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A Good Laugh for a Good Cause

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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A Good Laugh for a Good Cause

Thursday, May 24 marks Red Nose Day, the annual fundraising campaign for children in need. After launching in the UK in 1988, the initiative made its way to the States, where it has raised over $100 million. Hosted by M&M’S, a Mars, Incorporated brand, this year’s Red Nose Day will feature a theatrical twist.

 

M&Ms is partnering with City Year Chicago and Chicago Academy High School to get students on stage. With facilitators from The Second City Works and Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer, teens were encouraged to tell their stories. On May 15, The Second City hosted “Step Up to the Mic: An Evening of Comedy with M&M’S In Support of Red Nose Day.”

 

Allison Miazga-Bedrick, Senior Brand Director, M&M'S Brand said, "Red Nose Day brings communities and cities together around the world through laughter, and we are thrilled to bring some of this colorful fun to Chicago."

 

On the national scale, there will be a special night of programming on NBC on May 24. The fourth annual “Red Nose Day Special,” hosted by Chris Hardwick will feature special celebrity editions of “American Ninja Warrior,” and “Hollywood Game Night.”

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The Arts are Integral to Business Success - Kohler Co.

Posted by Laura Kohler
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The Arts are Integral to Business Success - Kohler Co.

The following are excerpts from remarks by Kohler Company Senior Vice President
Laura Kohler at NASAA's Creative Industries Briefing:

 

Thank you for inviting Kohler Company to contribute to today’s discussion telling a story of the importance of art to this 144-year-old company, headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin—one of the world’s strongest brands that employs over 35,000 people.

 

The arts are very important to me personally, as well as for Kohler Company. In fact, I am before you as a business executive with 25 years of experience who sits on the top team of a $6.5 billion company with an M.F.A., not an M.B.A. The value of the arts has been engrained in our company’s ethos, and we have been consistent advocates of elevating the importance of the arts in society through education, arts organizations and scholarships.

Art energizes our public spaces, emboldens our thinking, enriches our communities, and inspires pride and interaction with each other. It is a necessary inspiration in our busy world, and a symbol of our collective humanity—an unspoken means by which we can connect across cultures, geographies and generations.

As a company, we remain curious and adventurous and employ associates who have an unwavering appreciation for design and the arts, and a healthy appetite to explore and discover new technologies. We foster a collaborative environment where our leadership sets the tone and encourages all associates to be as imaginative and entrepreneurial as possible—from sketching an initial concept or penning a big idea, to testing a new product prototype or designing an amazing master bathroom suite.

A creative work force, particularly within a design-centric organization such as Kohler, is the backbone to drive product innovation and sustained business success.

Among our 35,000 associates across six continents, we invest heavily in promoting innovation and problem solving, through a cross-cultural and cross-functional team approach—whether it be designing a better process or developing a new way of working in this fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Art and innovation also permeate our efforts in sustainability and social impact. At Kohler, we Believe In Better, because business success doesn’t matter much if we can’t say we left the world a better place than we found it.

 

The Waste Lab originated at one of our Innovation For Good workshops—an annual convergence where our associates incubate new ideas for social impact products. In this instance, a team comprised mostly of artists and designers brainstormed methods to refine production processes, minimize industrial waste, and reuse waste where possible.

Since 2010, as a company, we have reduced the amount of production waste sent to landfills by 46%, and the Waste Lab team working out of a dedicated space in our enamel shop is trying to find ways to decrease it further. In doing so, they are turning pottery cull, foundry sand and other waste products into beautiful ceramic tiles—a poignant example of how associates are applying creative thinking to waste while designing artistic new products.

 

Taking inspiration from that goal, our Arts/Industry program was founded in 1974 as a partnership between the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Kohler Company. It has endured as a unique collaboration between artists and industry in the United States—one that has brought us significant recognition, but more importantly, has brought to the world some beautiful pieces of art that otherwise would never have happened. Over 600 emerging and established artists from around the world have benefitted from this program and have left their mark.

 

There is no other artist residency program where artists’ studios are located right on the production floor of a manufacturing facility, such as our cast iron foundry or pottery. Artists are introduced to bulk materials, such as slip-cast clay and cast metal, and techniques that give them a new way of thinking and working creatively.

One of the most important aspects of Arts/Industry are relationships that develop between the artists in residence and our production associates. Artists in residence value the expertise and experience of these associates, and the associates in turn are engaged in helping the artists solve creative problems. Associates have remarked that working with these artists has helped them think more creatively about their own work to push the limits of materials, processes, colors and sizes.

 

Communities rich in arts and culture attract people because of their quality of life, character, and opportunities for participation and investment. Art fosters vibrant communities and allows them to create and sustain social networks, and to establish their identities outside of traditional demographics. Art allows people to learn valuable skills—across all walks of life—and to participate in nontraditional, creative outlets.

And as I have described today, the arts also play a vital role in sustaining and growing successful businesses, by inspiring creative problem solving and successful innovation for consumers.

 

I appeal to you to take a step back and both recognize and appreciate what the arts and creative industries offer in terms of elevating the American economy, as well as fostering exploration and innovation that lead to better solutions. Let’s come together—private sector, education, government and nonprofit—and ensure that the arts remain relevant and respected today and for future generations. That requires an investment—collectively—of our time, our expertise, our passion and our financial support.

 

This speech was given at NASAA's Creative Industries Briefing on April 17, 2018 at the U.S. Capitol. To view the full speech, click here. For the full transcript, click here.

Kohler won a BCA 10 Hall of Fame winner in 2011.

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Ovation taking a Stand for the Arts

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Ovation taking a Stand for the Arts

Ovation, America’s only arts network, is partnering with Comcast as part of their Stand for the Arts campaign. Through this collaboration, they will recognize arts and cultural organizations in Comcast markets.

 

Ovation EVP John Malin said, "The Stand for the Arts Awards program was established to provide financial awards to innovative arts organizations and programs that are creating inclusive access to artistic programming, arts education, and skills development. For 2018, Ovation is excited to bring Comcast aboard to acknowledge outstanding arts organizations in their markets."

 

The campaign launched at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Plaza in Chicago, where they celebrated Collaboraction, an organization that uses the arts for social change. Following the award presentation, they held an arts education panel and a live taping of Broadway in Chicago Backstage.

 

Comcast Regional Senior Vice President offered his congratulations to the organization stating, “Collaboraction has a long history of calling attention to important issues impacting the Chicago area, and we hope this award will help the organization continue to deliver on its important mission."

 

Stand for the Arts is an arts advocacy campaign that has donated more than $15 million to organizations across the country, focusing on artistic placemaking, STEAM education, and the Creative Economy.

 

2017 awardees from partnerships with Spectrum include Creative Action (Austin, TX), Columbus Children’s Theatre (Columbus, OH), and  CNY Arts (Syracuse, NY).

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Toyota Partners with VH1 Save the Music Foundation

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Toyota Partners with VH1 Save the Music Foundation

Toyota and VH1 Save The Music Foundation are partnering to support music education in public schools. Over the past 3 years, they have helped empower students in Chicago, New Orleans, and Las Vegas through the discovery and learning of music. This year, they will be adding Philadelphia and Miami, with $50,000 and $7,500 gifts respectively to fund music technology grants.

 

In addition, this partnership has been taken on the road as part of an eight-stop music festival (including Stagecoach, Country 500, Firefly, Radio Fest, Lollapalooza, Los Dells, Life is Beautiful, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience). Each location will have a photo booth with a 3D design by artist ThankYouX. Here, musicians and fans can take part in the campaign, which focuses on the question, “what does music mean to you.” With a small white board and the prompt “Music means ____,” many have spoken about the connections, self-expression, and self-discovery they have gained through the art.

 

The end of the campaign will be celebrated with a performance at one of the recipient schools. Past ones have featured Imagine Dragons and Sir the Baptist. When Sir the Baptist performed at a school assembly at John Spry Community Elementary School in 2016, he was joined on stage by thirty students from the three Chicago public schools receiving grants.

 

Toyota understands the value of music in public schools and its power to help students “realize their full potential.” By partnering with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Toyota is helping create vibrant communities that offer the very same connections and self-expression that music has brought to so many lives.

 

Original press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/toyota-and-vh1-save-the-music-foundation-partner-on-eight-festival-activation-to-benefit-music-education-programs-in-public-schools-300635583.html

 

Photo: Toyota and VH1 Save The Music Foundation Partner on Festival Activation to Benefit Music Education Programs In Public Schools. From press release.

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KeyBank Donates $10 million to Rock & Roll Hall

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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KeyBank Donates $10 million to Rock & Roll Hall

At the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, CEO Greg Harris had something to announce that was just as exciting as the rock icons they were honoring. He shared that KeyBank Foundation had commit $10 million to the Hall of Fame.  

 

KeyBank has been a supporter since the first days of the Rock Hall, providing sponsorship for various events, concerts, and festivals. Aside from the Rock Hall, they have consistently supported cultural institutions, including the Cleveland Orchestra, PlayHouse Square, Broadway Series, Cleveland Museum of Art, and many more.

 

Beth Mooney, KeyBank CEO said, "At KeyBank, we have made it our mission to create thriving communities and we believe that access to arts and culture is core to that mission. Through this unprecedented gift, we will work to provide greater accessibility for the community and preserve this national icon and regional treasure for future generations."

 

KeyBank’s partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame demonstrates the tremendous power that the arts can have on a community, and the incredible impact that a company can have on creating vibrant spaces.

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Arts Deliver Prime Cities for Amazon Headquarters

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Arts Deliver Prime Cities for Amazon Headquarters

 

The arts can play a remarkable role in the vibrancy of a community and in the strength of the economy. It’s no surprise, then, that Amazon thinks the same thing.

 

In their search for a new headquarters that spanned 238 cities, all of the finalists have strong cultural sectors. As noted in Sebastian Smee’s Washington Post article, many future employees will be relocating their families to the chosen city. What better way to entice them than a strong arts and culture scene? Each of the 24 finalists boasts art museums, sculpture centers, or close proximity to metropolitan centers that are abundant in cultural institutions.

 

Smee breaks it down:

-          Toronto: The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum

-          Dallas: The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center; Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, and the Kimball Art Center

-          Austin: Blanton Museum of Art

-          Nashville: Parthenon and the Frist Center for Visual Arts

-          Northern Virginia: all of the museums and institutions in DC

-          Montgomery County: likewise, DC

-          Newark: Newark Museum, Liberty Science Center, the offerings of NYC

-          Columbus: The Wexner Center for the Arts and the Columbus Museum of Art

-          Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Musem

-          Indianapolis: Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)

-          Atlanta: the High Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art

-          Denver: Denver Art Musem, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

-          Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art and Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art

-          Miami: Art Basel and the Perez Art Museum Miami

-          Chicago: The Art Institute and MCA Chicago

-          Boston: Museum of Fine Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and ICA Boston

-          Los Angeles: The Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

-          Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art and ICA Philadelphia

 

Amazon’s search is proof enough that the cities in which companies want to invest are also cities with thriving arts scenes. Imagine the possibilities if more businesses partnered with the arts.

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eMoney using Art to Connect to New Community

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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eMoney using Art to Connect to New Community

eMoney Advisor, a wealth management solutions provider, recently opened their third location in Providence, RI in 2017. In order to connect with the new employees and the new community, the firm has turned to art.

 

“Since eMoney is fairly new to Providence, it’s been really important for us to connect with the community,” said Tessa Raum, Head of People Experience, at eMoney. “Most of our office is comprised of talented Rhode Islanders who are proud to live, work and give back to their communities. Displaying the incredible work of local artists in our office was an easy way for us to further integrate Providence’s culture within the eMoney environment.”

 

Two weeks ago, the company announced its partnership with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA). RISCA presented works by local artists who were named fellows by their annual grant program. Employeees from eMoney were then given the opportunity to review and vote for their favorite pieces. The top choices now reside in the eMoney office at 100 Westminster Street.

 

If you happen to walk through the office, you may see works by Jodie Goodnough, or Johnny Adimando, Kathy Jodge. “It was great to be included in the process of choosing the art and then see it hung in our office,” said Gary Jutras, a senior software engineer at eMoney. “We all have our favorites, and the variety makes the office really feel like our own space.”

 

RISCA plans to continue involving the employees with the arts with lunch-and-learns with the artists.

 

New release: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180419006244/en/eMoney-Advisor-Partners-Rhode-Island-State-Council

Photo: BusinessWire

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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

On April 11, Skechers unveiled new murals on the side of it’s flagship store in Manhattan Beach. It is exciting to see the sneaker company engage with public art through thie project. The murals were designed by Rachel Rodi, and completed by a team of 14.

 

On the side of the building, a sting ray, a shark, and an octopus swim in an homage to the Roundhouse Aquarium, while the other depicts Manhattan Beach Pier at sunset.  

 

CEO Michael Greenberg spoke about the gift of public art, standing alongside the Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission, the artwork was a condition of Skechers renovating the store. Howorth and Rodi both had front spots as Greenberg cut the ribbon to officially open the newly remodeled store.

 

 

Photo by Kevin Cody, easyreadernews.com

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Pretzels, Art, and the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Pretzels, Art, and the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

It may seem like pretzels, art, and the fight against childhood cancer may not be closely related, but thanks to Auntie Anne's, all three will come together for a national holiday. While April 26 marks one the most exciting days of the year for pretzel-lovers around the country, this business is using National Pretzel Day to promote artists and help children and families.

 

In honor of the holiday, Auntie Anne’s—one of the largest soft pretzel chains—is teaming up with artists to create custom designs for apparel and accessories and donating proceeds from the items to their charitable partner Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

 

The special line of products, “For the Love of Pretzels,” is available for purchase on Threadless, an e-store platform for creatives. Shirts, waterbotles, mugs, and even shoes were created by Huebucket, Rick Crane, Daniel Allen Stevens, Luis Romero, and Shawnimals. A hand-painted “Auntie Pack” (fanny pack) by Mike Perry Studio is also up for grabs on social media.

 

Profits from the collection are going to ALSF, whose “misssion is to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.”

 

Photo: PRNewsfoto

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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

When the BCA honored Tom James in 2009 with the Leadership Award, he already had quite an impressive resume of sustained arts support between the Salvador Dali Museum, the American Stage Theatre Company, and the Tom and Mary James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection. The majority of the latter were displayed in the corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, earning the workplace awards for having a creative environment.

 

James once said of headquarters, “office space is the next best thing to a museum because we have a high traffic area with about a million square feet here.” Now, these works have made their way to the best thing – The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

 

What was once an annual art show entitled “The Wildlife & Western Visions” hosted at the headquarters has developed into its own museum. Housed in a building with an exterior inspired by the American Southwest and an interior by cubism, the museum has over 400 pieces on display. Many of these works are by living artists, from whom Tom and Mary have made a conscious effort to buy. The museum features six exhibits: Early West, Native Life, Native Artists, Frontier, Wildlife, and New West spread throughout 84,000 square feet.

 

The grand opening celebration weekend will be April 28th and 29th.

 

Photo: Tom and Mary James at the BCA 10 Gala in 2009

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