Between 2001 and 2005, Cornwell Internet was a major sponsor of the Durham Literature Festival; we enjoyed five wonderful years of attending events, meeting performers, and stretching our skills. Our involvement grew from sponsoring a single event, and conducting a workshop on literature and the internet, in 2001, to running the Festival web site (2003 - 5). Graphic designers Sumo allowed us to adapt their designs for the Festival's print publicity, creating a unified look which drew many favourable comments.
In addition, in 2004 Arts & Business funded us to commission work bringing together the Festival's literary theme and the potential of the internet (read more about this on the page about the 2004 Festival) which allowed us to follow the entire process of commissioning work, from developing a strategy for the choice of work to presenting the completed work on the web - a task which took us into a whole new realm of creativity!
The retrospective mood of 2004's "Anniversary Edition" Festival encouraged us to begin to archive material from past Festivals, which formed a substantial part of our work on the 2005 Festival web site. We set up an Archives page, leading to material about five past festivals (1898, 1990, 2000, 2003 and 2004).
This retrospective mood also challenged us to reassess our contribution to the Festival. Over the five years of Cornwell Internet's sponsorship, our business had grown to an extent where devoting much of a month to the Festival was becoming a problem, and it was clear that 2004's commissions had formed a high point which we could not repeat. In January 2006 we therefore told Durham City Arts that we would no longer be sponsoring the Festival.
We greatly enjoyed our experience of sponsorship, and know that it has been beneficial to Cornwell Internet as well as to the sponsored organisation; we would certainly consider further sponsorship of the arts in the future.