awareness of arts education. Face Britain provided a platform for celebrating the nation's children and young adults in the lead-up to HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, encouraging them to explore their creativity and identity.  

The project culminated in a unique record-breaking portrait projection of HM The Queen onto Buckingham Palace, formed out of all the participants’ portraits (see Cassone, April 2012). The number of artists working on this project was greater than for any other single project - a world record.

To deliver Face Britain nationally, Children & the Arts needed support from the technology sector in order to build a secure environment for storing children's images and personal information, as well as an inspiring and creative platform to encourage engagement. A partnership was therefore developed with Overthrow Digital and Photobox, who helped bring Face Britain to life, and vastly extended the reach of the project.

Overthrow Digital developed an eye-catching and easy-to-navigate Face Britain website that spoke to children, parents and teachers. Overthrow worked in sync with Photobox, who managed the registration and portrait submission system, which seamlessly integrated with the website, allowing a live feed of over 200,000 portraits to be stored in an online gallery. Photobox ensured the upload process was quick and simple, so that time-pushed teachers could upload multiple portraits in one go, into a safe environment.

The Face Britain website and gallery acted as a hub for participants to register their interest in the project, upload their portraits and find out more information. Additionally it allowed Children & the Arts to maximize engagement throughout the project, monitor numbers of participants (in order to break a world record) and track Face Britain’s geographic spread.

The scale and innovative approach to Face Britain was recognized through significant national and international media coverage, increasing the visibility of all partners to new audiences.

Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive, The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts said:

We are honoured to receive this award. Face Britain was ambitious in its scope but only ever possible through the strength of its partnerships.

Without the unique collaboration, and by that I mean the digital expertise, guidance and patience of Overthrow and Photobox, we wouldn't have had the mass collaborative arts project that we always believed Face Britain could be

On accepting the award, James Towning, Director, Overthrow Digital, said:

 Overthrow Digital are delighted and honoured to have been awarded the first ever Digital Partnership Award alongside Photobox and The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

The Overthrow Digital team worked tremendously hard to bring the project's vision alive and we were absolutely delighted to see the campaign exceed all our expectations. It was a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our digital expertise, working on a fully integrated campaign that achieved unprecedented national coverage. We're now looking forward to the next opportunity we'll have to work with the Children & the Arts team, and are committed to supporting such a fantastic charity who do such brilliant work in support of the creative arts.

Commenting on the awards, Ian Callum, Design Director at Jaguar Cars said:

We are delighted to showcase the UK’s most innovative collaborations between the arts and business sectors. With uncertainty surrounding arts funding it is essential that businesses continue to forge links with arts organizations to ensure sustainability of the sector. Businesses must remember that the arts and creativity are often at the forefront of innovation and we in the private sector can be enriched by listening and contributing to what the arts have to offer.

There were 20 nominees for the Digital Partnership Award and a final shortlist of three.

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