FOR PROFIT

Posted by Jana La Sorte On May - 1 - 2015No comments yet
Jana La Sorte

Jana La Sorte

It is a beautiful and often overlooked truth that most corporations—like arts organizations —are the result of someone’s imagination and desire to serve people. An individual or a few people dedicate their efforts to inventing something that can make people’s lives easier or create opportunities.

A man concocts a syrup recipe that can alleviate headaches and stomach pains. This becomes Coca-Cola. The enterprising Wright brothers dream of a flying machine that can take people anywhere. Their innovation leads to the creation of the airline industry. An immigrant from Italy uses his own money to provide loans to Italians in San Francisco turned down by other banks. This becomes the Bank of America. Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Goulden

Helen Goulden

Caroline Mason

Caroline Mason

The following two blogs by Helen Goulden and Caroline Mason were originally published on the Arts Impact Fund blog, and are great posts for this week’s Blog Salon on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Advancing the Art of Finance Helen Goulden, Executive Director, Innovation Lab, Nesta

The Arts Impact Fund is a new £7million fund that brings together public, private, and charitable investment to support arts organizations in England and the first of its kind to focus on their social, artistic, and financial return. The fund was created and funded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta, supported by Arts Council England and with additional funding from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It was convened with the help of the Cabinet Office, to demonstrate the significant social value created by arts organizations and support their work through loan finance. Read the rest of this entry »

Tia Powell Harris

Tia Powell Harris

What’s a Weeksville?

Established in 1838, Weeksville became the second largest known independent African American community in pre-Civil War America, the only such community whose residents were distinctive for their urban rather than rural occupations, and the only one that merged into a neighborhood of a major American city after the Civil War. Therefore, Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC) is a nationally significant American historic site and a documented example of an intentional, independent African American community.

Amazed and Appalled!

I first arrived to WHC as a candidate for the position of Executive Director on a wet and chilly February evening in 2014. I had no idea that my ancestral memory was about to be awakened by a soul-stirring experience with the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, the sole remaining domestic structures of the historic Weeksville Community. Read the rest of this entry »

Alex Parkinson

Alex Parkinson

Some people are numbers focused, others are creatives. In business, it is often the metrics and the people behind them that pull the strings and the corporate philanthropy field is following the same path. Social impact is increasingly measured by data and used by corporate funders as the basis for grant-making decisions. This trend has not necessarily been kind to the arts sector, as corporate giving budgets have reshuffled to target organizations and initiatives that can quantify their impact.

Giving in Numbers: 2014 Edition found that total giving to Culture and Arts fell by 20 percent between 2010 and 2013, a result that suggests organizations operating in the field have struggled to successfully capture the metrics and information necessary to demonstrate impact in a way companies can understand. Americans for the Arts is responding to the decline, however, with a shrewd assessment of the place arts has in the corporate philanthropy world—it’s not just about impact that can be supported by data, but about using creativity to broaden conversations and generate support. Read the rest of this entry »

James Rooney

James Rooney

When most people think about a convention center, they think of a stark gray, open exhibit hall. It’s true, most meetings facilities are purposefully very empty and plain, allowing for greater flexibility and customization depending on the meeting planners needs and set up. But when we built the BCEC 15 years ago, I wanted to change the perception of the “ugly convention center,” not just by enlisting a world class architect in Raphael Vinoly to create a distinctive exterior design, but by also rethinking the interior, creating warm, bright, and vibrant spaces that were more inviting than the convention center’s meeting planners were used to visiting in the past.

I also knew that I wanted the kind of environment that allowed our guests walking through the doors of our meetings facilities to feel not like they were in any-center-USA, but to know that they were meeting in Massachusetts. I’ve found that the best way to do this, in addition to hiring a diverse staff that is reflective of the communities surrounding our centers, is to tap into the local and prolific arts scene in Massachusetts. Read the rest of this entry »

Rachel Ebeling

Rachel Ebeling

Our story culminates with beautiful music, healing, and hope. However, the origins of the Angel Band Project sprung from the depths of horror the night my best friend, Teresa Butz, was raped and murdered.

Just after midnight, on July 18, 2009, Teresa and her partner, Jennifer Hopper, were attacked at knifepoint in their Seattle home. The intensity of grief and pain was magnified by the fact that it happened suddenly and with such violence. Her death left an indescribable void for all who loved her–a virtual canyon of despair that summoned more than just making a casserole and telling her family we were sorry. But what act of kindness or charity was worthy of honoring her memory? Read the rest of this entry »

Elizabeth Cribbs

Elizabeth Cribbs

At Neuberger Berman, passion for art is embedded in our culture and we believe that art is a critical and inspiring form of expression. Roy Neuberger, our co-founder, had a deep appreciation for both art and artists. Supporting living artists brought him great joy.

Roy also felt that art should be accessible to everyone and donated much of his personal collection, creating the Neuberger Museum of Art. The Museum is located on the Purchase College campus and is open to all. We continue to honor Roy’s legacy by maintaining a vibrant collection of contemporary art in our offices, much of which was purchased under his direction, adding character, color, and richness to our workplace. Read the rest of this entry »

The Arts Mean Business

Posted by Jay Dick On April - 28 - 2015No comments yet
Jay Dick

Jay Dick

If your city had a new construction company move to town, this would be good news – more jobs, more economic activity, and more tax revenues to be collected. How about if your city received funding from your state to widen a road? Again, you would probably welcome this news with open arms. Now, think about a new arts organization moving to town. Would you look at this group with the same economic lens that you used to look at the construction or transportation business?

If your answer was no, here’s why you should!

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) with the National Endowment for the Arts recently released their second annual report measuring the arts and culture sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). This year’s report found that the arts and culture sector represented 4.32 percent of the GDP – a higher percentage than tourism (2.6 percent), transportation (2.7 percent) and construction (3.4 percent) – at $698.7 billion! Read the rest of this entry »

Emily Peck

Emily Peck

“Our Board often asks why we aren’t giving more money to education, but they never ask why we aren’t giving more to the arts.”

This was the response from one corporate funder interviewed by the Animating Democracy program of Americans for the Arts for the report Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts.

Arts organizations face a unique challenge, as they are often viewed as an extra or nice initiative to fund, though not essential in comparison to other charitable causes. Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts demonstrates that this is not actually the case. Arts organizations can—and do— help businesses address key goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Gary Rahl

Gary Rahl

The following is an interview between Americans for the Arts Private Sector Initiatives Coordinator, Jordan Shue, and Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Partner Gary Rahl.

Tell us a little bit about Booz Allen Hamilton and why the arts are so important to the company?

Booz Allen recently celebrated its Centennial year. Our firm has a long history of paying tribute to great artists, including the sponsorship of several major art exhibitions over the past decade. Last year, we were proud to sponsor Degas/Cassatt, a free exhibition of some 70 works in a variety of media by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt which ran from May to October at the National Gallery of Art. We support causes that align with Booz Allen’s values: our culture of collaboration, value of diversity, commitment to innovation, and belief in the power of the intersection of art and science. It’s important for companies like ours to support the arts, because art inspires us and connects us all. Read the rest of this entry »

Kim Picarillo

Kim Picarillo

Free Arts NYC provides underserved children and families in New York City with a unique combination of arts education and mentoring that helps them to develop self confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential. While most Free Arts programs provide long term mentoring opportunities, our Free Arts Days are one-time “pop up art festivals” in which corporate volunteers are paired 1-on-1 with a child.

Long term mentoring has many proven benefits: increased confidence & self esteem, children more likely to attend college and grow up to give back to their communities, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as skipping school or abusing drugs, just to name a few. However, Free Arts see that even one-time pairings have positive effects on both corporate volunteers and children. Read the rest of this entry »

Alicia Gregory

Alicia Gregory

Jordan Shue

Jordan Shue

Welcome to Americans for the Arts blog salon on Corporate Social Responsibility!

This week, you’ll hear insights from corporate leaders who are using arts and culture as a tool to advance their corporate social responsibility goals—as well as for community and social good—and the artists, administrators, and cultural workers who partner with them to advance social good through the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

As I reflect on the recent National Arts Advocacy Day and the several hundred visits to the offices of our Congressional representatives and senators that took place, I can think of hundreds of stories to tell. Each of the nearly 550 arts advocates from all fifty states, members of Congress, and artists who joined us in Washington, D.C. to advocate for the arts on Capitol Hill came with a story about how the arts have transformed them and the people around them. To many, the arts have brought hope and fortitude, been a partner in solving community problems, and provided Americans with role models, identity, and opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Eileen Fouratt

Mary Eileen Fouratt

Formed in 2011 and led by Monmouth Arts, the MoCo Arts Corridor Partnership is a creative placemaking initiative that brings artists, arts groups, municipal art councils, creative businesses, local and regional tourism offices, the County Economic Development, Tourism and Planning Offices, and NJ Transit together to establish coastal Monmouth County as a cultural destination. The 41 towns from Matawan to Manasquan are rich with over 50 arts organizations both large and small and include the major arts hubs of Red Bank, Long Branch, and Asbury Park as well as smaller towns with active grassroots arts groups. Read the rest of this entry »

Jessica Wilt

Jessica Wilt

It’s my favorite time of year – spring is here! The season of rebirth and awakening is finally upon us. We shed our layers, watch everything and everyone come back to life, spring-clean our nests, update our calendar with upcoming culminating events and pay our taxes too.

As part of my annual tax prep, a digital spring-clean ensues. Every year I set aside some time (less than an hour every few days for about a week) to comb through the previous year’s email. I move important messages and archive them in labeled folders; Google Drive is awesome for this task. Read the rest of this entry »