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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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Bringing Music to Our Schools

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Bringing Music to Our Schools

March is Music in Our Schools Month and recently, two businesses have partnered with music education organizations to bring music into public schools across the country. To make things more exciting, both announcements to some of the lucky schools were complete surprises to the students!

 

In Austin, TX, students from Bedicheck Middle School were going on an unsuspecting field trip, when they ended up at StubHub’s space at SXSW and were surprised by a private performance by Jukebox the Ghost. With a donation of $22,000 worth of instruments from StubHub, the students of the Bedicheck Middle School Orchestra were then invited to perform the first act at the StubHub stage. StubHub, the online ticketing platform, is working with Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF). Since 2015, StubHub Foundation has given over $2 million in instruments to schools selected my MHOF. The company is renewing its partnership with a $3 million commitment over three years.

 

In Los Angeles, Casio America was busy teaming up with Little Kids Rock to surprise students from Magnolia Science Academy 8-Bell. With a regular assembly in place, the Disney/Own star Roshan Fegan surprised the students with a live performance and announced the donation of keyboards. Casio America and the non-profit have certainly given the young musicians a surprise of a lifetime!

 

With so many studies demonstrating the impact of arts education, it is music to our ears to hear about businesses supporting music programs in public schools.

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Art & Water: The Two Essentials

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Art & Water: The Two Essentials

It’s been a year since we featured LIFEWTR for their collaboration with artists for the design on their bottles of purified water. The company believes that its dynamic bottle labels is what will give the brand an edge over its competitors. In a Fortune interview, President Brad Jakeman stated “The brand’s purpose is to help emerging artists make it and be popularized and get into pop culture.” Since its launch in 2017, LIFEWTR has featured a new series of artists every three months: Public Art, Women in Art, and Fashion Designers.

 

The current series focuses on arts in education and highlights three young artists from the US and Canada. One of the selected artists, David Lee, has been involved with arts education programs through Inner-City Arts based in Los Angeles. Through this program, students have the opportunity to engage “in the creative process in order to shape a society of creative, confident and collaborative individuals.”

 

In addition to featuring the work of young artists, LIFEWTR recently announced a new partnership with Scholastic, Inc. to bring arts education to classrooms across the country. Teachers will be able to request Classroom Kits, filled with arts supplies selected by the Series 4 artists. With these resources, students are encouraged to create works and submit them to the Ignite Inspiration! Sweepstakes to have a chance for one of the featured young artists to come to their classroom. Considering this company believes “inspiration is as essential to life as water,” it seems natural that it would branch into arts education.

 

For this PepsiCo company, finding and sharing creativity is a hallmark. To see businesses highlight the work of emerging artists on their products is as refreshing as the product itself. 

 

Photo: LIFEWTR bottles with designs by Luis Gonzalez (Boston, MA), KRIVVY (Toronto, Canada), David Lee (Los Angeles)

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Music and Resilience in Osceola County

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Music and Resilience in Osceola County

In the aftermath of the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, over 2,300 students have been relocated to Florida. In Osceola County, arts educators and business leaders are partnering to provide support for some of these displaced students. Live Music Tutor, Inc. – run by Ted Gee – is an online service that provides interactive musical instruction and has been a strategic partner of the School District for three years. Working in tandem with the heads of the Fine and Performing Arts Department of the School District, Debbie Fahmie and Pam Haas, they are using music to heal.

 

Many of the young students entering the district are not only removed from their homes, but from their immediate families as well. Through inclusion in music programs during and after school, they can find new communities. They are able to connect with their new peers even if they do not speak the language. Moreover, participating in the arts provides an outlet – a way for students to express themselves and engage with themselves on an emotional level. During this time of transition and the unknown, access to these programs has been essential. 

 

Through the project Music Helps Heal, Live Music Tutor, Inc. has been helping the school district acquire more instruments and bilingual instructors. Live Music Tutor, Inc. proves that when businesses understand the transformative power of music, the whole community can band together. 

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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 Educators Win Gold with Golden Artist Colors

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Arts Educators Win Gold with Golden Artist Colors

It’s an adage that always rings true–behind every great artist is a great teacher. Americans for the Arts would like to congratulate educators Isaac AlaridPease, Jessica Clark, and Bryan Wilson on their selection as the 2016 Golden Educator Residents!

For a second year, Golden Artist Colors has partnered with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to recognize the importance of work done by arts educators around the nation in inspiring each new generation of thinkers, innovators, and artists. With the help of the National Art Education Association, the Alliance reviewed competitive applications to select three arts educators, who had a recognized student in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, to be Golden Educator Residents. The selected teachers participate in a two-week residency program in upstate New York for July and August 2016, and are awarded a $1,000 gift certificate for Golden paints. An additional nine finalists also each receive $1,000 gift certificates.

 

As a past honoree of Americans for the Arts’ BCA 10 Awards, a yearly event which recognizes 10 businesses of all sizes for their exceptional involvement with the arts, Golden Artist Colors is no stranger to supporting the arts. And this partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, who acts as a premier partner in ensuring every child has access to comprehensive arts education, is another example of their dedicated work in the arts.

 

Speaking of the residency program, Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, stated “Golden Artist Colors is to be commended for making this exceptional opportunity available to outstanding educators. We were most impressed by the quality of the applications we received this year. Teachers are part of the lifeblood of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and we are privileged to have this moment to show our appreciation for their efforts in the classroom as well as our respect for their work as artists.”

 

Americans for the Arts is thrilled to see BCA 10 alumni continue to support the arts and the wonderful educators who make it all possible.

 

Artwork credit: Bryan Wilson, "Why I Do What I Do".  

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Volkswagen Drives Arts Education

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Volkswagen Drives Arts Education

 

Volkswagen is distinguished for its success in auto engineering, but the German car manufacturer should also be celebrated for its engineering of arts education programming. In a five year partnership with MoMA and MoMA PS1, Volkswagen has provided invaluable opportunities to emerging leaders in the arts, especially with its VW Fellows Scholarship Programme.

 

Started in 2012, the program offers students the chance to work in New York at the Manhattan-based MoMA and the associated Queens MoMA PS1 with various museum departments. The three 2016 fellows, selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, are assisting this summer in conducting fundamental research and writing, event and exhibition production, archival documentation, and executive task management. The program was designed to give students an inside-look at museum operations in the hope that they will continue to use their skills in the arts world after their tenure at MoMA. Since the program’s formation, alumnus have moved on to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bard College, and other arts institutions.

 

Head of Volkswagen’s Cultural Engagement, Benita von Maltzahn, said, "there is a time-honoured principle which also applies to culture and the arts: you learn especially well from especially good ideas. Within the art world, MoMA stands for those ideas and that is why we are very pleased to be able to open MoMA’s doors to young and talented people. Here, they benefit from an outstanding opportunity to generate innovative ideas and new perspectives thanks to the VW Fellows Scholarship Programme."

 

Volkswagen’s arts education work and partnership with MoMA don’t stop there. Over the years, the partnership has created numerous programs catered towards teenagers and students, such as the recent “A Tale of Three Cities” initiative, a MoMA Teen Program which brought together students from London, Chicago, and New York to pioneer an online art course for teens by teens. The effort resulted in a four-week online course which has reached students in over 70 countries around the globe, engaging them with the international arts scene and teaching them about the politics, communities, and challenges that form the contemporary art world.

 

With the VW Fellows Scholarship Programme and numerous other education initiatives, Volkswagen’s role as MoMA’s Lead Corporate Partner of Education proves that the best road to success is one that supports a culture of artistic innovation.

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Vans and Americans for the Arts Awarded with 2016 Gold Cause Marketing Halo Award

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce that a 2016 Gold Cause Marketing Halo Award in the education category has been awarded to a partnership between Vans and Americans for the Arts. Developed 14 years ago by the Cause Marketing Forum, the Halo Awards honor businesses and nonprofits that combine profits with purpose, and doing well by doing good.

 

In 2012, Vans asked Americans for the Arts to become its official national charity partner in the company's marketing initiatives and CSR goals to foster the growth of arts education and the access that children have to creative outlets in all parts of the country. This partnership has developed important initiatives such as the Arts Education Navigator, an e-book series which provides the information, statistics, and skills necessary to advocate to decision-makers, and the Vans Custom Culture grant program, which annually awards $2,000 competitive grants to ten schools around the nation with quality music and visual arts programs.

 

Now in its sixth year, the Vans Custom Culture competition is an opportunity for students around the nation to get their creative juices flowing by decorating Vans shoes in the hopes of winning grants for their school's art programs. Each school competes in a juried competition for a $50,000 grand prize, four $4,000 finalist prizes, and $50,000 in separate awards and scholarships given by Custom Culture partners: anti-smoking campaign Truth, shoe retailer Journeys, and the Laguna College of Art and Design.

 

Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing Sarah Crockett stated: “Vans firmly believes in the value of arts education and the positive impact creative expression has on every student's life. We're proud that Vans Custom Culture has helped more than 142,000 students express their Right To Art...Over the past 6 years, 7,612 high schools have participated in Custom Culture, which has now awarded nearly $600,000 to arts programs around the nation."

 

CEO and President of Americans for the Arts Robert Lynch said of the Halo award: “I am pleased that Vans Custom Culture is a finalist to receive this distinguished award. Americans for the Arts has partnered with Vans Custom Culture since 2012, and together we are helping to bring more attention to the importance of the arts in high school curricula, encouraging high school students to embrace their creativity, and inspiring a new generation of innovative, forward focused youth."

 

Together, Americans for the Arts and Vans continue to support every student’s access to an arts education they deserve.

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DC Doodler Wins Big at Google

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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DC Doodler Wins Big at Google

Akilah Johnson, a 10th grader from Washington, D.C., dreams of becoming a CSI detective and starting an arts and crafts studio for kids. Google is helping her reach those dreams by naming her the winner of the United States’ 2016 Doodle 4 Google competition for young artists, which comes with a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook, and an Android tablet, among other prizes.

 

Johnson’s design, which was featured on Google’s homepage on March 21, 2016, represents this year’s contest theme of "What makes me...me." by showcasing her African American heritage. Her design was selected from 100,000 K-12 student submissions by celebrity judges including Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, actors Julie Bowen and B.J. Novak, and others.

 

According to an article in USA Today, five student finalists were invited to Google's headquarters for the announcement. They were invited to participate in workshops with the doodle team and contest judges such as astronaut Yvonne Cagle and animator Glenn Keane. The competition has been held every year since 2008.

 

"Doodle 4 Google gave me an understanding of why art matters and why MY art matters—it’s because it speaks to people," Johnson said. "No matter the differences we have, everyone is touched by all art in some way."

 

In addition to the scholarship, Johnson’s school, Eastern Senior High School, will be awarded a $50,000 education-technology grant from Google.

 

“Exposure to the arts develops an invaluable and intrinsic link to creative thinking and innovation,” said Dennis Hwang, Google's founding Doodler and creator of the Google 4 Doodle competition, when he received Art in Action's innaugural Art Visionary Award in 2015. “For me, creativity and science have always gone hand in hand. My unique career trajectory at Google developed as a result of having studied both art and computer science.”

 

Photo of Akilah Johnson from Google.

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Fueling Arts Education in Alabama

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Northport, Alabama, a small city in Tuscaloosa County, is known for its Kentuck Art Center and Art Night, which is held on the first Thursday of every month and offers residents and tourists an opportunity to visit the city’s galleries and witness art demonstrations. While the arts play a large roll in Northport’s culture, like many cities throughout the United States, Northport lacks resources for arts education in its schools and relies on the community to help fund arts education programs.

 

Regardless of the industry, local businesses can play a powerful roll in funding arts education. One local C Mart in Northport, for example, has pledged a penny of every gallon of gas sold to the Northport Fine Arts Initiative, which funds arts education programs in the local elementary schools. While that may not seem like much on the surface, “The goal for this year is between $7,000 and $8,000,” said C Mart owner Roshan Patel. The business will write a check every six months to the Northport Fine Arts Initiative to help pay for supplies, resources, and staffing expenses.

 

For C Mart, the partnership enables the business to connect with its customers. “We’re happy with the way our business is running in Northport, and it’s time to help give back to the community,” said Patel. “We deal with parents every day. They bring their kids in.”

 

Read more about this partnership here.

 

Interested in supporting arts education in your community? Discover Americans for the Arts’ arts education resources here.

 

Know of a great business supporting arts education? Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org

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Vans and Americans for the Arts are Halo Award Finalists!
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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...
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