News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

2011 BCA Awardee, Aetna, Promotes Creativity in the Workforce

Posted by Mariama Holman
0 Comments
2011 BCA Awardee, Aetna, Promotes Creativity in the Workforce

From music to dance, fine arts to performing arts, Aetna believes that the Arts can enhance one’s personal wellbeing, revitalize a community and create a world that bridges cultures and differences.

 

The company sees creativity in the workplace as essential to problem-solving and innovation, citing research from Psychology Today that indicates that creativity is the number one strategic priority for organizations and the world, at large.

 

Floyd W. Green III, Vice President and head of Community Relations and Marketing at Aetna says that, “Supporting the arts and people with an artistic background and passion aligns with Aetna’s goal of creating a talented, diverse workforce that can help this company thrive in the future. We are consistently striving to create unique new ideas that can help our business. At the core, art and innovation are incredibly similar and connected. In order to be a leader, we need to think creatively.”

 

For this reason, Aetna partnered with the Greater Hartford Arts Council to foster teamwork and creativity within employees by giving their workers a chance to create a work of art. The program, called Work of Art, gave Aetna employees a chance to work together on a painting that was assembled from small canvasses into one large painting, which would be displayed at the company’s headquarters.

 

Local artist, Nina Salazar worked alongside the Arts Council to help facilitate the project for employees – engaging workers to be creative and discover their artistic side.

 

Employees at first were excited, but hesitant, given they did not see themselves as artists, however by the end of the project, workers were inspired by their collective work and creative potential, becoming completely engrossed in the activity.

The work Aetna does with its employees is mirrored within the community. Aetna focuses on initiatives that explore the spirit of hope, health and diversity through the arts.

 

Historically headquartered in Hartford, CT, Aetna has directed more than 70 percent of its arts funding toward Connecticut cultural institutions, supporting 257 programs, events, and activities. Aetna is one of the founding funders of the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC), having been a leader and core supporter since GHAC was established in 1971. Since 2006, Aetna has contributed more than $4.9 million to arts programs nationwide, sponsoring dozens of major exhibitions and performances.

 

Aetna also lends significant leadership to arts organizations’ programming and fundraising efforts. It was among the first to host a workplace giving campaign in 1995 and to enter the "$100,000 Club,” a special designation given to companies whose employees raise more than $100,000 a year for the Arts. Aetna’s workplace giving has raised $1,220,156. As for volunteer work, Aetna employees have logged more than 2.3 million volunteer hours since 2003.

 

Aetna is also a recipient of the 2016 BCA 10 Hall of Fame Award.

 

Photo: A message on the Apollo Theater’s marquee, thanking Aetna for sponsoring Apollo Theater’s Family Day. Image sourced from Aetna.

Related

Corporate Diversity ARTSBlog Series

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments

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.

Related

VIDEO: Business Leaders Discuss Arts Partnerships

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments

 

Every year, Americans for the Arts, through its Business Committee for the Arts program and BCA 10 Award, recognizes 10 businesses of all sizes for their exceptional involvement with the arts that enriches the workplace and the community. These companies set the standard for excellence and serve as role models for others to follow. 

 

In this video, hear from business leaders on why the arts matter, how the arts have brought value to their communities, and why these businesses partner with the arts. This video supports the powerful message about how the art changes lives, helps people go beyond work to leave a legacy, and helps create traditions and new ways of achieving purpose.

 

The following BCA 10 winners are represented in the video via speakers and/or pARTnership projects:

 

Aetna

Austin Energy

Auto Zone

Badger Meter

CopperPoint Insurance Companies

Corning

Dealer.com

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Duke Energy

Dunlap Codding

Jorge Perez/The Related Group

M Powered Strategies

NV Energy

Prospective

US BANK

 

More information on the BCA 10 here.

Related

Aetna Inc.’s Glowing Remarks at the 2016 BCA Gala: A Healthy Outlook on the Arts from a Health Care Leader

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments

On October 5, 2016, Aetna Inc., leading health care company, received the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame award.  Aetna’s Vice President of Community Relations and Urban Marketing, Floyd Green, accepted the award on the company’s behalf at the BCA 10 gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.

 

Floyd’s dynamic speech (video below) attributed the arts to so many necessaries of how we “live, work, and play”.  Touching on areas connected to mindfulness and creativity, Floyd acknowledged the artistic weave that arises in work, development, and production to spark innovation. 

 

As a 2011 BCA 10 honoree, it was very fitting that Floyd welcomed the other honorees in the room to the “family”. Watch Floyd Green’s acceptance speech below, and learn about how you can nominate a business that partners with the arts for the 2017 BCA 10. If you are a business leader or community leader who wants to share or learn more about partnerships that benefit both the business and arts community, please contact us.  We want to hear from you.

 

Related

Celebrating Businesses That Partner with the Arts at the BCA 10 Gala

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments
Celebrating Businesses That Partner with the Arts at the BCA 10 Gala

On October 5th, business and arts leaders gathered at the iconic Central Park Boathouse in New York City to honor the best businesses partnering with the arts in America at the annual BCA 10 Awards. Now in its 12th year, this black-tie gala presented by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts brought an evening of stories and musical performances that showcased the great gain in the business and arts communities coming together. 

 

The companies recognized this year join an illustrious list of honorees who are transforming their businesses and their communities by partnering with the arts to foster innovation, engage employees, and contribute to the health and quality of local life. This year’s BCA 10 honorees are:

Austin Energy

Badger Meter

CopperPoint Insurance Companies

Dealer.com

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dunlap Codding

Johnson & Johnson

M Powered Strategies, Inc.

Northern Trust

Procter & Gamble

 

Aetna, Inc. was named this year’s BCA Hall of Fame recipient and Robert Buchsbaum, CEO of Blick Art Materials, was named 2016 BCA Leadership Award recipient.

 

The night kicked off with a cocktail hour for attendees overlooking the Central Park Lake, and was followed by award presentations, dinner, and musical performances. Each BCA honoree was presented with an original inscribed piece of glass from the artists at Rosetree Glass. Broadway star and 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Actress, Alice Ripley, performed stirring songs from her career. Pianist Julius Rodriguez, jazz piano student at the Juilliard School of Music, gave an enchanting solo performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice Ripley performs at the BCA 10 with Jessica Means on the piano. 

Photo by Rana Faure.

 

Austin Energy, Badger Meter, and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery appreciate that the arts can help engage both employees and communities. Austin Energy collaborated with Forklift Danceworks to develop an evening-length performance for the city that featured the utility company’s linemen, technicians, and employees. Badger Meter also incorporated employees in an innovative community outreach program that became a concert written and performed by the employees. And Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s community engagement department appropriately named “Beer and Benevolence” has longtime dedicated support to the local arts and culture scene. Read more about the arts engaging employees.

 

Dealer.com, Dunlap Codding, and M Powered Strategies, Inc. boost and emphasize vibrant communities and accessibility. Dealer.com commissioned eight large-scale art pieces around Burlington which are the largest public art canvasses in the state of Vermont. Dunlap Codding has a large indoor/outdoor gathering place that encourages artistic expression and has hosted and facilitated more than 150 arts programs free of charge. And, M Powered Strategies, Inc. proudly supports hearing-impaired device maintenance and American Sign Language interpreted performances to their partner Shakespeare Theatre Company. Learn more about how the arts can contribute to a vibrant quality of life and cultural scene.

 

CopperPoint Insurance Companies encourage innovative thinking by encouraging employees to join Boards and other leadership roles in local arts and culture institutions.  Both Northern Trust and Procter & Gamble show their appreciation to their employees through opportunities to express and perform with company choirs and singing competitions. Read more about the value of using the arts to “Say Thanks”.

 

Aetna, Inc.’s outstanding support of the arts is far reaching with national impact throughout Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, and Michigan, and Robert Buchsbaum’s brings his style of smart, unconventional, and forward-thinking servitude and leadership across the country as CEO of Blick Art Materials.

 

 

2016 BCA Leadership Award winner Robert Buchsbaum (left) and Edgar Smith (right), BCA Executive Board Chairman and CEO of World Pac Paper. 

Photo credit: Rana Faure

 

Floyd Green, Vice President of Community Relations and Urban Marketing at Aetna, gives acceptance speech for Aetna Inc.’s 2016 BCA Hall of Fame Award.

Photo credit: Rana Faure

 

We are thankful to our sponsors, event attendees, performers, presenters, and nominators for contributing to such a successful night celebrating businesses that partner with the arts.

 

Do you know of a business that deserves to be recognized for its partnerships with the arts? Nominations for the BCA 10 Awards open November 7th. We look forward to learning about the creative arts and business partnerships in your community!

 

View the BCA 10 program book to learn more about this year’s best businesses partnering with the arts.

 

Top Photo: (Left to Right ) John Haworth, Director, George Gustav Heye Center (National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution), Board Member, Arts & Business Council of New York. Bob Lynch, President andCEO of Americans for the Arts. Edgar Smith, Chairman and CEO, World Pac Paper, BCA Executive Board Chairman, AFTA Board Member. Alecia Kintner, President & CEO, ArtsWave, Chair, Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council

 

Photo credit: Rana Faure

Related

Announcing the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame Award and BCA Leadership Award Honorees

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments

Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce the BCA Hall of Fame and BCA Leadership Award honorees for 2016.  The awards are presented annually by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts.

 

Aetna, Inc., health care company, will receive the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame Award, which recognizes companies that have exhibited exceptional long-term vision, leadership, and commitment to developing alliances in the arts. Aetna, Inc. was a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts honoree in 2011.

 

 Robert Buchsbaum, Chief Executive of Blick Art Materials , will receive the 2016 BCA Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual for his/her extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow in his/her lead.

 

The honorees will receive their awards at the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America gala on October 5, 2016, a black-tie affair at the Loeb Boathouse in New York City’s Central Park.

Related

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.