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Announcing the 2017 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Announcing the 2017 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America

Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees for 2017.

 

Presented every year by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, the BCA 10 awards honor 10 U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.

 

The BCA 10 Awards will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 11, 2017, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City. The 2017 honorees are:

 

21c Museum Hotels (Louisville, KY)

Cardinal Health (Dublin, OH)

Guitar Center (Westlake Village, CA)

Halekulani (Honolulu, HI)

Houston Methodist (Houston, TX)

Humana Inc. (Louisville, KY)

Kaiser Permanente Colorado (Denver, CO)

Lincoln Financial Group (Radnor, PA)

Magic Hat Brewing Company (South Burlington, VT)

The Betsy Hotel (Miami Beach, FL)

 

"We are grateful to honor these businesses and individuals for their exceptional involvement in ensuring that the arts thrive in their communities," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "They provide the arts with significant financial and in-kind support, and they incorporate meaningful arts-related programs into their employee, customer, and community relations activities – truly setting a standard for other businesses to follow."  

 

 For information regarding BCA 10, please contact Jessica Gaines, Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator, at (202) 371-2830 or via e-mail at jgaines@artsusa.org.

 

Event sponsorship and program book advertising opportunities are available.

 

 

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at AmericansForTheArts.org.

 

Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) was founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller. A division of Americans for the Arts, the BCA encourages, inspires, and stimulates businesses to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. BCA merged with Americans for the Arts in 2008.

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#ArtsandBiz Practitioners Speak!

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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With voices representing many industries, these three business sector leaders echo the key messages in the pARTnership Movement’s 8 Reasons to Partner with the Arts.

 

1. Google

“Art for art’s sake and art for technology’s sake. We want to empower STEM and art work with students.”

 

Eric Schmidt

Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet

and former CEO of Google

 

 

At the unveiling of a new Google Data Center mural in Council Bluffs, IA, Google announced a partnership between Google and the Council Bluffs Community School District on a virtual technology art program.

 

With these data center murals and pARTnerships, Google is showing they care about the company’s impact in the community, beyond the business technology, but also in a way that boosts the community’s quality of life.

 

 

2. Viacom

Does Art at Viacom affect the creative productivity of staffers?


“It’s inspirational. Art inspires from the 

outside in. We want to keep the installations alive even after they’ve come down, so we’ve created a poster and postcard series for people to put their favorites on display in their workspace.”

 

Art at Viacom Project leaders Susan Claxton and Cheryl Family

 

 

 

 

 

Viacom, already known for multifaceted creativity, has their Viacom Lab, a state-of-the art endeavor that utilizes virtual reality, GIFs, live streaming and immersive experiences to up engagement and the fan experience. Their Art at Viacom project has made a name for itself by redefining the aesthetics of the workplace.

 

Viacom is doing something that is always proof-positive: emphasizing creative activities and including them back into the actual work culture.

 

 

3. Accenture Strategy

 

“We were turning words into notes and notes into the symphony. [We wanted to] evoke the emotion that a lot of the work we do with clients [brings] an emotional connection.”

 

Mark Knickrehm

Group Chief Executive at Accenture Strategy

 

 

Accenture Strategy created "Symphonologie: the Music of Business", a symphonic experience, to combine human insight and artificial intelligence. The work debuted inside the Louvre Pyramid where it was performed by a 50-piece orchestra and relays a musical message about technology and business. This isn’t a surprise as Accenture Strategy is known for combining deep business insight with the understanding of how technology will impact industry and business models.

 

By using the arts to translate their business message Accenture Strategy is showing how arts, technology, and strategy can unlock a new point of view.

 

 

Photos: Google Data Center Mural in Council Bluffs, Art at Viacom Tumblr, Accenture Strategy

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You Can’t Spell Earth Day without ART!

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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You Can’t Spell Earth Day without ART!

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22nd - as mentioned in the pARTnership Movement essay “Advancing Corporate Objectives and Strategies”, Subaru has taken to encouraging use of the arts to reiterate their corporate message.

 

Car manufacturer, Subaru, is a “zero landfill” company, meaning it sends none of its waste to landfills. In fact, the Subaru plant recycles 99.99% of its waste and considers its expertise in the area the art of reduce, reuse, and recycle! In 2015, Subaru decided to bring their expertise and zero landfill concept to the parks to reduce national waste with Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) apart of the pilot program.

 

Subaru has several techniques to prepare its waste for reuse or recycling, such as separating food waste for composting and sending the dust produced from weld slag to a recycling facility where copper and other metals are reclaimed. Over the years, Subaru has shared its zero landfill techniques with hundreds of businesses, schools and organizations to benchmark their own zero landfill goals.

 

In a recent collaboration with GTNP, Subaru presented an eco-centered arts challenge to FabLab students from Jackson Hole High School. (FabLab is shorthand for digital fabrication lab, an elective program that teaches students how to envision, design, and make innovative projects.) These students were invited to design concepts – fun, innovative, practicable, scalable.

 

Over a school year’s time, including observation of the recycling center and the park, the students developed concepts which they presented to a panel of Subaru and GTNP leadership. The panel selected two projects that will eventually be installed at GTNP – a recycling bin in the shape of a mountain range that uses clear imagery to aid visitors in self-sorting and “STREAM”, a large art installation that shows the amount of plastic bottle waste in a single day in the park.

 

This pARTnership not only helps the students imagine themselves as designers but, in keeping with Subaru’s eco-friendly messaging, helps remind the park’s visitors about their impact on the environment.

 

 

Photo: Models of the STREAM project conceived by Jackson Hole High School students.

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Arts and Business Leadership with Deborah Jordy

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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For their Thought Leader” segment, Denver Business Journal sat down with Deborah Jordy, video above.

 

Why Jordy?

 

Jordy has spent decades nurturing Denver’s cultural assets as Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) and recently became Executive Director of Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SFCD). SCFD is a special regional tax district of the State of Colorado that provides funding for art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history, or cultural history organizations in the Denver Metropolitan Area.

 

Thanks to SCFD’s annual tiered funding of arts nonprofits — including Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Zoo and Denver Art Museum — the arts now generate $1.85 billion annually in economic activity, support 10,205 jobs and spur $520 million in tourism, according to data from the CBCA, responsible for advancing Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts.

 

SCFD board chairman Dan Hopkins explains, “Voters overwhelmingly renewed SCFD for another 12 years and Jordy’s leadership will assure their trust in the District is well placed. As we look to further expand access and inclusiveness, Deborah has the relationships and knowledge to make these goals the new reality.” (To learn more about the voting of the ballot measure that has extended the 0.1 sales tax to fund arts and culture institutions, go here.)

 

In addition to Jordy’s leadership in Colorado, her national level arts and business leadership has spanned to Americans for the Arts where she has chaired the Private Sector Council and is currently on the Board of Directors.

 

Video: Kathleen Lavine/Denver Business Journal

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April 15 - World Art Day collaboration with Sprinkles Cupcakes and Americans for the Arts

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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One dollar from each Art Cupcake sold will be donated to Americans for the Arts!

www.sprinkles.com/order 

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And the Minority Business Leader Award Goes To…

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Washington Business Journal recently celebrated their 10th Annual Minority Business Leader Awards. The awards celebrate the region's top minority business owners and executives, and honors the entrepreneurial drive, creativity and success of the honorees.

 

What may stand out is that of the 25 business leaders receiving the honor, one award went to the president of a dance, step, and performance company. C. Brian Williams, Founder and President of Step Afrika, a performance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping by blending percussive dance styles from African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance, and influences from other forms, joined the list of this year’s honorees.

 

With Williams’ company spanning over two decades, his advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on building out the concept before venturing into branding and marketing.

 

In the video, hear from Williams, sharing how he used his leadership and love of the arts to not only bring cultures together but also place culture in the foreground (much like this pARTnership essay).

 

You can read his full winner profile here.

 

Photo: Washington Business Journal

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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

Posted by Emma Osore
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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

The QCA ArtHotel Residency, is a new program of Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with The Paper Factory Hotel and the Z NYC Hotel. These Queens-based hotels are committed to arts and culture in the community and their brand identities are rooted in the arts. The Paper Factory’s eclectic decor and artistic ambiance are enriched by modern industrial accents reminiscent of this building’s past- a paper factory in 1970s, converted into a hotel in 2010s. The Z NYC Hotel is steps from the Queensboro Bridge, and features a sleek, Jazz Age theme combined with modernist industrial chic.

 

QCA ArtHotel artist residency program offers two Queens-based artists, a $3,000 stipend each, for a 3-month period of time to work outside of their traditional environment and daily life. While the artists do not live on site, the residency spaces are a place where artists retreat to create their work and have an opportunity to focus inwardly and share her/his process with the public.

 

The QCA ArtHotel residency is intended to give artists a safe place to focus on their work in the public realm, build different audiences, and be seen making work within the Queens community. In turn, this gives the public access to a working artist’s process. This residency is also intended to build the value of local working artists in an attempt to revise the narrative of displacement due to gentrification and development borough-wide.

 

For their inaugural year, visual artists Erin Treacy and Jennifer Williams were chosen from a pool of applicants based upon criteria that included artistic excellence, a public engagement experience and a clear proposal of art activity to happen during the residency. 

 

Jennifer Williams, who will be in residence at Z Hotel says, “what excited me about the ArtHotel residency was the chance to immerse myself in a neighborhood amidst radical change and transform the blank slate of a hotel room into localized experience describing the neighborhood's current state of flux.”

 

Erin Treacy of Sunnyside, Queens notes, "working in the studio is usually a solo pursuit for me. I am excited to be a resident at the Paper Factory Hotel, allowing for me to open up the studio process and discussion with a larger community. It is a great open and sunny space that will surely contribute to my palette and allow for me to expand the scale of my work!"

 

Artists like Jennifer and Erin are creative and valuable community members who are often experts at creative problem solving and encouraging neighbors to interact, in addition to being specialists who make works of art. The public and guests of the partnering hotels will be invited into the artist’s hotel room studios to experience the creative process at various times during the residency. The Queens Council on the Arts provides updates for ongoing activities as each of these participating hotels for the duration of the 3-month residency.

 

Photo: Queens Council on the Arts

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Teamwork Is What Separates the Good From Great Companies

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Teamwork Is What Separates the Good From Great Companies

*As a team and workplace specialist, I believe teams are at the heart of every successful organization. If you think about today’s workplace, everyone is working in some form of a team whether it’s a team of two or twenty. It could be a sales team, global team, admin team, engineering team, leadership team or project team. The bottom line is that an organization thrives when teamwork is at its best.

There are plenty of books on the topic about what makes a high performing team or how to get the most of team members. This isn’t rocket science and yet, many companies struggle with how to work collaboratively and effectively together. How often have you heard people talk about being part of a team but not “feeling” like a team?

 

Over the past twenty years working with thousands of diverse teams across various industries, led me to conclude that the best teamwork is a group of people working together for the greater good of the team – meaning, that each person is willing to forgo their own ego, and make decisions that are truly in the best interest of the team vs their own best interest. This requires a heightened awareness of self and others. Furthermore, the most successful teams – think Olympic teams, like the women’s soccer team or the World Series Baseball team, each player shows up playing at their absolute best, energized, engaged and fully committed to the team goal. To anchor this thought further, Phil Jackson, considered one of the greatest coaches in NBA history said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” That’s a powerful statement if you stop and think about what it means. When each person shows up using their strengths, are energized and genuinely collaborating as a team, they are naturally more productive, engaged and performing at their best. Conversely, when one person doesn’t show up and perform or is unwilling to put their own interests aside for the greater good, it negatively impacts the rest of the team. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another, and in fact, we’ve all been the person who isn’t performing. No one person can make the entire team great or successful over the long term, it’s the combined expertise and efforts of every team member that enables a team and company to thrive.

 

Jessica Gaines, Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator, Americans for the Arts, shared a great example of a company who takes teamwork to a whole other level. ShoreTel, a Sunnyvale, CA-based global telecommunications vendor, organized and hosted a Battle of the Bands for its employees. They put together the bands that competed, funded music lessons to ensure they were prepared to perform, and even provided music rooms where employees could rock out at the office. Needless to say, it was a huge hit, pun intended, and cleverly integrated a form of art into the teambuilding activity. That’s thinking way outside the box.

 

If you don’t want to go that far out of the box, then at the very least, be sure your team has a clear mission and goals that each team member buys into so that they have a vested interest in the overall success of the team. Also, inject some fun activities along the way to provide opportunities for team members to build trust and stronger working relationships which makes it easier to solve future challenges.

 

Effective teamwork is good for business. Stronger relationships between team members, greater job satisfaction, energized employees and a more engaged workforce are just a few of the benefits. The accumulation of good talent is what produces great team results. When team members meet their goals, everyone wins. I’ve seen this first-hand, when team members are having fun, more aware, leverage their strengths, and are laser-focused on team results, they ultimately create a continuous positive impact. This leads to a culture of high performance, greater well-being and happy customers inside and outside the organization.

 

Companies who value teamwork understand that their organizational success is tied to how well their team members work collaboratively to achieve the overall goals. Producing excellent results and delivering value to your customers is what energizes your company culture. So, what can you do to invigorate your team?

 

*This article, written by Michelle Burke, originally appeared on Huffington Post . Link to the original article is here and appears with permission from the author.

 

Read the full story about the ShoreTel Battle of the Bands in the essay “Embrace Diversity & Team Building”.

 

Photo: Gallup’s data show teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity.” - How Employees’ Strengths Make Your Company Stronger, Feb 2014 by Susan Sorenson

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Corporate Diversity ARTSBlog Series

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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In this series from Americans for the Arts, four ARTSBlogs approach equity, diversity, and inclusion, with the arts as a contributor towards resolution. Below are excerpts from the ARTSBlogs. Click on each title to be taken to the full blog.

 

1. “Diversity + Inclusion = A Winning Strategy” by Floyd Green

 

We [Aetna] value art so highly because it brings a different perspective to traditional “training.” It helps to connect our employees to ideas in a creative and organic way. Not everyone responds and processes training in the same way. In order for everyone to get to the finish line, we have to meet people where they are. The arts allow this to happen, and will take them on the journey to where they want to be. The more we use the arts, the more we’ll reach innovation and imagination; the more people are able to come together without fear, be safe and comfortable, and express how they’re feeling.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Floyd W. Green, III is Vice President and head of Community Relations and Urban Marketing for Aetna, Inc. and is also on the Board of Directors for Americans for the Arts.

***

 

2. “A Win-Win Culture: How Inclusivity Drives Innovation in the Business World” by Elizabeth Thys and Yazmany Arboleda

 

“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

 

This blog highlights the idea that cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture is a win-win for companies and shows three ways that diversity and inclusion drive innovation:

 
  1. Employee Resource Groups: Based on the company’s internal LGTB Employee Resource Groups, Clorox’s Burt’s Bees® launched its first LGTB-targeted product. Miriam Lewis, Principal Consultant, HR, noted that “inclusion equals innovation.”
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Diverse Employee Perspectives

 

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Elizabeth Thys is CEO and co-founder of limeSHIFT and Yazmany Arboleda is a New York-based public artist who lectures internationally on the power of art in public space.

***

 

3. “Am I What You’re Looking For?” by Catherine Heitz New

 

In 2016, we were inspired by an innovative collaboration between Wells Fargo and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). As part of their 12x12 series, SECCA featured an exhibition of works by photographer Endia Beal entitled Am I What You’re Looking For?, which portrays young, black women as they contemplate their identities in the often-competing contexts of self and career. Endia Beal is a North Carolina-based artist, educator, and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of minority women working within the corporate space.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Catherine Heitz New is Chief Advancement Officer and Deputy Director of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

***

 

4. “Driving Diversity Through Board Service” by Alexandra Hallock

 

In what ways does your organization wish to deepen board diversity?

 

That was one of the critical questions we asked while ramping up for the most recent round of BoardLead. BoardLead is the primary program of Cause Strategy Partners, LLC that strengthens social good organizations by recruiting, placing, training and supporting talented professionals from top companies for high-impact board service. Through a partnership with The New York Community Trust, BoardLead Arts NYC was created to help small to medium sized nonprofit arts organizations elevate, diversify, and transform board leadership. Goldman Sachs, Google, and MasterCard partnered with BoardLead to make board placement opportunities available to high potential and diverse employees.

Full ARTSBlog here.

 

Alexandra Hallock is a Consultant of Cause Strategy Partners, a purpose-driven social enterprise that believes in harnessing the power of business for social good.

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Emphasizing Inclusion with the Arts

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Emphasizing Inclusion with the Arts

The pARTnership Movement essay “Embrace Diversity & Team Building” brings to light how the arts can assist in enhancing a company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. BCA 10 winner U.S. Bank shows how to be a leader in this area.

 

In celebration of and support for the LGBT community and to highlight the bank’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the company held the LGBT Debit Card Art Contest where they asked artists to submit art in any medium that celebrated the LGBT community. The contest would allow three finalists with the winner receiving $7,500 and that design becoming one of U.S. Bank’s permanent card designs. The runner-up received $5,000 and the third-prize winner received $2,500.

 

Ann Dyste, assistant vice president and LGBT strategy manager at U.S. Bank says, "We believe the three winning designs all honored equality, progress and unity, and we wanted to leave the final decision up to the public, so their voices could be heard."

 

After 400 design submissions, the public selected Olivia Ogba, ER medical transcriptionist preparing for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), as the winner with the card design shown above. Ogba’s design is connected to the June 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage was legal nationwide. The digital painting is purposefully patriotic, featuring rainbow colors shooting from sparklers on the Fourth of July. "That's what America stands for – the ability for everyone to go after the American dream without any sort of discrimination," Ogba said.

 

As the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States, U.S. Bank has made strong commitments to increase outreach to the LGBT community. This national art competition helps reiterate their corporate message of inclusion along with sponsoring Pride festivities and LGBT organizations across the country, making the bank a “Best Place to Work for LBGT Equality” for 10 years in a row.

 

“We want employees and prospective hires to know that U.S. Bank is an open and inclusive workplace where all are welcome," said Eduardo Sayan, U.S. Bank vice president and director of multicultural strategy. 

 

Learn more about the finalists and the card art competition here.

 

Photo: U.S. Bank

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