John Bryan

John Bryan

#1 Richmond has an enviable business community as evidenced by its being one of only 11 cities to be headquarters to more than five Fortune 500 companies and one of only 12 cities to have a Federal Reserve Bank.

#2 Richmond’s arts/culture community is likewise enviable as evidenced by its emergence from the recession with all of its major arts and culture organizations thriving: symphony, opera, ballet, theatre, art museum, science museum, history museum, children’s museum, botanical garden, and many dozens more.

#3 Richmond has a slew of enviable national creative superlatives such as being home to the #1 marketing company (Martin Agency – think Geico gekko), #1 public art university (VCU), #1 university advertising program (VCU Adcenter), and forthcoming building designed by the #1 architect (Steven Holl).

Those three sentences have resulted in a three-year Greater Richmond Chamber-led initiative entitled i.e.* – a grand partnership that spotlights and energizes creativity and innovation for three purposes: enable the business community to leverage the creative community in accomplishing real business objectives; provide expanded audiences for the creative community; and foster new relationships and partnerships.

Richmond’s local arts agency—CultureWorks—is one of the active partners with the Chamber’s i.e.* initiative and three current projects demonstrate the partnership’s value. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the Case for Arts and Business Partnerships

Posted by Valerie Beaman On February - 29 - 2012
Valerie Beaman

Valerie Beaman

There are many reasons that partnering with the arts advances business goals from recruiting and retaining a workforce, to rewarding employees, to building communities, and more.

The pARTnership Movement has identified eight strong reasons for businesses to partner with the arts. While some of these reasons will resonate better than others, depending on the industry, size and needs of the business, one reason that continues to gain traction is the role of the arts in fostering critical thinking.

Building and inspiring a creative and innovative workforce remains incredibly important as the country works to increase creativity and innovation.

Did you know that creativity is among the top applied skills sought by employers? More often than not business leaders say creativity is of high importance when hiring. The arts are about critical thinking, solving and reframing problems and facts in ways that reveal insights and opportunities.

Music, creative writing, drawing, and dance provide skills sought by employers of the third millennium. In fact, 72% of companies that give to the arts recognize that it stimulates creative thinking, problem solving, and team building.

Through our work, we know that the arts play an important role in fostering critical thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Doodle Celebrates Leap Day with Frogs & an Italian Composer

Posted by Tim Mikulski On February - 29 - 2012

Known for often celebrating the lives of historical figures and holidays, Google once again set out to honor this extra day of the year with a new Doodle (their homepage logo) marking the occasion and combining it with a celebration of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.

The Doodle makes the leap from February 29 to Rossini thanks to a classic cartoon where Michigan J. Frog, later the mascot for the defunct WB TV network, first appeared as a The Barber of Seville aria singing-frog (go to the 5 minute mark) that frustrates the heck out of the man who discovers him.

Once again the creative and innovate team at Google shows us their artsy side.

To find out more about how businesses can better partner with the arts, check out our latest campaign—The pARTnership Movement!

 

Oscar Winners Thank the Born, Unborn, and Reborn

Posted by Kristy Callaway On February - 28 - 2012

Kristy Callaway

The 84th year of the Academy Awards has been an awesome year for the Oscars! There were representatives and entries from almost every continent and profession.

In the many acceptance speeches, appreciation and awe poured from the mouths of the Oscar recipients in English, French—and occasional profanity. Although they were gracefully cut off by fade away music, recipients (aka winners) were given the opportunity to extend their “thank you’s” off-stage while other nominees were recognized.

And who did they thank?

They thanked critical thinkers and problem solvers, communicators, collaborators, creators, and innovators…Actually, who did they not thank?

French connection: The Artist took Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Costume Design, Directing, and Music Original Score. The recipients stumbled through English and soon slipped into hyper-fluent French to thank producers, art directors, and crews for lighting, animation, sound, casting, etc.

Where are these expert talents cultivated? And how do they reach a level of super proficiency, as Malcolm Gladwell describes in Blink?

One of the goals of arts education is to produce the next generation of articulate, scholarly entrepreneurs who dare to have a vision and see it through. And only through practice, internship, shadowing, and real-world experience does one reach proficiency. Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Mikulski

TalkingPointsMemo.com’s IdeaLab recently posted an article that included an interview with Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler.

In the piece, Strickler is quoted as stating,”It is probable Kickstarter will distribute more money this year than the [National Endowment for the Arts]. We view that number and our relationship to it in both a good and bad way.” (Editor’s Note: Strickler has published this post in reaction to the published interview.)

He went on to explain that it is good because it could, in theory, double the amount of art in the country, but also bad in that there is room for more federal support for the arts.

While Kickstarter, and other sites like it, have the ability to take all types of art—from comics to operas—to the next level at a time when it is hard for an artist to get funding for a small project, it’s $150 million contribution to the arts is only one quarter of one percent of what is needed annually to fund the nonprofit arts sector’s $60 billion in expenditures according to Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy here at Americans for the Arts.

But, as Randy added, “This is a great illustration of how individuals are looking for a more personal connection and relationship when deciding where to donate, participate, and volunteer.”

The same principle applies with me as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You the Monet of Marketing? (from The pARTnership Movement)

Posted by Reina Chadwick On February - 23 - 2012
Reina Chadwick

Reina Chadwick

Business leaders are faced with many decisions. They are responsible for a staff, various departments, as well as decisions that affect the company and ultimately their own livelihoods.

Within these decisions lies a leader’s ability to think outside of the box. Business leaders around the country are being forced to think differently as a way to cope with the ever-changing economic landscape. While this is not a brand new phenomenon, we are seeing an increase in those business leaders who are looking to the arts to build their competitive advantage.

Don’t believe me? Look right in our [Miami] backyard for a few examples of businesses that have partnered with arts organizations: Kaufman Rossin & Co., TD Bank, American Express, and Northern Trust Bank. These companies recognize that the arts play a major role in the community and that people in the community see their name, thus creating brand awareness.

But businesses are in it for more than just brand recognition. Companies that place high value on the arts in their company culture tend to have less turnaround and have more productive employees. These are just some of the incentives to working with the arts.

The InterContinental Miami is a prime example of a successful business-arts partnership as they recently initiated an arts program right in their hotel lobby.  Read the rest of this entry »

Put a Little Gaga in Your Marketing Strategy (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Tim Mikulski On February - 22 - 2012

Tim Mikulski

As I continually seek new information to contribute to our various electronic and print publications, I come across a ton of info that I want to pass along to the field, but they end up sitting on my desk waiting as other topics or projects rise to the top over that information.

In light of that, I thought this blog post can serve as an early spring cleaning (we definitely haven’t had a real winter in D.C. this year) of some of the marketing content I’ve been holding onto.

These two items are from Fast Company, a publication I highly recommend subscribing to if you are looking for different ways to address technology, design, or business issues within your own organization—particularly in the marketing realm.

When it comes to personal branding, an article from early January discusses five steps to building a better personal brand:

1. Have a home base online. While Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are excellent destinations to promote what you do, make sure that you also invest time and energy into your own personal website. Whether you take advantage of easy-to-use tools such as Squarespace or WordPress, a simple and clean online home for all your professional information and social streams is a necessity.

2. Be a better blogger. Although online pundits regularly declare that blogging is dead, such as Jason Calacanis did at a tech conference toward the end of December, blogging has simply become much more diverse. It’s no longer necessary to write multi-paragraph posts (but of course, that’s why you still come to ARTSblog), but instead services such as Tumblr make it easy for individuals to share shorter entries or snippets of text that often include photos and other multimedia. A weekly blog update (or more frequent if you can afford the time) that includes some shareable content is a useful way to drive traffic back from social channels to your website (and to establish yourself as an expert on a topic). Read the rest of this entry »

Poetry and Promise: Education Reform & the Arts

Posted by Ken Busby On February - 17 - 2012

I judged a poetry slam this weekend—Louder Than A Bomb–Tulsa!

It’s amazing to hear young people sharing about their lives and ideas through poetry. This was the second year for the event. The excitement and enthusiasm expressed by these students was palpable:

Listening to their poetry really made me start thinking anew about just how important the arts are to shaping young minds—helping build self-confidence, fostering creativity, and excelling in school. We as artists, art professionals, and art educators are very often a major factor in a student’s success.

Ten states, including Oklahoma, recently received a reprieve from complying with certain aspects of No Child Left Behind. It seems like we keep lowering our standards rather than lifting up our youth to meet and exceed the challenges put before them.

How are we going to have a capable workforce replete with skills for the 21st century if we keep lowering our requirements for graduation? Companies are spending millions of dollars every year providing remedial training. Universities are spending millions of dollars every year on remedial classes.

We cannot solve our current economic woes by burying our heads in the sand and hoping by some miracle that our youth will figure it out and be successful when we haven’t provided the proper foundation or the means to foster success. Read the rest of this entry »

Wayne Andrews

Where we live is important to each of us. It is a key part of our identity. It’s a source of pride, even if our hometown is the punch line to a joke.

Is it really the good schools, parks, and access to shopping centers that make us live where we live? Many people find a fulfilling sense of community in smaller towns and rural regions that do not have all the advantages of larger communities.

Maybe it is not the measurable elements that give a place a sense of community but rather those intangible qualities that create the feeling. Could it be that working with your neighbors to build a park is more important to the sense of community than the actual park? The arts have always been one of the focal points around that help to build a sense of community.

Town festivals, cultural events, and celebrations are often the most visible signs of a community working together. Each pumpkin festival, summer concert series on the town square, or art sale pulls together diverse elements of the community.

An example of this can be seen in Oxford, MS, which has worked to define itself as an arts community. Numerous programs have been launched in partnership between various segments of the community.

Last year working with local business owners, artists, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a monthly art crawl was launched to highlight the visual artists in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Robb Hankins

In downtown Canton, OH, through an ongoing partnership with the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (and its Special Improvement District), we’ve spent the last five years creating the Canton Arts District.

The results have been totally amazing and changed everyone’s thinking about this downtown coming back.

In 2005, we started with three strategies: live music, galleries/artist studios, and public art. We had only one art gallery—-and not a single artist studio.

Today, the Canton Arts District has 26 galleries and studios.

The first art studios opened when local developer Mike King bought an old building down on 4th Street NW, deciding to convert it into Studio 5. It would have five artist studios downstairs and five independent artist apartments upstairs. ArtsinStark partnered with King on spreading the word and providing a small rent subsidy for the first year.

By the time Studio 5 opened every unit was rented out and there were eight artists on the list hoping for another building. Here’s a video of how Studio 5 looked when it was just opening

As the Canton Arts District began to take shape we needed a way to let people know, so we decided to host a monthly party—-First Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Partners in Preservation (from The pARTnership Movement)

Posted by Tim McClimon On February - 2 - 2012

Tim McClimon

Historic Preservation may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of the arts or corporate philanthropy, but the preservation, restoration, and reuse of cultural assets like historic buildings, monuments, and parks can revitalize neighborhoods, stimulate tourism and local economies, and preserve our natural resources by conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

American Express has a long history of partnerships in historic preservation.

We made our first historic preservation grant in 1974 to the National Park Service to assist with the planning for the renovation and restoration of the Statue of Liberty as part of the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration in 1976.

The company went on to sponsor the first national cause-related marketing campaign aimed at restoring the Statue of Liberty in 1983. (Our first corporate involvement with the Statue of Liberty actually dates back to 1885 when American Express asked company employees to contribute money toward the construction of the Statue’s pedestal–our first employee giving campaign!)

Our first international grant in historic preservation was made in 1977 to help save the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. American Express was the first private organization to donate funds to UNESCO for this restoration. We went on to work with the World Monuments Fund in the establishment of the Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in 1996, and we were the corporate sponsor of this list for the next ten years, helping to preserve 126 historic sites in 62 countries. Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama

President Obama speaks about his new tourism plan in Disney World.

Our President & CEO, Bob Lynch, is always on the road extolling the virtues of the arts and arts education on behalf of our members and the general public.

Recently, Bob spent a whirlwind week talking about tourism, business partnerships, and advocacy in Orlando, Houston, and Miami.

In Orlando, Bob was sworn in for a two-year term as a member of the United States Travel and Tourism Board. He was honored to receive the appointment and feels it is a great opportunity for the organization and the field.

The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The board consists of up to 32 members that advise the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.

Little did he know that he and the Advisory Board would also have the opportunity to experience a critical press conference held by President Obama (right in the middle of Disney World’s Main Street USA – incidentally a 2011 BCA10 honoree) in which the President put forth his plan to utilize tourism to create jobs and bolster the American economy. Read the rest of this entry »

The first meeting of the Business Committee for the Arts, Inc.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding a Local Business Partner to Support the Arts

Posted by Wayne Andrews On December - 7 - 2011

Wayne Andrews

The arts have always been a reflection of community — creating from the cultural fiber of their environment and serving as the original grassroots marketers.

This connection between community and the artist has been the key to building support. In the technical terms of marketing professionals, artists create brand loyalty and businesses have started to recognize the value of partnering with the arts to reach their loyal customer base.

Check any social media site and you will find a wealth of businesses trying to show their support arts and charitable organizations.

Pepsi has their Refresh Project, CITGO offers to Fuel Good, Maxwell House offers Drops of Good, and Tom’s of Maine offered a nationwide promotion entitled 50 States of Good.

This drive to connect is beneficial as the programs offer access to funds for groups both large and small, while providing marketing a media that expands the reach of groups. Yet, many of these programs although seemingly altruistic, are just efforts by corporate marketing departments to create a program that makes a national company feel local.

Still, these programs have value because they encourage smaller, local companies to think about how to support their communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from the Creative Economy

Posted by Max Donner On December - 2 - 2011

Max Donner

Art is more than beautiful. It is profitable.

Challenging economic times have sent financial experts back to the drawing boards. Impressive results from centers of excellence in the creative economy offer a vision for sustainable economic growth.

Arts administrators who need to convince their supporters and their communities to advance the programs that make creative economies work also need to understand what works best and why. These success stories can invigorate this dialogue.

While much daily businesses news is bad news, firms that have chosen art as a core competence and engaged many artists and designers continue achieve impressive profits and growth:

1. Swiss timepiece and design firm Swatch Group reported this summer that annual sales increased 11% and profits grew by 22% over the same period in 2010. Swatch introduced its first “Art Special” at the Pompidou Centre in 1985. Since then, it has continued to commission innovative art by leading contemporary artists such as French painter Grems and sculptor Ted Scapa. The Swatch corporate strategy of building a company on a foundation of artistic talent has also built expertise in art business, for example, using sophisticated models to calculate limited edition amounts.

2. BMW employs more artists than all other auto manufacturers combined. The results speak for themselves. While General Motors and Chrysler have experienced chaotic bankruptcies and Toyota reported its first losses in decades, BMW sales and profits have continued double digit growth. This summer the company launched the BMW Guggenheim Lab together with curators from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to learn more about the foundations of the creative economy. BMW also reported record financial results: annual sales increased 17% while net profits nearly doubled to $2.5 billion for the spring quarter, the equivalent of $10 billion a year. Read the rest of this entry »

ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

Arts Education

Teaching Artists

Early Arts Education

Common Core Standards

Quality, Engagement & Partnerships

Emerging Leaders

Charting the Future of the Arts

Taking Communities to the Next Level

New Methods & Models

Public Art

Best Practices

Evaluation

Arts Marketing

Audience Engagement

Winning Audiences

Powered by Community

Animating Democracy

Arts & the Military

Scaling Up Programs & Projects

Social Impact & Evaluation

Humor & Social Change

Private Sector Initatives

Arts & Business Partnerships

Business Models in the Arts

Local Arts Agencies

Cultural Districts

Economic Development

Trends, Collaborations & Audiences

Art in Rural Communities

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.