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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor VF Corporation at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“VF has a proud history of supporting the arts in the communities where our associates live and work, because we believe that thriving communities also mean thriving employees. Empowering local arts organizations that inspire and positively impact people and societies will always remain a focus for us at VF.” 

- Steve Rendle, Chairman, President & CEO, VF Corporation

 

VF Corporation is one the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies with nearly 70,000 associates and operations in more than 170 countries. VF is committed to giving back to its local communities and believes that being an actively engaged citizen is valuable for both the community and for the business.

 

VF and its brands encourage associates to pursue volunteer opportunities, whether through corporate volunteer programs or on their own. During the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC, which took place each year from 2015 to 2017, hundreds of VF associates joined the more than 1,400 volunteers needed to execute the three-day event. As a lead financial contributor, VF brought its Wrangler brand to the festival by sponsoring the Wrangler Stage, one of the festival’s most popular destinations. Wrangler also contributed the use of its headquarters’ downtown grounds to the festival, which provided space for audience seating and a food and beverage marketplace.

 

VF regularly celebrates associates who volunteer their time. Through the VF 100 program—which honors the 100 associates company-wide who have accumulated the highest number of service hours each year—VF has donated $1,000 to each winner’s charity of choice via the VF Foundation, VF’s philanthropic organization. Since the VF 100 program’s inception in 2005, more than 1,100 associates have contributed over 295,000 hours and more than $1 million has been donated to community causes.

 

VF takes an active role in supporting arts initiatives in its hometown of Greensboro. The company is a long-time lead contributor to ArtsGreensboro’s annual community-wide ArtsFund Campaign, which supports more than 50 arts organizations, projects, and artist initiatives each year across Guilford County. VF’s senior management is also playing a strategic role in a Greensboro-based, art-focused task force that is spearheading the effort to create Greensboro’s “Cultural Arts Master Plan,” whichwill serve to advance and support creative life in Greensboro.

 

Wrangler Stage, courtesy of VF Corporation

 

Several of VF’s brands offer customers the ability to showcase their artistry by crafting custom products while also benefiting local nonprofits. For nine consecutive years, the Vans brand has hosted its Custom Culture arts competition, which supports high school arts programs around the country. Participating schools have the chance to win $75,000 towards art programming, and four runner-up schools can earn $10,000. Since 2012, Vans has partnered with Americans for the Arts to offer Custom Culture Grants to public high schools to support arts education. VF is grateful for the ways in which the arts have enriched the company, and will continue to give back to the arts in their communities.

 

Nominated by ArtsGreensboro

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Churchill Downs at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“Louisville has long been aligned with horse racing, hospitality, bourbon and fine cuisine, all of which are celebrated at our flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. Our city’s vibrant arts community should be an attraction that makes Louisville a destination. By turning Churchill Downs Racetrack into a stage and a canvas upon which our local artists can perform, we provide a transformative experience to horse racing fans and extend the magic of the Kentucky Derby beyond the first Saturday in May.”

– Bill Carstanjen, CEO Churchill Downs, Incorporated

 

Churchill Downs Incorporated is a multi U.S.-state company best known for the Churchill Downs Racetrack, the home of the Kentucky Derby. For decades, Churchill Downs has been known in Louisville for its generosity to the community, which includes their steadfast support for the arts. The company prioritizes supporting arts because of their belief that immersion in the arts and opportunities for art education is a primary way to achieve prosperity in both their city and state.

 

Through a collaboration with Fund for the Arts and Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund, Churchill Downs transformed the Opening Night event, which kicks off Derby week, into a celebration of Greater Louisville’s arts community. By highlighting the artists of the Greater Louisville community, they have increased event attendance by 24.9 percent. In addition, the company works with Fund for the Arts to create a unique code for ticket purchasing, through which $1 of every ticket sold was donated back to Fund for the Arts. Each year, they commission a local artist to create the official poster for both the Kentucky Oaks race and Kentucky Derby. This year, Churchill Downs designated the Thursday before Kentucky Derby (Thurby) as “Kentucky Day,” and partnered with the Actors Theatre of Louisville to place Kentucky-centric art throughout the track. Working with Louisville Visual Art, Speed Art Museum, and Forecastle Foundation, they created neon light installations, fiber glass horse sculptures, and placed musical artists around the grounds.

 

Churchill Downs offers subsidized use of their facilities to arts organizations for holding events, campaign kickoffs, and other arts celebrations. The company also donates tickets to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks for nonprofits to use as auction items each year. On the flip side, through supporting various arts organizations, Churchill Downs can offer free and discounted arts events tickets to their staff.

 

 Churchill Downs corporate headquarters features a gallery which showcases locally-produced art on a rotating, quarterly schedule. Employees are given the opportunity to purchase the art at a discounted rate to encourage support of local artists, as well as engage employees in art appreciation. The company also encourages employees to serve on the boards of local arts organizations. Senior leaders currently sit on the Speed Museum Board of Governors and the Board of Kentucky Shakespeare. In addition to promoting corporate support for these organizations, CEO Bill Carstanjen is a personal advocate and financial supporter of Fund for the Arts and Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

 

Casey McKinney and Kacy Jackson paint murals in the paddock of Churchill Downs for Opening Night of Kentucky Derby week, courtesy Churchill Downs

 

Churchill Downs is the presenting sponsor of the Cultural Pass, which provides free summer access to approximately 40 venues, and expands access to summer learning opportunities for underserved populations. Through this program, over 31,000 people have gained access to cultural experiences.

 

By showcasing artists and working to increase accessibility to the arts, Churchill Downs has become more than a derby for its community. The company looks forward to serving as a supporter of the arts for many years to come.

 

Nominated by Fund for the Arts

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BOARDway Bound with ArtsWave

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BOARDway Bound with ArtsWave

Cincinnati’s ArsWave is back with its signature program aimed at cultivating business leaders who will become the region’s next set of arts board members. BOARDway Bound offers selected board candidates and current board members a two-month professional development session. Throughout the process, the newest cohort will take courses like “All Things Revenue,” “Nonprofit Financial Management,” and “Impact, Collaboration, Storytelling,” among others.

 

Since 2004, ArtsWave has trained and placed 300+ candidates, many of whom come from health, energy, and financial industries. Equipped with a greater understanding of arts management, these leaders have successfully helped arts organizations increase revenue and increase audiences.

 

As ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner notes in an ArtsBiz, “Arts board leadership is one of the top professional development tools Cincinnati’s corporate community uses to groom high-performing employees into future leadership.” Through board participation, employees have opportunities to explore different challenges and creative solutions. Moreover, through these engagements, they can deepen their sense of community.

 

One of the local businesses that understands the value of board participation is Cincinnati Fifth Third Bank. ArtsWave nominated the company for a BCA 10 Award, which it will receive on October 2 in New York City at the BCA 10 Gala that honors the best businesses partnering with the arts.

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The Arts are Integral to Business Success - Kohler Co.

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The Arts are Integral to Business Success - Kohler Co.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Kohler Co. was featuring in a pARTnership Movemeny Essay on Fostering Critical Thinking.

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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Shadowplay in the Streets of Austin

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Shadowplay in the Streets of Austin

 

When the sun went down and the street lights went on, city dwellers and tourists alike had the chance to dance in the shadows of Austin. From the end of February to mid-March, Shadowing Austin popped up in six locations throughout the city. This art installation allowed people to interact with others who had walked the same path. Thanks to infrared cameras and projectors strategically placed around town, shadows suddenly came alive.

 

For this project, the Playable City Austin, an initiative of the Cultural Arts Division in the City of Austin (CAD) reached out to Austin Energy (AE)—a 2016 BCA 10 Honoree— for their knowledge, technology, and support. Austin Energy, the community owned electric utility, was responsible for scouting locations, installing the fixtures, and maintaining them. CAD, AE and artist Jonathan Chomko collaborated throughout  Summer 2017 on installation plans, and Shadowing Austin launched in February 2018.

 

 “Austin values art in public places,” said Allen Small, Austin Energy Distribution Director. “It was great to partner with other city departments and the artists to help get this project up and running. It was fun to watch people interacting with each other and with the installations. This is the type of project that gets people talking to each other again, instead of just looking down at their phones.”

 

This type of collaboration speaks to the initial intent of the project. The artists Chomoko and Matthew Rosier developed this interactive installation (initially for the City of London) to promote community engagement. And it certainly has done so in Austin. CAD reports that during their installation, the Shadowing fixtures had nearly 100,000 interactions.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Austin Energy

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Listen Up, Drink Up

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Listen Up, Drink Up

2016 BCA 10 Winner Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (DE) has an impressive history of supporting and collaborating with the music industry. As part of their Off-Centered Art Series, Dogfish Head Brewery creates seasonal beers. In honor of Record Store Day on April 21 – of which they are the Official Beer— they have partnered with The Flaming Lips. In what might be their most integrated effort yet, the band was involved with the creation of the beer Dragons and Yum Yums; and in return, the Flaming Lips’ newest release includes two songs “The Story of Yum Yum and Dragon” and “Pouring Beer in Your Ear” that are inspired by the beer. The bottle features a design by artist Marq Spusta, which will also be adapted for Record Store Day posters, shirts, and other items.  

 

Dogfish Head is one of many breweries partnering with the music industry. Forbes recently highlighted the collaboration between Waterbury Symphony Orchestra and Litchfield Distillery, and the Erie (Pennsylvania) Philharmonic and Mazza Vineyards. In both cases, the Orchestra and Philharmonic are using the pairings to promote a younger demographic. From Ohio to Oregon and Main to North Carolina, breweries and wineries are working in tandem with music organizations and festivals.

 

Whether it’s sipping wine at an orchestra intermission, or drinking a cold one at a music festival, it seems that drinks and music have always gone together. It’s exciting to hear that so many organizations are taking advantage of this natural relationship and we hope to see more in the future. Bottom’s up!

 

Photo credit: Paul Bunyon design by artist Marq Spusta

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2012 BCA 10 Winning Tampa Bay Times Spreads Joy of Literature with Times Festival of Reading

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2012 BCA 10 Winning Tampa Bay Times Spreads Joy of Literature with Times Festival of Reading

Every fall, the Tampa Bay Times marketing department produces a celebration of the literary arts known as the Times Festival of Reading. This one day event draws thousands of book lovers, as well as famous authors from across the country who come to discuss their work, meet fans and sell books.

 

“Like an orchestra or museum or concert hall, a fine newspaper is a creative enterprise and a community asset. Through fat times and lean, we have tried to nourish the creative arts because they help make our community more vibrant. Our investments have paid dividends for the Tampa Bay region, and therefore for our enterprise,” says Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times.

 

The Tampa Bay Times believes the arts help fuel the economy and creativity, and that fostering and supporting the arts is crucial to the health of the community. By increasing awareness, creating discussion, providing economic support and driving audience, the Tampa Bay Times continues to help the area’s vibrant arts community.

Since 2005, the Times has given more than $865,000 in cash and approximately $1 million of in-kind support through print and web advertising to dozens of arts organization throughout Tampa Bay. In 2011, the Times gave more than $62,000 to the arts in Tampa Bay and provided more than $100,000 in discounts on advertising and in-kind space.

 

Acting as an arts leader in the community, the Times makes its senior leaders available to serve on the boards of nonprofit arts groups. Times staffers have served on the boards of Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Dali Museum, and the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (TBBCA).

 

Through its support of the TBBCA, the Times has helped fund scholarships for local high school students to pursue a secondary education in the arts. Over the past four years, more than $60,000 in scholarships has been awarded.

 

For more than 20 years, the Tampa Bay Times has supported dozens of diverse arts and cultural organizations throughout Florida. Currently, the Times has been the media sponsor of some of the largest, most renowned venues and arts festivals in Florida, including the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the Gasparilla Arts Festival. The Times also proudly supports many smaller, local arts groups and events such as Studio@620, Tampa Theatre, and the Morean Arts Center.

 

Photo: A child reading a book at the 21st annual Times Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg, Florida. This image is sourced from the October 2013 edition of HarborNotes Weekly.

 

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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Walt Disney World Resort, Helps Communities Shine with the Arts

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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Walt Disney World Resort, Helps Communities Shine with the Arts

Disney is an avid supporter of the local community, with grant programs such as Helping Kids Shine, which has awarded $10,000 to $100,000 to support programs that inspire creativity, encourage compassion and promote health and well-being of families.

 

A 2012 beneficiary of the program was Quest Inc., which is using the Disney grant to introduce children with special needs to media arts.

 

Quest Kids is based in Orlando, Florida and for over 50 years, has supported Central Floridians with developmental disabilities by offering choices and opportunities to live, learn, work and play.  

 

Since the Walt Disney World Resort’s 1971 opening, it has honored the spirit of corporate citizenship by giving back to the local arts initiatives and the arts community, as a whole.

 

Disney uses a multifaceted approach in supporting the arts—from donating cash sponsorships and in-kind products to sharing the knowledge and expertise of its cast members—in order to make the most meaningful impact. Among these contributions is a $12.5 million capital investment in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, one of Disney’s largest gift to a Central Florida arts organization.

 

In 2010, the Walt Disney World Resort gave more than $350,000 in cash and more than $215,000 in in-kind products to the local arts community, including $107,000 in grants through the Disney Helping Kids Shine program.

In promoting employee volunteerism, in 2010  Disney catalogued more than 6,700 volunteer service hours for arts and cultural organizations, with hundreds more in board of directors and pro bono service. Disney also offered cast members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes; this “cast club” was known as Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra.

 

Founded in 2002 and including several hundred singers, musicians, dancers and production team members, at least half of the group has jobs outside of the company’s entertainment division and aren’t performers by trade. In addition, Encore! donated funds from its ticket sales to local arts charities, raising more than $150,000 by 2011.

 

Disney also assists arts and cultural organizations with fundraising opportunities. Housed in a permanent theater located at the Walt Disney World Resort, Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba company and Orlando Ballet teamed up for a project in which performers from both organizations worked together to choreograph 10 original movements. Presented as an evening fundraiser, the production’s proceeds benefited the Ballet and donations were matched by Cirque up to $10,000.

 

Committed to promoting arts education and youth programming, Disney’s trustee investment in United Arts of Central Florida helps ensure that nearly 550,000 public school students in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties benefit from arts and cultural field trips and immersive experiences. Disney further invests in the children of its community as the primary sponsor of A Gift For Music, an afterschool program. Since its 1999 inception the program has provided free instruction on stringed instruments to 7,200 students, and is currently offered in six Title I schools.   

 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Booz Allen, Supports the Arts in Education with Norman Rockwell Exhibit

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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Booz Allen, Supports the Arts in Education with Norman Rockwell Exhibit

For the past 90 years, Booz Allen Hamilton  has donated millions of dollars to and volunteered thousands of hours for arts nonprofits and programs.

 

Committed to the promotion of a quality education, many of Booz Allen Hamilton’s arts-related sponsorships contain a component for students.

 

Major funding examples include the Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2010, the Edward Hopper exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in 2007, Imagination Stage, National Ballet, Inc., National Museum of Natural History, Evidence Dance Company, and the Studio Museum located in Harlem—just to name a few. In addition, the firm has provided thousands of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America special opportunities to visit museums in order to instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts in America’s youth.

 

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Norman Rockwell exhibition, “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg,” was the first to ever explore the connection between the iconic artist and film. For the Rockwell exhibition, the firm’s funding allowed the museum to implement a new format for their teachers’ kits in order to reach more schools.

 

In fact, 4,500 teachers accessed the Rockwell materials and more than 6,000 students toured the exhibition.

 

“In Norman Rockwell’s art, we see ourselves, our families and our neighbors—the heart and spirit of America,” said Ralph W. Shrader, former CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton. “We are delighted to support the Smithsonian American Art Museum on this major project, including an exciting series of public programs.”

 

The company is actively involved in the goals of arts nonprofits by providing financial contributions as well as pro bono consulting and ad and marketing support. For the Rockwell exhibit, members of the firm’s communications team worked tirelessly with the museum staff to develop a full-scale, Booz Allen Hamilton funded advertising campaign.

 

Booz Allen Hamilton employees shared their intellectual resources to enhance the museum’s advertising reach and media placement. The Smithsonian American Art Museum reported that, thanks to Booz Allen Hamilton’s support, 706,000 people visited the museum during the exhibition period, a 52 percent increase in attendance during the same period from the previous year.

 

 

The firm develops an audience within Booz Allen Hamilton, fostering an appreciation for the arts and supporting employees who volunteer their personal time to arts nonprofits. The firmholds Friends & Family Day at the museums they partner with, allowing employees to visit the exhibitions before the museum opens to the general public. Booz Allen Hamilton also purchases annual seasons of corporate seats at Wolf Trap, Warner Theater, National Theater, Strathmore, and the Kennedy Center and provides free tickets for employees via lottery every month so that, on an ongoing basis, employees enjoy and support the arts. To recognize the volunteer efforts of its employees at arts organizations, the company provides an unlimited number of cash contributions in the form of Volunteer Service Grants.

 

Photo: Norman Rockwell’s “Shadow Artist.” A shadow artist entertains, entrances and inspires young children.  Image sourced from artdaily.com

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