David has been involved in arts and cultural institutions for most of his career, as a founder, manager and consultant.
He believes passionately in the importance of arts and culture in society. His mission is to help arts and cultural institutions to become even more successful. David recognises the dual nature, both cultural and economic, of contemporary cultural expressions produced by artists and cultural professionals. His approach is to combine culture and entrepreneurial flair, a powerful combination which he calls “T-Shirts and Suits”.
David’s work is consistent with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (more…)
He has worked with a range of arts and cultural organisations internationally, including government bodies at local, regional and national level. He is an expert in the strategic development of arts and cultural institutions. He uses his professional expertise and international experience to advise on marketing, financial sustainability and creative business models in the context of the values and objectives of arts organisations.
David’s work has resulted in organisations becoming more entrepreneurial, more financially sustainable, reaching new audiences, pioneering innovations, collaborating with other organisations and developing internationally.
He is also a keynote speaker at conferences and other events on entrepreneurship in arts and culture.
His training workshops for cultural managers have been delivered in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the United Kingdom and other countries – as well as online.
Some examples of David’s work around the world with arts and cultural institutions include:
EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme
Delivering workshops on marketing and strategic planning for cultural managers in Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Also creating online courses for cultural managers on the subjects of marketing and strategic planning (more…)
Training Workshops for Cultural Managers
A range of workshops on subjects such as marketing, business strategy, pricing, leadership, managing intellectual property and other enterprise matters have been tailored to the specific needs of cultural managers, board members and employees and delivered in the UK and other countries (more…)
Trenčín Capital of Culture, Slovakia
David designed and delivered a training workshop for culture professionals in Slovakia, in preparation for Trenčín Capital of Culture 2026 (more…)
Liverpool City Council, England
Designing and delivering the ‘Fit for the Future’ programme for arts organisations and cultural institutions in the city, to help them to become more entrepreneurial and financially sustainable in the context of government cuts in financial support (more…)
Think up Culture!
In Mallorca, Spain, David gave a speech at Think up Culture! and shared his experience of developing the cultural and creative industries in Liverpool in connection with culture, economic development and tourism (more…)
ART Venture Programme, New Zealand
David delivered a workshop on leadership for cultural and creative entrepreneurs as part of this programme in Auckland, New Zealand. He also provided online mentoring for cultural entrepreneurs participating in the programme (more…)
Study Tours in the UK for Policy Makers and Senior Managers
David has organised and hosted study tours of England, Scotland and Wales for organisations seeking to learn about the cultural and creative economy of the UK. These study tours are designed to meet specific requirements of the visiting delegation.
Creative Lancashire support for Arts Organisation
David was commissioned by Creative Lancashire in England to provide individual consultancy support to arts organisations that had been given notice that they would lose annual funding, to prepare them to be more entrepreneurial and financially self-sufficient.
Arts Council of England
David worked on projects with the Arts Council of England to devise systems for monitoring the performance of funded arts organisations and to supervise the progress of capital projects funded by the Arts Council.
Ministry of Arts. Lithuania
In partnership with the Ministry of the Arts, Lithuania, David’s book ‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’ was translated and published in Lithuanian and distributed as a free eBook (more…)
Creative, Cultural and Digital Industries Guide
David wrote a business guide for enterprises in the arts, cultural, creative and digital economy, commissioned and published by Business Link West Midlands in the UK (more…)
Ministry of Culture. Chile
Speaking at the conference on the Creative Economy (Economia Creativa) in Santiago de Chile at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture in Chile.
Arts Organisation featured in book ‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’
The Windows Project, a non-profit arts organisation is featured in David’s book as an example of how a cultural organisation might want to devise a ‘Development Plan’ rather than a ‘Business Plan’ (more…)
Marketing book with examples from community arts, theatre and other arts and creative enterprises
David’s book ‘Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success’ includes examples of marketing featuring arts organisations and cultural enterprises (more…)
Free development resources for arts organisations and cultural institutions
David’s website offers free videos, eBooks, articles and online courses to help cultural institutions and arts enterprises to become even more successful (more…)
Culture Matters Interview
“I’m a spy for the Cultural Sector in the Business Environment” – David Parrish.
An interview with David Parrish by Culture Matters on the subject of culture, creativity and business was published online in eight languages (more…)
Free Online Marketing Course for Cultural Managers
David devised and presented this online course for arts and cultural managers in partnership with the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme (more…)
In addition, David has advised many arts organisations and cultural institutions in the United Kingdom and other countries. These include theatres, arts centres, art galleries, community arts groups, festivals, arts and crafts centres, creative hubs, cultural organisations in the fields of dance, music, film, visual arts, literature and publishing, photography, plus individual freelance artists and cultural consultants.
Comments from participants included: