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Americans for the Arts Releases Seventh pARTnership Movement Essay: Embrace Diversity & Team Building

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Americans for the Arts is proud to announce the seventh installment in the pARTnership movement essay titled Embrace Diversity & Team Building.

 

Each essay in the series, started in June 2015, illustrates one of The pARTnership Movement’s 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts, and has been a key tool in motivating and guiding sustainable, symbiotic partnerships between businesses and the arts. This essay focuses on how you can use the arts to embrace diversity and team building with employees. The essay features case studies from Travelers in Minneapolis and ShoreTel in Sunnyvale, CA.

 

To view and download our Embrace Diversity & Team Building essay and the rest of The pARTnership Movement’s essays, visit www.partnershipmovement.org.

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Americans for the Arts Releases Sixth pARTnership Movement Essay: Saying Thanks

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Americans for the Arts is proud to announce the sixth installment in The pARTnership Movement essay series: Say Thanks. The new release contains hard data, two notable case studies, and many reasons why the arts are a great way to show appreciation for your employees. The facts and figures are clear: the perfect way to inspire your employees is by providing access to arts experiences that show your appreciation for their contributions.

 

Each essay in the series, started in June 2015, illustrates one of The pARTnership Movement’s 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts, and has been a key tool in motivating and guiding sustainable, symbiotic partnerships between businesses and the arts. With advocacy points, quantifiable support, and guiding practices, the essay series is a great step forward in creating or developing a successful partnership which engages employees, enhances brands, and builds vibrant communities.

 

To view and download our Say Thanks essay and the rest of The pARTnership Movement’s essays and new items, visit http://www.partnershipmovement.org/

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Announcing the 2016 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America

Posted by Jordan Shue
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Announcing the 2016 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 2016.

 

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 5, 2016, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City. The 2016 honorees are:

 

Austin Energy (Austin, TX)
Badger Meter (Milwaukee, WI)
CopperPoint Insurance Companies (Phoenix, AZ)
Dealer.com (Burlington, VT)
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE)
Dunlap Codding (Oklahoma City, OK)
Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ)
M Powered Strategies, Inc. (Washington, DC)
Northern Trust (Chicago, IL)
Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati, OH)

 

This year saw first-time awards for businesses representing the states of Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, and Vermont.

 

"We are grateful to honor these 10 businesses 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. "These businesses 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. They enrich the lives of millions of Americans and truly set a standard for other businesses to follow."

 

For information regarding the BCA 10 including sponsorship and tickets, please contact Emily Peck, Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives at 202-371-2830 or via e-mail at epeck@artsusa.org.

 

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 50 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.

 

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

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Why should your business support the arts? Because your employees support the arts!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Americans for the Arts has released an in-depth study of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts, which reveals that working Americans support arts education and favor government funding for the arts. 48 percent of the survey respondents were employed full time when taking the survey.

 

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in December 2015, polled 3,020 adults online on topics such as support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that comes from engaging in the arts, and if/how those benefits extend more broadly to the community. The study is being released in phases with another section coming in spring 2016.

 

Key findings include: 

 

 

  • The survey demonstrates that the public wants more government funding for the arts, and they are more likely to favor than to penalize candidates at the ballot box for providing it. A blog discussing these findings in detail is available on Americans for the Arts’ website.

 

  • Americans are especially likely to favor funding programs that beautify blighted or abandoned areas, create programs for the elderly, and promote pro-social behavior with at-risk youth (68 percent each); aid returning military personnel (69 percent) and provide art in public spaces (71 percent). Funding for programs seeking to create religious art in public spaces is seen as least favorable, though still supported 41 percent. Learn about Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network and our work with arts and health in the military.

 

  • One in five would be willing to pay more taxes (17 percent) in order to see arts funding increase, while similar proportions think the government should cut from other areas of the budget in order to fund the arts more (18 percent). Another 19 percent would like to pay less taxes, but still cut from other areas of the budget to maintain arts funding.

 

Learn more about this study and find other relevant research.

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Mary Phan Wins Scholarship Integrating the Arts and Economics

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Mary Phan Wins Scholarship Integrating the Arts and Economics

The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and Americans for the Arts jointly announced today that Mary Anne Phan has won the eighth annual NABE Foundation/Americans for the Arts Scholarship Award. Phan was presented with the scholarship on March 8 at the 2016 NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

 

Phan will receive the $5,000 scholarship to further the integration of the arts into the study and application of economics in her undergraduate career and professional development. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Art History at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

“As an economics and art history double major, I am interested in the force of the art market on the economy and conversely, in economic motivations in art,” said Phan. “It is such an honor to receive the NABE Foundation/Americans for the Arts Scholarship Award and it will allow me to fund my study abroad at Lincoln College, Oxford University, next semester.”

 

“I am delighted that Mary Anne will have the opportunity to continue pursuing her passion for both the arts and economics with the help of this scholarship award,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “This award reflects the fundamental belief that the arts are a key component in helping to prepare students to succeed, and it’s a pleasure to partner with the NABE Foundation for the eighth year to recognize student achievement in both the arts and economics.”

 

“These award recipients are at the cutting edge of our profession; by operating at the intersection of economics and creativity, they see patterns in our behavior that others miss,” said Diane Swonk, founder of DS Economics and a NABE Foundation Board member.

 

Read the full press release here.

 

To learn more about Phan’s perspective on the intersection of economics and the arts, read her blog post on ARTSblog.

 

The NABE Foundation Americans for the Arts Scholarship Award was established in 2008 to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. Recipients of the scholarship must come from economically disadvantaged households and have attended public school. Successful candidates demonstrate long-term participation in the study of, creation in and/or performance in one or more art forms, including dance, music, theater, literary, visual/media arts; excel academically; and have formally declared the intent to study economics for policy purposes, or in applications in the private and public sectors. The scholarship recipients are selected following a competitive review process which begins with a pre-screening of applicants by Americans for the Arts, followed by a review of finalists by a subcommittee, and ratification of recipients by the NABE Foundation Board.

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New Essay on Engaging Employees Through Art Partnerships

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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In 2014, a Society of Human Resource Management study found that employees in the United States remain only moderately tuned in at work. Gallup took this a step further, reporting that we’re in the midst of an “employee engagement crisis.” In June 2013, Gallup had estimated that “actively disengaged” employees cost the United States $450 to $550 billion per year in lost productivity in its report, “How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement.”

 

How can companies combat this problem and boost workforce engagement? Mark
Royal, a consultant at the management consulting firm Hay Group, says that engagement tends to be deeper among employees who feel that they have opportunities for growth and development. “The problem for organizations is that demand for such opportunities frequently outpaces the available supply,” he says.

 

By partnering with arts organizations, companies can provide employees with innovative opportunities for growth and development, which can in turn have positive effects on engagement, morale, retention, and performance.

 

In our new essay in the pARTnership Movement essay series, we explore how the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Leadership Training (CLT) Program in Charlotte and the Center of Creative Arts' COCAbiz program in St. Louis helps business employees learn how to serve on boards, develop leadership, and communications skills, and enhance creativity and collaboration. The programs also help businesses determine the leadership potential of their employees based on their interest in participating in these training programs.

 

Download the essay here

 

“People become experts at their jobs by doing the same thing many times. But repetition
can lead people to get stuck in a cognitive rut where it becomes hard to see new
perspectives,” explains Steve Knight, Director of COCAbiz. “We use artistic experiences as a way to help people escape from those mental ruts and rise above their normal routines to find new solutions and opportunities.”

 

“Our company has a lot of scientists, so we were not sure whether an arts-based
development program would be a good fit,” admits Anne Schuchardt, Leadership Development Project Manager for the multinational agricultural company Monsanto. “It turned out that innovation and experimentation which underpin the arts are also really important for scientists. As a result, our employees have jumped in and embraced the artistic lessons that COCAbiz delivers.”

 

Hear more about COCAbiz in our upcoming webinar on March 16.

 

Read more about engaging employees through the arts, and find case studies.

 

Get more information about and examples of arts and business partnerships by signing up for our monthly newsletter, BCA Noteworthy.

 

Have you used the arts to train and engage your business's employees? We want to hear from you. Share you story on Twitter with @Americans4Arts using #ArtsandBiz or email us at pARTnership@artsusa.org.

 

Photos: Courtesy of the Center of Creative Arts.

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U.S. Bank and others Honored at the Arts Breakfast of Champions

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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U.S. Bank and others Honored at the Arts Breakfast of Champions

More than 340 guests joined the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and RACC’s Business Committee for the Arts at the Portland Art Museum on February 24, 2016 for the organization’s annual Arts Breakfast of Champions.

 

“We wanted to celebrate not only the generosity of businesses who support the arts but also the vital role arts and artists play in making Portland a wonderful place to do business, visit, give voice to our diversity, educate our young people and live in a thriving creative environment,” said Eloise Damrosch, RACC’s Executive Director, about the event.

 

This year’s breakfast honored several businesses in the Portland, Oregon region, including some who had previously been recognized by Americans for the Arts as BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees, such as:

 

  

U.S. Bank (2015 BCA 10 honoree)

 

 

 Portland General Electric (2010 BCA 10 honoree)

 

Boeing Company (2007 and 2006 BCA 10 honoree)

 

 Wells Fargo & Company (2005 BCA 10 honoree)

 

“Support for the arts has many benefits for artists and audiences, such as providing exposure to cultural diversity, promoting self-expression, initiating creative problem solving, building economic prosperity, and enhancing quality of life,” U.S. Bank’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis said upon being named a BCA 10 recipient in 2015. “The numerous partnerships between businesses and arts organizations serve to foster civic pride and create sustainable cultural institutions, making our communities better places for everyone to live, work, and play.” Watch a video of Richard Davis’s acceptance speech at the BCA 10 here.

 

 

The Arts Breakfast of Champions also saluted US Representative from Oregon Suzanne Bonamici, who helped to start the Congressional STEAM Caucus and most recently was able to amend the new Every Student Succeeds Act (replacing No Child Left Behind) to add the arts as a part of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

 

 

The Arts Breakfast of Champions was established in 1995 by Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts (NWBCA) as an annual celebration of corporate philanthropy. RACC has established a new Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) that is continuing the breakfast event to recognize top corporate donors to the arts, and to provide motivating examples of how businesses are using the arts to inspire employees, stimulate innovation and foster creative collaboration.

 

Congratulations to all of the honorees!

 

Photo: Andie Petkus Photography

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Connecting Art and Business in Practice

Posted by Mica Scalin
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Mica Scalin is the Co-Founder of Another Limited Rebellion, which helps businesses and individuals devleop their own creative practices to grow and succeed. She has worked in communications, marketing, and creative development for Showtime Networks, CBS, and NBC Universal. She was the Head of Communications for the nonprofit JDub and has produced and curated numerous art and cultural exhibitions and events.

 

The following is excerpted from Scalin's ARTSblog post on AmericansfortheArts.org.

 

Another Limited Rebellion,

Times Are Changing

Dozens of times in the past few years I’ve been in a room of professionals in non-arts related fields (think engineering, manufacturing, energy, finance) and asked the question: “Do you need creativity to succeed at your job?” In this time, I’ve seen the show of hands go from less-than-half the group to 99% of the room. Not only are they aware they need it, they are quick to articulate why; innovation and differentiation, marketing and customer engagement, recruitment and culture building. BUT when I ask a follow up question to the same people: “Would you call yourself creative?” only 2-3 hands are raised and tentatively at that. This is the discrepancy we think is essential to address.

 

Window of Opportunity

I loved the story that was told in Americans for the Arts’ 2013 BCA Survey of Business Support for the Arts. It absolutely validated what we had been seeing with our clients and helped us to hone in on how best to offer something they could really use.

 

Only a small percentage of the responders said they supported the arts because it helped their businesses grow or meet corporate objectives. On the other hand, a great majority said they would increase contributions to the arts if it increased their businesses profitability.

 

Now, while it is very unlikely that we could actually get the data to prove our art engagements affect bottom lines, there is another angle to come at this same issue because 59% said they would increase contributions if it was demonstrated that the arts promote employee creativity and growth. Any business that invests in employee growth and creativity does it because they believe it will increase profitability and impact their bottom line.

 

We know that arts can promote creativity and growth in individuals in so many ways but the challenge is how to do this in a way that reflects a businesses needs.

 

Sharing Practice

Turn over my business card and you will see the words “Creativity Is A Practice”. I love seeing the “ah-ha moment” on people’s faces when they read those words. It is like a muscle that gets exercised, those who practice it, have more of its power available to them. Most importantly, it is a way of thinking about creativity that makes its value available to anyone.

 

When we share our practice we make ourselves vulnerable by exposing the not-quite-right, the trials and errors and the outright failures. This in itself is helpful because it demonstrates that creating something great requires a lot of messiness and uncertainty in the process. Becoming comfortable with such ambiguities and developing a kind of resilience is how artists survive and grow.

 

Seeing how artists must continually put un-finished, in-complete work out for critique in order to improve their work, sets a great example for those in businesses that are struggling to get ahead. In an environment not necessarily conducive to the relentless iterative, trial and error processes that innovation requires, artists can provide a model.
 

Times Are Changing

Dozens of times in the past few years I’ve been in a room of professionals in non-arts related fields (think engineering, manufacturing, energy, finance) and asked the question: “Do you need creativity to succeed at your job?” In this time, I’ve seen the show of hands go from less-than-half the group to 99% of the room. Not only are they aware they need it, they are quick to articulate why; innovation and differentiation, marketing and customer engagement, recruitment and culture building. BUT when I ask a follow up question to the same people: “Would you call yourself creative?” only 2-3 hands are raised and tentatively at that. This is the discrepancy we think is essential to address. If people feel so alienated from their own creativity how can truely value and appreciate the labor of artists?

Window of Opportunity

I loved the story that was told in Americans for the Arts’ 2013 BCA Survey of Business Support for the Arts. It absolutely validated what we had been seeing with our clients and helped us to hone in on how best to offer something they could really use.

Only a small percentage of the responders said they supported the arts because it helped their businesses grow or meet corporate objectives. On the other hand, a great majority said they would increase contributions to the arts if it increased their businesses profitability.

Now, while it is very unlikely that we could actually get the data to prove our art engagements affect bottom lines, there is another angle to come at this same issue because 59% said they would increase contributions if it was demonstrated that the arts promote employee creativity and growth. Any business that invests in employee growth and creativity does it because they believe it will increase profitability and impact their bottom line.

We know that arts can promote creativity and growth in individuals in so many ways but the challenge is how to do this in a way that reflects a businesses needs.

Sharing Practice

Turn over my business card and you will see the words “Creativity Is A Practice”. I love seeing the “ah-ha moment” on people’s faces when they read those words. It is like a muscle that gets exercised, those who practice it, have more of its power available to them. Most importantly, it is a way of thinking about creativity that makes its value available to anyone.

When we share our practice we make ourselves vulnerable by exposing the not-quite-right, the trials and errors and the outright failures. This in itself is helpful because it demonstrates that creating something great requires a lot of messiness and uncertainty in the process. Becoming comfortable with such ambiguities and developing a kind of resilience is how artists survive and grow.

Seeing how artists must continually put un-finished, in-complete work out for critique in order to improve their work, sets a great example for those in businesses that are struggling to get ahead. In an environment not necessarily conducive to the relentless iterative, trial and error processes that innovation requires, artists can provide a model.

- See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/node/95091/draft#sthash.qmwTMRSs.dpuf

Times Are Changing

Dozens of times in the past few years I’ve been in a room of professionals in non-arts related fields (think engineering, manufacturing, energy, finance) and asked the question: “Do you need creativity to succeed at your job?” In this time, I’ve seen the show of hands go from less-than-half the group to 99% of the room. Not only are they aware they need it, they are quick to articulate why; innovation and differentiation, marketing and customer engagement, recruitment and culture building. BUT when I ask a follow up question to the same people: “Would you call yourself creative?” only 2-3 hands are raised and tentatively at that. This is the discrepancy we think is essential to address. If people feel so alienated from their own creativity how can truely value and appreciate the labor of artists?

Window of Opportunity

I loved the story that was told in Americans for the Arts’ 2013 BCA Survey of Business Support for the Arts. It absolutely validated what we had been seeing with our clients and helped us to hone in on how best to offer something they could really use.

Only a small percentage of the responders said they supported the arts because it helped their businesses grow or meet corporate objectives. On the other hand, a great majority said they would increase contributions to the arts if it increased their businesses profitability.

Now, while it is very unlikely that we could actually get the data to prove our art engagements affect bottom lines, there is another angle to come at this same issue because 59% said they would increase contributions if it was demonstrated that the arts promote employee creativity and growth. Any business that invests in employee growth and creativity does it because they believe it will increase profitability and impact their bottom line.

We know that arts can promote creativity and growth in individuals in so many ways but the challenge is how to do this in a way that reflects a businesses needs.

Sharing Practice

Turn over my business card and you will see the words “Creativity Is A Practice”. I love seeing the “ah-ha moment” on people’s faces when they read those words. It is like a muscle that gets exercised, those who practice it, have more of its power available to them. Most importantly, it is a way of thinking about creativity that makes its value available to anyone.

When we share our practice we make ourselves vulnerable by exposing the not-quite-right, the trials and errors and the outright failures. This in itself is helpful because it demonstrates that creating something great requires a lot of messiness and uncertainty in the process. Becoming comfortable with such ambiguities and developing a kind of resilience is how artists survive and grow.

Seeing how artists must continually put un-finished, in-complete work out for critique in order to improve their work, sets a great example for those in businesses that are struggling to get ahead. In an environment not necessarily conducive to the relentless iterative, trial and error processes that innovation requires, artists can provide a model.

- See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/node/95091/draft#sthash.qmwTMRSs.dpuf
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NEA Research on The Arts & Economic Growth

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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NEA Research on The Arts & Economic Growth

Photo: National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Let's talk numbers. Not only are the arts a great way to engage employees and put your brand in the spotlight, but by partnering with arts organizations, your business is also helping to sustain a big contributor to the U.S. economy.

 

Arts and culture contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013 (4.2% of GDP) according to new research from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This number represents a 32.5% growth in GDP contribution between 1998 and 2013.

 

The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the economy. In addition to the overall contribution numbers, ACPSA reveals that consumer spending on the performing arts grew 10 percent annually over the 15-year period.

 

“The new data shows that the production of performing arts services has grown at a faster clip than arts and cultural production in general, contributing $44.5 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Notably, the ACPSA reveals that Americans are choosing to spend more on performing arts events such as concerts, plays, and dance performances. This tells us that the arts remain a valuable and desirable commodity for U.S. consumers, and that the arts are a strong contributor to America’s economic vitality.”

 

According to the NEA’s news announcement, some other key findings include:

 

Culture outpaces other sectors - Over the 15-year period (1998-2013), arts and cultural production grew by $165 billion or 32.5 percent. The annual growth rate for arts and culture as a whole (1.8 percent) was on par with that of the total U.S. economy (1.9 percent). But it grew faster than other sectors such as accommodation and food services (1.4 percent), retail trade (1.3 percent), and transportation and warehousing (1.1 percent).

 

Arts employment - In 2013, arts and cultural sector employed 4.7 million wage and salary workers, earning $339 billion. Industries employing the largest number of ACPSA workers include government (including school-based arts education), retail trade, broadcasting, motion picture industries, and publishing.

 

Learn more about the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account report and results.

 

Americans for the Arts also produces a number of annual publications, e-newsletters, and reports that provide a quantitative, measurable impact of the arts in America. For example, while most economic impact studies of the arts have focused on the nonprofit sector (such as our own Arts and Economic Prosperity studies), Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries is the first national economic impact study that encompasses both the nonprofit andfor-profit arts industries. Reports for all 435 U.S. Congressional Districts, the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 7,500 state legislative districts, and all 3,143 U.S. counties—as well as a full suite of user tools and a comprehensive list of the industries included—are available for download

 

Sign up for BCA Noteworthy, our monthly business and arts partnerships newsletter, to learn about new research and resources to help you build and promote your arts partnerships, and hear from other business leaders engaging with the arts.

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Vans and Americans for the Arts are Halo Award Finalists!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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We are excited to share that Vans and Americans for the Arts have been named a finalist for the 2016 Halo Awards for the annual Vans Custom Culture arts education competition!

 

The Cause Marketing Halo Awards are North American cause marketing's highest honor and the subject of a special section in Adweek. Winners will be announced and awarded at the annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago on June 2, 2016.

 

Created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets, Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition through which art classes design blank Vans shoes around specific themes. The class submissions are narrowed down to the top 50 and the top 5, and the grand prize winning submission secures $50,000 for their school's art program. Since 2012, Americans for the Arts has worked alongside Vans as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner.

 

Registration for the 2016 Custom Culture competition closes February 12, 2016. Register your school here.

 

According to Americans for the Arts' Ready to Innovate report, 85 percent of business leaders say they cannot find the creative candidates they’re looking for. By cultivating the abililty to think creatively in the workplace, arts education is a pathway to career success. Vans also believes that arts education will help future proof their “Off the Wall” brand. By inspiring and perpetuating youth culture, Vans maintains a stable customer base and will be able to find talented designers to lead the brand into the future.

 

Learn more about how art education cultivates the ability to think creatively in the workplace.

 

Read about other businesses supporting arts education.

 

Does your business run an arts education program for youth? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or by emailing partnership@artsusa.org.

 

 

Facts from the Custom Culture website.

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