When David Rockefeller, the CEO of Chase Bank, gathered business leaders together to form the Business Committee for the Arts (now a division of Americans for the Arts) he understood the important role of the arts in advancing business goals.
In this first speech, Rockefeller said, “From an economic standpoint, such involvement can mean direct and tangible benefits. It can provide a company with extensive publicity and advertising, a brighter public reputation, and an improved corporate image. It can build better customer relations, a readier acceptance of company products, and a superior appraisal of their quality. Promotion of the arts can improve morale of employees and help attract qualified personnel.”
David Rockefeller is not the only CEO who has understood that importance of partnering with the arts. Countless CEOs, HR managers, marketing executives, and corporate foundation officers have spoken about the benefits that have resulted from these partnerships.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Booz Allen Hamilton Ralph W. Schrader, said, “The arts inspire each of us in different ways, provoke thought, spur creativity, and connect us with one another in a shared experience. These are essential qualities of a strong and successful business as well.”
Honorary Chairman and Co-founder of H&R Block, Inc. Henry W. Bloch believes, “It is in the best interest of every business–no matter its size–to support the arts. Beyond their intrinsic value, the arts add to the economic vitality and quality of life of our communities. They also unleash creative ideas in and out of the workplace, foster dialogues, and increase understanding among people.”
However, there are too many business leaders who are unaware of the value of partnering with the arts.
We launched The pARTnership Movement to reach these business leaders in order to provide businesses and arts organizations with the information they need to form mutually beneficial partnerships with the arts.
By visiting the website, businesses and arts organizations alike can access information about the benefits of arts and business partnerships, examples of successful arts and business partnerships, and suggestions for how business leaders can take their partnership to the next level.
There are also advertisements that can be placed in business publications to reach field leaders with the message that partnering with the arts makes good business sense.
In the same speech I quoted earlier, David Rockefeller also said, “what a resounding acknowledgement this would be that the enhancement and development of the arts are worthy objectives for the exercise of corporate social responsibility. Too often the tendency is to regard the arts as something pleasant but peripheral. I feel the time has come when we must accord them a primary position as essential to the nation’s well-being.”
Although Rockefeller made that statement 45 years ago, Americans for the Arts continues to make that case in everything we do and it’s through new ventures like The pARTnership Movement that we demonstrate the impact of the arts on the lives of every American.