As part of Americans for the Arts’ Internship Program, my fellow interns and staff recently took an office field trip to see a unique public dance performance entitled Yolk by dance company Third Rail Projects. The performance was part of a series of events presented this spring at locations throughout Manhattan by Arts Brookfield, the cultural arm of Brookfield Office Properties. Yolk ran from April 8-10 at the plaza of the Grace Building, a Brookfield property located in Midtown Manhattan.
The piece featured two performers, one dressed in silver, the other in gold, dancing in and around large open eggshells accompanied by electronic music. Third Rail Projects is a multi-disciplinary performance company, and Yolk showcased Third Rail Projects’ explorations fusing dance, installation art, and performance in the public sphere. I watched as a crowd, made up of passersby and employees from nearby businesses (particularly the Grace Building), gathered to view the performance during their lunch hour and was able to see, firsthand, how such a performance could engage employees of the Grace Building and surrounding businesses. It was then that I realized that the performance was less about two girls dancing in fiberglass eggs, but rather the experience it was creating for those in attendance.
Brookfield Office Properties, a commercial real estate company, presents arts programming to over 25 buildings worldwide. Since the establishment of Arts Brookfield in 1988, the company has been a leader in creating partnerships between the arts and its business partners by offering free-to-the-public performances and exhibitions. Hosting arts performances and events is just one tool that Brookfield Offices Properties uses to reach new leasing business customers and their employees. By providing a relatively untapped incentive to its lessees through the arts, Brookfield Office Properties is able to build its competitive advantage while enriching the community in which its employees and business partners live and work. It is a model from which other businesses should garner inspiration—looking to the arts as an ally that can assist in meeting business goals.
Learn more about Arts Brookfield’s model and mission, and the series of performances it is presenting not only in New York City but across the globe in all of its operational communities, at ArtsBrookfield.com.