Bacardi and the Arts

Posted by Laura Bruney On August - 14 - 2014
Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published December 17, 2013 on their blog, www.artsbizmiami.org/ArtsBizBlog.

The reception area in the Bacardi headquarters in Coral Gables is impressive. The oak walls are covered with artwork from Latin-American masters from Porto Carrero and Lam to an incredible Antonio Gattorno piece that lives center stage filling one of the main lobby walls. Each piece in the collection has a story, one more interesting than the next. The art owned by the Bacardi family is one of the more impressive private collections of Latin American art in the world. It is here that we met Aura Reinhardt, Vice President of Corporate Relations who shared with us some of Bacardi’s history and their involvement with the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Actors rehearsing for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Actors rehearsing for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

I’m so happy you’ve been spending time this week reading the contributions to our blog salon on arts and business partnerships! We’ve seen a lot of really great posts from hardworking people around the country, and I hope to hear from more of you in the future about the interesting and exciting pARTnerships you’ve been forming.

If the thought of missing out on your daily dose of arts and biz news after the salon’s conclusion is just too much to handle, never fear! The pARTnership Movement, an initiative from Americans for the Arts designed to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage, is constantly posting success stories and information about the latest and greatest pARTnerships.

Below is our list of 8 ways to partner with the arts, and each is paired with a real-life example we’ve seen and featured through the pARTnership Movement in the past few months: Read the rest of this entry »

Printing Partners: A Long-Standing Supporter of the Arts

Posted by Michael O'Brien On July - 18 - 2014
Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien

Printing Partners, a 2011 BCA 10 honoree, believes that arts organizations not only provide entertainment, but also enhance the quality of life in our community, educate children and broaden minds. We support the arts for these reasons, but reap many additional benefits in our partnerships with these organizations.

Printing Partners has long-standing collaborations with theatres, performing arts venues, dance schools and companies, arts festivals, symphony orchestras, choir groups, and operas. We believe that these collaborations not only benefit the arts organizations through sponsorship, but also benefit Printing Partners, our employees, and our families. Read the rest of this entry »

An “Anywoman’s” View of Business and the Arts

Posted by Linda Odell On July - 17 - 2014
Linda O'Dell

Linda O’Dell

Many people aren’t surprised that Hallmark is a supporter and beneficiary of the arts. Our business is built around creativity. We have a clear interest in maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the arts, if for no other reason than to attract and nurture the people who make up Hallmark’s huge, and hugely talented, in-house creative staff.

But there also are Hallmarkers whose jobs aren’t usually viewed in a creative context.

I’m one of them. And from my vantage point as a corporate spokesperson, there’s great benefit to me, with similar potential to a business of any type, in investing in what Hallmark’s chairman, Donald J. Hall, has described as “the highest expression of the human spirit.”

So let me share a few examples of what Hallmark’s support of the arts means for “non-creative” me, for the company I represent, and for the community I call home. Read the rest of this entry »

Skills Day Connects Business Volunteers

Posted by Toni Tabora-Roberts On July - 17 - 2014
Toni Tabora-Roberts

Toni Tabora-Roberts

When I joined Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) in Portland, Oregan in March, one of my first tasks was to organize and produce the day-long extravaganza, Skills Day for the Arts, which took place May 28 at Northwest Natural. I use the word extravaganza because it felt like a big, juicy, diving-off-the-deep-end kind of undertaking in my first days on the job.

Skills Day grew out of BCA’s highly-regarded Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) program, one of a number of BVA programs around the country. The BVA programs are beloved, but from what I’ve gleaned talking with current and former BVA managers, times they are a-changing. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Only Make Believe…or is it?

Posted by Megan Stewart On July - 15 - 2014
Megan Stewart

Megan Stewart

Only Make Believe (OMB) is a non-profit that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities in New York and Washington DC. OMB is dedicated to the principle that freeing the imagination is a valuable part of the healing process. We send a team of three professional actors into a hospital once a week for six weeks and the actors engage the children in a performance where each child becomes an integral part of each show. The children get to dress in a costume, take on different roles, and really just take an hour to laugh, play, and enjoy being a child rather than thinking about their treatment or being a patient. We want them to just have fun with “laughter being the best medicine” through the joy and escape that the theatre can provide.

My role at OMB is to manage our corporate relations efforts through volunteerism and sponsorship, and to coordinate OMB events including the annual gala on Broadway, young professionals and networking events, cocktail parties, and other various events. The majority of my job is spent running our corporate volunteer program which has grown steadily over the past six years. Read the rest of this entry »

ESa Architects Builds a World with More Art

Posted by Misty Chambers On July - 15 - 2014
Misty Chambers

Misty Chambers

“Leadership by the business world is to re-invent art from being expendable to being essential.” –Earl S. Swensson, FAIA

Recognized as one of the 2012 BCA 10, our architectural firm continues to engage in arts partnerships within the community. Our leadership has understood the importance of the arts since the founding of the company by Earl Swensson in 1961.

For our employees at ESa, art and design are integral to not only what we do for a living, but, in many cases, it defines how we interact with the world at large. It is not possible to separate the artist from his intuitive draw to the arts. The incorporation of art into the environments that we design, be it in a visual, tactile or audible form, is at the core of what we do. Our young professionals show particular enthusiasm for the arts in our community, as demonstrated by their volunteerism and leadership in various firm efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published May 30, 2014 on their blog, www.artsbizmiami.org/ArtsBizBlog.

The reality of a “divide” between the arts and direct and profitable partnerships with business and specific industries is certainly not a new topic. What is new, however, are ways that arts and businesses are utilizing their unique resources to bridge that separation and move towards a collaborative economic model. It’s about connecting resources to facilitate spontaneous and dynamic alliances. Read the rest of this entry »

Building a Pipeline to the Arts, World Cup Style

Posted by Nina Simon On July - 11 - 2014

Nina Simon

In light of our upcoming webinar on July 23 at 3pm on sports and arts partnerships, the World Cup final this weekend, and our upcoming blog salon next week on unique arts/business partnerships – we reached out to Nina Simon and asked if we could repost a blog she wrote for Museum 2.0 on learning from the growing popularity of soccer in the United States, and how we might relate and apply it to the arts world.

It’s World Cup time. And for the first time in my adult life as an American, that seems significant. People at work with the games running in the background on their computers. Conversations about the tournament on the street. Constant radio coverage.

If you are reading this outside the United States, this sounds ridiculously basic. Football/soccer is the world’s sport. But in the US, it has only recently become something worth watching. For most of my life in America, pro soccer was considered something risible and vaguely deviant, like picking your nose in public.

But now it’s everywhere. It’s exciting. And it’s got me thinking about how we build energy and audience for the arts in this country.

Read the rest of this entry »

Millennials: A Volunteer State of Mind?

Posted by Casey Gill Summar On June - 19 - 2014
Casey Gill Summar

Casey Gill Summar

An Americans for the Arts’ colleague recently shared this interesting article claiming that social activism is the “new religion” of the millennial workforce and asked if I felt this was true in my experience building partnerships between arts and business. In full disclosure, I think I’m just outside the millennial generation, but I will say there is something core to this concept of passion and commitment for your cause that drives me and my younger colleagues. We all share the desire to not just donate to a cause, but to contribute time and expertise as well, to bring along all friends, and in short, tell everyone we know how important this cause is to our hearts. I’m definitely guilty of this. You don’t have to spend much time around me to learn that I’m an ardent advocate for the arts, that I love my little transitional neighborhood so much I joined the board of the association, or that I’m a fan of living local right down to my front-yard garden. As the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville since 2012, I have worked to incorporate some of these concepts of volunteerism, meaningful partnership, and first-hand experiences which I desire into our program offerings. Read the rest of this entry »

Students Embrace Their Creativity through Custom Culture

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On June - 18 - 2014

A winning school is picked by vote, based on a set of four uniquely designed VANS shoes.

Editors Note: Americans for the Arts has partnered with VANS for the past two years on their Custom Culture program. Last night in New York City was the final event, where the winning shoe design was picked. Below are remarks that our Arts Education Program Manager made during the event:

Hello, my name is Kristen, and I’m the Arts Education Program Manager at Americans for the Arts. Whether you like to sing in the shower, dance like no one is watching, or design the next great VANS shoe, we want to support that. Our motto is “All the Arts for All the People.”

We firmly believe that the arts have the power to transform lives. In fact, last year we had the privilege of featuring an artist at our annual convention named Inocente. Her story is nothing short of incredible. As a teenager, Inocente was homeless, the victim of abuse, and the daughter to undocumented immigrants. Her life had hit rock bottom until one day she walked into an arts center in San Diego called A Reason to Survive. She began painting, and indeed, it gave her a reason to survive. She graduated from high school and selling her art kept her from living on the streets. Her powerful transformation was featured in the Oscar winning documentary, Inocente.

Inocente designed these as an ambassador for Custom Culture.

Inocente designed these as an ambassador for Custom Culture.

Americans for the Arts knows that learning in the arts enables every individual to develop the critical thinking, collaborative, and creative skills necessary to not only survive but thrive in today’s ever-changing world. And so when VANS approached us a few years ago about partnering on Custom Culture, we could see that they too value the arts as an integral part of all students’ education. Together we hope to encourage high school students to embrace their creativity and inspire a new generation of youth culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Shaking Up Employee Volunteer Programs

Posted by Maura Koehler-Hanlon On April - 24 - 2014
Maura Koehler-Hanlon

Maura Koehler-Hanlon

The following is an article originally posted on VolunteerMatch, written by vice president of Client Services Maura Koehler-Hanlon, in which she describes how she recently challenged the existing system of employee volunteer programs, and argued for an overhaul of the field. Visit VolunteerMatch for more articles about volunteering and corporate social responsibility.

Earlier this month I hit the road with Vicky Hush, VolunteerMatch’s VP of Engagement & Strategic Partnerships. We headed up to Portland to present to Hands On Greater Portland’s Corporate Volunteer Council to share our expertise with employee volunteer managers about how to keep your employee volunteer program (EVP) fresh and exciting. Leading up to the presentation, we had a tough internal conversation which amounted to this: how controversial did we want to be? What would happen if we just came out and said that we think EVPs should be doing more? We decided to go for it – those Portlanders are a tough bunch with all that fresh air! And it worked: when we asked the room of EVP managers “how many of you feel like your employee volunteer program is as strong as it can be?” we (not surprisingly) didn’t see a single hand. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sweet Side of Arts and Business (from the pARTnership Movement)

Posted by Stephanie Dockery On January - 23 - 2014
Stephanie Dockery

Stephanie Dockery

According to the 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, 66% of businesses who do not currently support the arts report that they have never been asked to do so.

ProjectArt, an organization aiming to close the “access” gap in youth arts education, has taken that lesson to heart – and is now celebrating an innovative and successful partnership with Jacques Torres Chocolate for holiday and Valentine’s Day promotions that grew out of an exploratory phone call: ProjectArt asked.

Children and candy are a natural link, and the giving season is the perfect time to advocate for ProjectArt’s programs, which include art instruction, promoting art access through public libraries, and gallery exhibitions for their pupils, largely from low-income areas. Stickers attached to containers of the Jacques Torres malt balls promote that “one box of chocolate covered malt balls = one free art class for a child.”

Affectionately known as “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres founded his company in New York City in the year 2000. In 1988, he emigrated from France and became the corporate pastry chef for the Ritz-Carlton, then served as executive pastry chef at Le Cirque from 1989-2000. Jacques Torres Chocolate is headquartered in New York, and the chocolate in manufactured in Brooklyn, establishing him as the quintessential American dream. A supporter of New York nonprofits, Jacques Torres has a personal passion for supporting youth initiatives, making ProjectArt’s proposal a perfect fit. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Things The Ballet Can Teach Us About Work

Posted by Donna Sapolin On December - 26 - 2013
Donna Sapolin

Donna Sapolin

I love the fall/winter season in New York. Everything seems to come back to life once September rolls around and the arts kick into high gear, igniting the city with blasts of creative energy. People begin flocking to music, theater and dance performances.

A few weeks ago, I went to see the San Francisco Ballet (SFB) at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater during its first visit to New York in five years. The SFB is America’s oldest professional company and has achieved great acclaim for its overall excellence and emphasis on new ballet choreography.

The thrilling three-part program I saw – a mixed bill of two classically oriented dances (“Trio” and “Suite en Blanc”) and a contemporary one (“Ghosts”) – was utterly captivating.

Ballet Is a Microcosm of Successful Approaches to Work

Are you familiar with the famed song “At the Ballet” from the award-winning Broadway musical, A Chorus Line? It depicts ballet (and ballet lessons) as an antidote to a problem-riddled childhood because, as the chorus says, “Everything was beautiful at the ballet.”

Well, everything is beautiful at the ballet. But that exquisite perfection is the result of a great deal of creative intelligence, effort, and teamwork.

As I watched and admired SFB’s virtuosic performances complete with lush costumes, sets, and music, it struck me that the total package encapsulated all the values and steps I believe make for career success. Here they are:

1. Listen intently. Ballet dancers hinge every move and gesture on the musical score’s rhythm and emotion and the choreographer’s instruction. To do otherwise would result in failure.

We tend to forget how much we can learn by simply paying attention to others’ concepts and expert guidance, particularly in these tech-driven times when so much is competing for our attention. Lending an ear and being truly “present” to what others are saying are vital for learning new skills and absorbing valuable ideas at work. They’re also great ways to make your colleagues feel respected and spur their productive cooperation. So, lean in, make eye contact, speak less and listen conscientiously.

2. Take many steps. Top ballet dancers don’t think in terms of reducing the number of steps in the dances they perform nor do they believe they can cut back on their practice and rehearsal sessions and still manage to excel on stage. The SFB website explains: “Dancers’ lives are full of daily ballet technique classes and rehearsals. A typical workday can start with an hour-long class, followed by four to six hours of rehearsal, often concluding with a two-hour evening performance. Read the rest of this entry »

The Skills Businesspeople Gain on Nonprofit Boards

Posted by Eileen Cunniffe On December - 19 - 2013
Eileen Cunniffe

Eileen Cunniffe

UK Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, used the occasion of the country’s “Trustees Week” to issue a call for more businesses to encourage their employees to join the ranks of nonprofit board members. Noting that there already are a million volunteer leaders in the UK, he cited a significant number of vacant board seats in the charity sector. This challenge is also prevalent among US nonprofits—and no doubt in other parts of the world, too. And as anyone who has served on a nonprofit board knows, even when there is a full complement of board members, there is always a need to consider who will come next, and how the board will renew itself over time.

Hurd notes how much expertise businesspeople have to offer to nonprofits. Importantly, he also makes the case for how business professionals—and their employers—benefit from board experience. Research done by the City of London demonstrated increased skills among volunteer leaders in categories including team building, negotiating, problem solving, and financial knowledge.

Boards require collaboration, and “leadership moments” may present themselves to charity trustees at earlier stages in their careers than they might in the corporate setting, allowing business professionals to gain confidence and try out new skills in a different environment. And there are, of course, often business benefits to be gained from networking with other board members. Read the rest of this entry »

Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.