Pam Korza

Pam Korza

Alex Parkinson, researcher for The Conference Board, urges in his blog post that arts and culture leaders need to become adept at demonstrating the social impact of the arts in terms that speak to corporate leaders. I agree! But, it’s not just about arts leaders building evaluation capacity. Social responsibility and impact starts with both cultural and corporate leaders defining clear intention and acknowledging that some shifts may be needed in defining the metrics that matter when assessing arts and corporate social responsibility investments. Read the rest of this entry »

Antarctica, Art, and Innovation

Posted by Andrea Taylor On May - 1 - 2015
Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor

In our 21st century digital world, the power of storytelling has become platinum currency that many corporations use to address intractable and large scale issues. Recent findings from the Animating Democracy program of Americans for the Arts suggest that arts organizations now have a chance to reinvent corporate partnerships and engage new audiences by fully engaging corporate marketing, communication, and evaluation resources.

Corporate layoffs, limited cash resources, and employees eager to volunteer are changing the models and metrics for support of the arts. This quest for greater social impact is leading to innovative, nontraditional arts programming everywhere. At the same time, the complex, cross-cutting challenges facing local and global communities are generating more interaction between disparate cultural, economic, and social groups. Read the rest of this entry »

FOR PROFIT

Posted by Jana La Sorte On May - 1 - 2015
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 »

Introducing the UK’s Arts Impact Fund

Posted by Helen Goulden On April - 30 - 2015
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 »

Sharing Transformative Histories is Everybody’s Responsibility!

Posted by Tia Harris On April - 30 - 2015
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 »

Creativity and Impact: Can the Arts and Corporate Philanthropy Coexist?

Posted by Alex Parkinson On April - 30 - 2015
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 »

In Perfect Harmony–The Angel Band Project and Edward Jones

Posted by Rachel Ebeling On April - 29 - 2015
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 »

Neuberger Berman Lays Roots with the Arts

Posted by Elizabeth Cribbs On April - 29 - 2015
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 »

Arts Support = Achievement of CSR Goals

Posted by Emily Peck On April - 28 - 2015
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 »

Booz Allen Hamilton, Arts, and the Environment

Posted by Gary Rahl On April - 28 - 2015
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 »

One-Time Mentoring Has a Big Impact

Posted by Kimberli Picarillo On April - 27 - 2015
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 »

Patrice Worthy

Patrice Worthy

Looking around during performances at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, it is clear the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) struggles with a lack of diversity on stage and in their audience. The problems facing the 70-year old symphony are not unique. In fact, symphonies nationwide are tackling the issue of diversity with Blacks and Latinos making up less than 4% of national symphony musicians. The New York Philharmonic hired its first African-American principal musician in 2013 and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has only one Black member who was hired more than a decade ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca Bradley

On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. I was five years old and the child of a father who was hard-of-hearing. I knew that my dad wore hearing aids, but I never really thought about it. My dad was my dad. Like most five year olds, a law as significant as the ADA was lost on me. But I needed to know why there were captions on the TV that obstructed my cartoons! I was curious why these words were on the screen. This was the beginning of my curiosity that led me on the path to become not only a disability advocate, but a museum educator. I remember when “the black box” (closed captioning box) arrived at our house. Our neighbors had a deaf son and they wanted to share this new and innovative technology with us. It’s hard to imagine that something like this was cutting edge! Especially 25 years later when I’m working with telepresence robots! Read the rest of this entry »

Doug Israel

Doug Israel

Urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education. After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, cities are taking action.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent recent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas—English Language and Math. This focus came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Fortunately, the tide may be turning, and arts education may be making comeback. Read the rest of this entry »