Up to the minute news on arts and business partnerships.


Top pARTnerships in 2014

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

2014 saw an exceptional array of arts and business partnerships across the country. The following is a list of the pARTnership Movement's most viewed, liked and shared news stories, plus a few staff favorites for good measure. Do you have or know of an arts and business partnership you'd like us feature nationally on the pARTnership Movement? Send us your stories!


10. Dentist Uses Art to Make an Impression
What insight does a dentist have to offer on the importance of the arts? Plenty, it turns out! Dr. Neal Fleisher, dental professor at Boston University, has created a program that integrates arts appreciation skills into required first-year dental student curriculum.


9. Ten Years, Ten Ways the BCA 10 are Building Arts Partnerships
Can you believe 2014 marked the 10th anniversary of the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America? For a decade, the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, has been celebrating companies that enrich the workplace, education, and the community through their partnerships with the arts. In celebration of ten years of the BCA 10, we've highlighted 10 of the many ways BCA 10 honorees have been shaking up the arts world, one partnership at a time.


8. Beck's Beer's Green Box Project
The Green Box Project, sponsored by Beck’s Beer, is a global fund established to inspire, celebrate and financially support independent talent in art, design, music and fashion. View the video for an overview of the Green Box Project with testimonials from the project’s designers and artists.


7. Swatch Makes Time for NYC's Water Tank Project
Eyes to the skies! NYC’s iconic skyline received a makeover this summer as many of its water tanks became art canvases, thanks in part to corporate support by Swatch and others.


6. Long Island Middle Schooler Takes Over Google's Homepage
This year’s winner of Doodle 4 Google, an annual competition held by Google where students are given the chance to create a logo to be featured on the Google homepage, was 11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York. Zhang received a $30,000 college scholarship and $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for her school. Take a look at all of the outstanding national grade group winners, and view the 2014 Doodle 4 Google video featuring Zhang and this year's finalists.


5. Lincoln Financial Group Leads 2014 United Arts Campaign in Hartford
Earlier this year, the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC) announced that Lincoln Financial Group would chair its 2014 United Arts Campaign, reflecting the company’s unwavering dedication to the arts and cultural community in Central Connecticut.


4. National Air and Space Museum Soars with a Gift from Boeing
This year, Boeing announced a gift of $30 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to renovate and expand its main exhibition hall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The two-year renovation plan will be completed in time for the museum’s 40th anniversary in 2016, which is also the aerospace company’s 100th anniversary. View the video entitled "Inspiring the Next Generation," which details Boeing's partnership with the National Air and Space Museum, and how the company is educating and inspiring the next generation of air and space visionaries.



3. Apple's New Ad Featuring Composer and Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen
This year, a TV commercial for the Apple iPad featured Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as he creates a new classical music score on-the-go, showing how Apple uses the arts in inventive ways to enhance its brand and attract new and old customers alike.


2. Get in the "Arts Zone" with 'AutoZone: The Opera'
As part of Opera Memphis’ 30 Days of Opera initiative, AutoZone and Opera Memphis produced the highly entertaining AutoZone: The Opera. The five-minute performance (video at the link) features a cast of singers lamenting their car troubles to an AutoZone customer service representative. It was performed at AutoZone’s National Sales Meeting for 3,000 AutoZoners from all across the continent.



1. Forbes Recognizes the BCA 10 as Top Innovators
The September 8 issue of Forbes not only announced the 100 world’s most innovative companies, but also included a full-page ad celebrating the 2014 BCA 10 honorees (p. 115). The ad reads, “The best businesses in America support the arts because they know that the arts are drivers of innovation, helping to build market share, a creative workforce and vibrant communities in which their employees live and work. We recognize their innovation.”


2014 Staff Picks:


Business Leader Henry T. Segerstrom Celebrates Book Launch on Arts Transformation in Southern California
Henry T. Segerstrom, managing partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons and a member of Americans for the Arts' Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) Executive Board, has been the key pioneer in transforming Orange County, CA into an arts destination through the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. A new art book, appropriately named Henry T. Segerstom, has been released by Assouline Publishing, recognizing and celebrating his life and contributions to the arts in Southern California.


All Aboard Amtrak's New Writer-in-Residency Program
Amtrak is taking its new writer-in-residency program for a run, with test trips from New York to Chicago and others in the works. The program was inspired by fans on Twitter who suggested that Amtrak should host a residency program for writers. The goal now is for the company to engage with writers several times per month through this free/low-cost initiative, and create an inspirational environment for them to work in.


Atlantic Salt Is LUMEN-ating the Arts
What do you do in the summertime when your business is a seaside dock that unloads salt from vessels and distributes it for winter-time de-icing? Why, turn it into an art gallery, of course! Take a look at Atlantic Salt, Inc., a 2013 BCA 10 honoree, and its annual presentation of the free-to-the-public LUMEN Festival, a one-day, six-hour festival featuring video and performance art.


Hallmark Cards, Inc.: Fostering a Creative Corporate Culture
Hallmark Cards, Inc. a 2014 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree, has been an active leader in the arts since the 1930s. The company looks to the arts as a resource, training mechanism and reward system for its 6,600 employees in the U.S.


Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter, BCA Noteworthy, to stay informed of the latest and greatest in arts and business partnerships year-round!

Ameren Employees Raise Over $109,000 for the Arts in St. Louis

Posted by Samantha Sharon

Employees of Ameren Corporation – a holding company for several power and energy companies in the St. Louis region – have raised an impressive sum of $109,000 for the Arts and Education (A&E) Council of St. Louis this year. Since 1986, Ameren has led an A&E Workplace Giving Campaign to support its region’s only United Arts Fund, whose mission is to build appreciation, participation and support for arts and arts education throughout the St. Louis community. With the success of this year’s campaign, Ameren’s total contributions to the A&E Council now total $2.7 million dollars, an amount that has allowed the council to bring priceless arts opportunities to St. Louis over the years. 


Since 1986, Ameren executives have striven to emphasize to their employees the benefits of living in a community with a thriving arts scene. As President and CEO of Ameren Warner L. Baxter told St. Louis Today, “The Arts and Education Council’s contribution to our region cannot be overstated, and that is why thousands of Ameren’s co-workers throughout our company support the A&E annual campaign on behalf of the arts so generously.”


Aside from the Workplace Giving Campaign, Ameren acts as a corporate partner to A&E, supporting and funding its various efforts throughout the year, including its signature annual event, the St. Louis Arts Awards.


Through its generous support of the A&E Council, Ameren has not only made an investment in the cultural sector of St. Louis, but has also made a significant impact on the city’s economy by helping to make it a more desirable and vibrant place to live, work and raise families. With this year’s outstanding donation of $109,000 to the A&E Council, Ameren hopes to inspire other companies to follow its lead and to realize how business and arts partnerships can foster the economic development, cultural growth and community engagement of any region.


For more information on Ameren's approach to sustainability, visit


Apple's New Ad Featuring Composer and Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen

Posted by Samantha Sharon

A new TV commercial for the Apple iPad features Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as he creates a new classical music score on-the-go.


As Salonen goes about his everyday life, he records moments of inspiration on his iPad, using various apps such as PianoPro, Notion, and The Orchestra, which he actually helped design himself.  In the commercial, the iPad becomes Salonen’s portable studio, allowing him to immediately capture fleeting moments of inspiration and to ultimately compose an entire orchestral piece.


Just as the iPad becomes Salonen’s musical partner, the commercial as a whole represents Apple as a patron of the arts and as a company committed to getting its message across in creative ways. By featuring Salonen and his music, this commercial succeeds not only in showing how the iPad can be a useful tool for composing music but also in emphasizing how Apple uses the arts in inventive ways to enhance its brand and attract new and old customers alike. Check out the commercial below.



The New Face of Volunteering

Posted by Jordan Shue

The old model of employee engagement and volunteerism is quickly fading. In a world where everyone can be an artist, a creator, an inventor, or a key player in a project far-removed from his or her own experience, volunteering has morphed into something vastly different from its original shape. Employees now crave the opportunity to be integrally involved in a major aspect of a non-profit’s work, which not only gives each a sense of purpose and completion, but also can greatly expand the services provided to an organization if the volunteer projects are designed carefully with these shifts in mind. The same tenets that apply to new marketing, crowdsourcing, and product design strategies also apply to volunteering, as more and more people crave deeper connections and ownership that lead to greater satisfaction in all aspects of life.


A great deal of this shift relies on building successful partnerships with businesses (the goal of our pARTnership Movement), which often serve as the gatekeepers to large volunteer bases. Part of securing these types of relationships with businesses is the ability to articulate not just what you need as an organization, but what you can give to businesses to increase employee engagement, encourage creativity in the office, stimulate productivity, and foster a community in which employees are excited to live and work. Click here for 8 reasons you can give to businesses to partner with the arts.


Blackbaud Inc., a supplier of services designed for nonprofit organizations, recently released a guide for small businesses seeking to start an employee volunteer program. This is a wonderful resource to direct local businesses to in addition to the pARTnership Movement, as 47% of businesses contributing to the arts had revenues of less than $1 million in 2012, according to the 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts.


The traditional model for the past few decades has relied on skills-based placements, which pair professionals in the fields of finance, law, marketing, and more with arts organizations that require specific skills for projects for which they may not have been able to complete otherwise. While this is still an incredibly successful enterprise, delivering nearly $1.1 million in volunteer services through 2012 Business Volunteers for the Arts programs alone, many employees are beginning to seek more flexible options.

Volunteers are looking for a bevy of different options, including team skills and non skills-based, virtual volunteering, volunteer hackathon days, and mentoring. Businesses that supply employees are increasingly looking for unique modes of engagement, including arts-based training for employees, ask-a-consultant events that can pair employees with more than one arts organization in a day, arts volunteer fairs, employee art shows, corporate arts challenges, and more.


Volunteering is a sign of a healthy nonprofit organization, not the solution for a failing one,” writes Greg Baldwin for VolunteerMatch, a wonderful resource for trends in the field. Volunteers are drawn towards projects that push an organization’s mission forward, and not ones that are thrown together as a bandage for a problem that will need to be fixed again later on down the road.


Click here for more information about Americans for the Arts’ Business Volunteers for the Arts program. For toolkits and other resources on how to engage volunteers, visit the pARTnership Movement website, and share your success stories with us!


Follow the Arts & Business Council of New York on Twitter (@ArtsBizNY) and tune in on Thursday, May 29th as they share tips and resources relating to #EmployeeEngagement throughout the day!


INFOGRAPHIC: Arts Sponsorship Spending is on the Rise in 2014, According to IEG

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

According to IEG, sponsorship spending on the arts is expected to grow 1.4 percent in 2014, down from 2.6 percent in 2013. While corporate interest remains high, spending growth is hampered by organizations that continue to sell need-based sponsorships, not marketing-driven solutions. Vist to view the englarged infographic.


For more information on the motivations behind why businesses are supporting the arts, download the BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts.


(Image courtesy of

Socrates Sculpture Park Means Business in Midtown

Posted by Caleb Way

Socrates Sculpture Park’s Fact of the Matter exhibit closed this past Friday after its four-month run in the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery. The unique Manhattan display featured the work of nine sculptors as they explored the relationship between material and artist.


This relationship, however, was not the only one on display. Jones Lang LaSalle, who manages this space, has solidified a longstanding commitment to the arts through its work in this lobby gallery. They sponsor four exhibitions each year – providing a platform for local arts and cultural organizations to highlight their work and expand their audience.


In the case of Socrates Sculpture Park, located in Long Island City, the partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle increased accessibility while reflecting Socrates' rich history and commitment to presenting large-scale artworks in the public realm. On the other hand, the employees and clients that pass through this space every day are exposed to a creative expression of arts and culture in the workplace. This partnership, and others like it, brought vibrancy to a setting that many employees spend a majority of their time, played a role in inspiring creativity, and blended two worlds that may have never crossed paths otherwise. 


Read more about the Fact of the Matter exhibition here.


INFOGRAPHIC: CECP Shows Corporate Societal Engagement is a Sound Business Strategy

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

CECP has released the inaugural Giving in Numbers Brief, drawn from company-reported data to the Giving in Numbers Survey, conducted in association with The Conference Board, which presents an annual profile of corporate philanthropy. See the infographic below, and visit CECP for more information on Giving in Numbers.


CECP infographic


BCA Executive Board Member Martha Ingram Talks Arts in Nashville

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

In the following video from, businesswoman, philanthropist, arts supporter and BCA Executive Board Member Martha Ingram speaks of her passion for bringing the arts to her hometown of Nashville. (Photo credit: John Russell, Vanderbilt University.)


In 1972, Ingram spearheaded an 8-year campaign to build the Tennessee performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville, which ultimately housed the Nashville Symphony and became a world-class performance venue. In the early 2000s, a new Symphony Center (the Schermerhorn) was constructed, the project again led by Ingram. However, the symphony fell upon hard financial times due to the economic recession and the disastrous flood of May 2010, which devastated many parts of Nashville and the surrounding region. In the end, Ingram provided the funds to save the facility from foreclosure, which the symphony is now paying back over a period of time.


A fervent supporter of Americans for the Arts, Ingram holds an honorary seat on the host committee for the upcoming 2014 Annual Convention being held in Nashville this June. | Nashville News, Weather

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Shops for Success at Tony Walker & Co.

Posted by Lauren Piekarski

Tony Walker & Co. (TW&Co.) is a Buffalo-based, high-end fashion retail center located in Williamsville, New York. A high percentage of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) patrons live in this Buffalo suburb and patronize the TW&Co. Center, which inspired both organizations to form an innovative collaborative partnership in the fall of 2013 to benefit both organizations.


The relationship began small. Tony Walker & Co. promoted its brand at a BPO concert, formally announcing its new partnership with the Orchestra. Before the concert and during intermission, the company displayed pieces that carried in the store, increasing brand awareness to the thousands of BPO audience in attendance. TW&Co. also featured the Orchestra in its annual catalog, which was disseminated to thousands of Buffalo area households.


In early May of 2014, Tony Walker & Co. hosted a BPO “Shop for Success Day.” During this full-day promotional event, any shopper who mentioned the BPO at TW & Co. received a 10 percent discount on his or her purchase. The company then donated 10 percent of the purchase proceeds to the BPO. Each patron who mentioned the BPO received a favor bag filled with items from both organizations.


In addition, Tony Walker & Co. generously hosted a “Shop for Success Day” reception to celebrate its growing relationship with the Philharmonic. Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a  fashion show featuring BPO musicians and staff. Musicians strolled the catwalk donning pieces from designers such as Mara Hoffman, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Tory Burch, and others. (Photo credit: BPO musicians walked the runway in TW&Co.'s first annual 'Shop for Success Day', courtesty of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.)


The Mara Hoffman line in particular piqued interest among patrons. Buffalo native Mara is a successful New York City-based fashion designer whose father, Monte Hoffman, has played cello in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for 50 years. It seemed only fitting that the BPO musicians and staff and TW&Co. celebrated this connection by featuring Mara’s bright-colored, extraordinary tribal-influenced pieces. (Photo credit: BPO musicians don Mara Hoffman originals, courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.)


“Tony Walker and Co. loves working with the BPO,” commented Brittany Troy, event coordinator at TW&Co. “The ‘Shop for Success Day’ was a great way to advance our relationship. We could not be happier with the partnership we are building. The employees at Tony Walker & Co. are very excited to help the Orchestra welcome the 2014-2015 season”


This relationship demonstrated the potential mutual benefits of innovative collaboration with local businesses. Not only did the BPO reach out to an expanded audience in the Williamsville area and raise funds for the organization, but TW&Co. aligned itself with a major cultural asset of Western New York increasing its brand awareness to the BPO’s religious followers. The “Shop for Success Day” is just one reason among many why the #BPOlovesTonyWalker&Co.


Lauren Piekarski is a graduate of Canisius College and the M.A. Arts Management program at the University at Buffalo. She currently serves as the special events coordinator for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Decorates New York City's History

Posted by Caleb Way

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation recently aligned with the Museum of the City of New York through a collaboration on an exhibition called “Gilded New York,“ on display at the Museum’s Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery through November 2014. The exhibition brings together the rich past, present, and future of New York City—a culture that Tiffany & Co. has been very much a part of creating.


Established in 2000, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation works to uphold the principle of its founding organization (Tiffany & Co., 1837)—that successful companies are responsible to their community. Today, the Foundation has adopted the stance that the decorative arts “should be guarded through preservation and advanced through innovation.” The Foundation carries out this mission through its many philanthropic programs, including grant provision to nonprofit organizations that work to enhance the environment and the arts. With specific interest in the decorative arts, the Foundation sponsored the creation the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery at the Museum of the City of New York in November 2013 to showcase decorative artworks, and to support initiatives for the advancement of the arts and arts education.


The Foundation’s work with the Museum of the City of New York has allowed visitors and community members to walk alongside the city on its journey to becoming a cultural capital by displaying beautiful objects from the Gilded Age. This collaboration, among other Foundation partnerships, stems from the Foundation’s Excellence in Design initiative. The initiative seeks to propel the decorative arts by promoting arts education and internships in the field as well as supporting the creation of gallery spaces to showcase specific work. In the same way that Tiffany & Co. played a vital role in solidifying New York City’s place as the epicenter for luxury retail businesses, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation is doing its part to ensure that decorative arts, which play such a strong role in the jewelry industry, are preserved for the city’s future.


By partnering with the Museum of the City of New York, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation has not only teamed up with a cultural institution, but with the City of New York itself--bringing to life a rich piece of its history for all to interact with.


Read more about The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s work with the Museum of the City of New York here.


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