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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

On April 11, Skechers unveiled new murals on the side of it’s flagship store in Manhattan Beach. It is exciting to see the sneaker company engage with public art through thie project. The murals were designed by Rachel Rodi, and completed by a team of 14.

 

On the side of the building, a sting ray, a shark, and an octopus swim in an homage to the Roundhouse Aquarium, while the other depicts Manhattan Beach Pier at sunset.  

 

CEO Michael Greenberg spoke about the gift of public art, standing alongside the Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission, the artwork was a condition of Skechers renovating the store. Howorth and Rodi both had front spots as Greenberg cut the ribbon to officially open the newly remodeled store.

 

 

Photo by Kevin Cody, easyreadernews.com

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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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Top 10 States for Arts and Business Arts Partnerships

Posted by Mariama Holman
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Americans for the Arts has been honoring businesses that uniquely partner with arts organizations within their communities over the last decade through the annual BCA10 awards, receiving nominees of both large, small and mid-sized companies across a dozens of industries and over 47 states.

 

We are taking a moment to call attention to the top 10 states that have celebrated business and arts partnerships by number of BCA10 nominees from 2005 to 2017, with pro-arts quotes from iconic awardees from the respective cities.  

 

1.     New York

 

Time Warner Inc., New York,

At the announcement of Time Warner’s recognition in the BCA Hall of Fame Award for the 2007 BCA10 gala, Richard Parsons, then CEO and Chairman stated that, “Creativity is as important to the communities we serve as it is to the businesses we run. That’s why we’re committed to supporting the arts. By giving young people a chance to develop their talents and interests through media and arts programs, enabling more people to experience world-class theater, and nurturing diverse new artists and new works, we strive to help keep the arts rich and accessible.”

 

 

2.     California

Wells Fargo, San Francisco, CA

Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Company went on record during their 2005 BCA10 awardee announcement saying that “the arts make communities great places to live, work and play. Supporting the arts is simply the right thing to do.”

 

 

3.     Texas

American Airlines, Dallas, TX

Bella Goren, American’s Vice President of Interactive Marketing and Reservations at Americans for the Arts as well as a member of the board of North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, accepted the 2005 BCA10 award in New York on the company’s behalf. “American and our people have a long-standing record of supporting the arts and enhancing what the arts bring to our communities,” said Goren afterward. “Hundreds of American and American Eagle employees volunteer in many positions and capacities in local and national arts organizations, and this commitment has been ongoing.  We’re proud of them, and grateful for their contributions.”

 

 

4.     Florida

Bacardi North America, Coral Gables, FL

 

According to Robert Furniss-Roe, the former Regional President of Bacardi North America, “Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi, and this sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 150 years ago. Arts programming enriches the lives of our employees and their families, our neighbors, and our business partners. The realm of the arts cross borders and languages to bring all people together in the name of beauty, knowledge and community.”

 

 

5.     Pennsylvania

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

 

“The arts can bring a community to life and influence its economic development. That is why PNC has long supported creative programs and initiatives that make the arts more accessible to our employees and everyone we serve,” said James E. Rohr, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

 

 

6.     Missouri

Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO

“Hallmark’s mission is to inspire meaningful connections, which enhance relationships and enrich lives. We feel the arts are central to this purpose,” said Donald Hall, Jr., President and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc during the 2014 BCA10 awards at the Central Park Boathouse in New York.

 

 

7.     Wisconsin

Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, WI

At the 2013 BCA10 announcement, John E. Schlifske, Chairman, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, stated that “Northwestern Mutual believes in the long-term benefits of sponsoring arts in the community. The arts inspire us to think differently and use new skills in all kinds of work. Our Foundation takes great pride in fostering and supporting an arts scene that not only provides entertainment, but also economic growth.”

 

 

8.   Tennessee

HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN

"The arts nourish the spirit, challenge the mind, bring joy to the soul and enhance our communities. HCA's support of the arts is consistent with our mission to improve the quality of human life,” said Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Chairman and CEO of HCA in light of the company’s recognition for the 2006 BCA10 award.

 

 

9.   Illinois

Deere & Company, Moline, IL

"Support of the arts is integral to Deere's long-standing commitment to our communities,” said Robert W. Lane, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  Deere & Company. “We are pleased to make major contributions to the arts that enhance the quality of life.”

 

 

10.  Ohio

Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

“Every day at P&G we strive to improve people’s lives with our brands and products, as well as improve the communities where we live and work. Supporting the arts produces ripple effects of benefits that help communities thrive and make them great places to live,” said Proctor & Gamble CEO, David Taylor upon the 2016 BCA10 announcement.

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Cultural Districts Opens Doors to Economic Opportunity

Posted by Mariama Holman
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Cultural Districts Opens Doors to Economic Opportunity

What exactly is a cultural district, and why does it matter to businesses and communities?

 

Cultural districts leverage a unique resource or talent available within the community (a sustainable competitive advantage) to serve as a focal point for branding a city’s unique cultural identity and historical significance. 

 

Better branding leads to stronger differentiation from the surrounding community, which assists and supports the marketing of local businesses and nonprofit cultural organizations.

 

When contentiously utilized, a community’s culture and history does not just gather cobwebs in a textbook, but impacts future cash flow for city coffers and local business owners.

 

Per the National Cultural Districts Exchange Toolkit, cultural districts have a significant economic impact on cities, especially growing small businesses. As demonstrated by the  2017 Business Contributions to the Arts Survey, this could be why small businesses contribute a larger percentage of their philanthropy budgets to the arts.


The impacts of cultural districts on the business community are well documented in The Arts as a Strategy for Revitalizing Our Cities.

 

Take for instance, the example of The Warehouse Arts District in Tucson, Arizona and the Pittsburgh Cultural District. Three years after the establishment of the Tucson Arts District, there was a 23 percent increase in new businesses. Furthermore, 54 percent of businesses in the district increased their sales volume.

 

The Pittsburgh Cultural District generated $115 million in commercial activity via $33 million in public investment and $63 million in private and philanthropic funds within the first decade of operation.

 

The Oakland Black Arts and Movement Business District is now in the running to be recognized as a cultural and historical site in the State of California, an opportunity that could repeat the economic successes of earlier cultural districts across America. The state council recently selected the area as one of 22 semifinalists to be considered for the “California Cultural District” designation.

 

Oakland’s cultural district contains more than 20 small businesses and cultural spaces that have been serving the community for decades, including the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Joyce Gordon Gallery and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle Club, a community music venue operating since the 1970s known for hosting music legends such as Wynton Marsalis and Phyllis Hyman. The district also features the Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland Cultural Center.

 

Economic and community development initiatives in the East Bay area are especially important as the San Francisco affordable housing crisis continues, leaving many residents in search of  a better quality of life in the suburbs. Oakland suffered a 25 percent decline in African-American residents in the past decade, losing approximately 33,000 residents per the U.S. Census.  

 

Marvin X, one of the Oakland Black Arts Movement Business District founders, says “the district can add a whole lot of equity and tourism to the city.”

 

As seen by prior cultural district examples, through fostering the arts and culture sector the “California Cultural District” designation could create a stronger economic future for Oakland’s residents. 

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What Do El Dorado, Tulsa, Oak Park, and San Carlos All Have in Common?

Posted by Mariama Holman
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What Do El Dorado, Tulsa, Oak Park, and San Carlos All Have in Common?

They understand that the arts contribute to the economy and quality of life

 

Small towns across America are realizing the potential of the arts to reenergize economies, rebrand districts, and revitalize neighborhood infrastructure. El Dorado, Tulsa, Oak Park and San Carlos realize that the arts area business, and investing in their success spurs the local economy. Take a look at a few of the many arts and business partnerships initiated across the country, below.

 

El Dorado, AR

$100 Million designated for entertainment district spurring job creation and tourism 

 

Downtown El Dorado suffered from zero to fifteen percent occupancy rates in certain blocks following the oil bust of the 1970’s. Scaling downtown development will turn community blight into benefit.

 

El Dorado Festivals & Events (501-c3) is investing in the Murphy Arts District, a year-round entertainment district in downtown El Dorado. Plans for the area feature a musical hall, amphitheater, restaurant and a children’s play area. El Dorado Festivals & Events also seeks to spend $32 million to renovate a 1920’s Rialto Theater, which will be reopened to include an art gallery, exhibition hall and artist-in-residence quarters. The grand opening is set for September of 2017.

 

Tulsa, OK

$30 Million creating new mixed-use retail space for the creative economy

 

Since the 1920’s the 72,000 square foot Archer Building has had a home within downtown Tulsa. The now abandoned building and its unique architectural elements are getting a face lift due to a grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The Archer Building will turn into 35 artists’ studios, 14 apartments and retail space for 10 restaurants and retail businesses. Magic City Books, a book store with special rooms designated for community gatherings and clubs, will help anchor the ground floor.  

 

Jeff Morton, President of the Board of Directors for the Brady Arts District Business Association states that the development is to breathe new life into the area, “our magic time is not over; it is right now and what is in the future.”

 

Oak Park, IL

$50,000 set-aside for assisting local arts and business owners    

 

The Oak Park Arts District Business Association is investing time and resources in collaborating with creative workers and artists to further distinguish the neighborhood from surrounding Chicago suburbs.

 

Oak Park Arts District visitors criticize the lack of visible art within the community. “Friends love the bars and the idea of restaurants coming on Harrison and Lombard…It’s all very cool, but the arts do seem to be lagging,” according to Oak Park Arts and Business Association Trustee, Bob Tucker.

 

The association plans on focusing its resources towards facilitating the efforts of local artists and businesses that contribute to creating a more artistically vibrant and attractive neighborhood.  

 

San Carlos, CA

Chamber of Commerce hosts industrial arts show for increasing foot traffic

 

The San Carlos Industrial Arts District is currently known as the home of several home and building supply businesses, but the area is changing to be more consumer facing.

Zoning laws are now allowing food and beverage establishments, such as Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company and the Domenico Winery, to open. Local businesses are excited about anything they can do to improve the area for pedestrians. They desire to transform the neighborhood from a drive-through zone to a destination.

 

As a result, the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce is working with local business owners to put on an Industrial Arts Car Show geared towards attracting the district’s industrial design enthusiasts along with arts, food, and wine lovers.

 

Photo: Downtown Tulsa, OK

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Posted by Kate Reese
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Lights, Camera, Action!

Each year, 21st Century Fox partners with Ghetto Film School Fellowsyoung people from traditionally underrepresented communitiesto provide them exposure to the film industry and an opportunity to produce their own short films. This year, the final product was screened at the Paley Center for Media and President of the Criterion Collection, Peter Becker, led a Q&A with the fellows.

 

The film, titled El Coche Rojo, was shot on location in Spain. During the Q&A, students were able to discuss the challenges and lessons learned from the production process. While the fellows were in high school when the movie was made, the experience was incredibly impactful and fostered personal growth. One fellow, Christopher Negron, said “I wasn't just responding to an assignment like I was in high school. I was putting myself into something and really bringing out some things in myself I didn't know were there."

 

Throughout the fellowship, students are given access to visit live sets on the Fox Studio’s lot, attend exclusive screenings, and meet with industry professionals to get support and advice. Ghetto Film School is one of many projects supported by 21st Century Fox Impact that supports their mission to enriching film education for youth.

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Q and A: Using the Arts to Reach New Tenants at Orchard Commercial

Posted by Emily Peck
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Q and A: Using the Arts to Reach New Tenants at Orchard Commercial

 

An interview with Joe Lewis, President and Owner, Orchard Commercial

 

Americans for the Arts is proud to present an interview with Joe Lewis, president and owner of Orchard Commercial—the most comprehensive real estate operations company in Silicon Valley. Joe is responsible for overseeing all regional business activities, providing quality service to its customers, and maximizing profitability for its clients' commercial properties. Joe has over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate as a broker, manager, developer, and owner. Before joining Orchard in 1996, Joe served as executive vice president at Cornish & Carey, directing the property management division in addition to his brokerage practice. In 1988, he was elected Silicon Valley Investment Broker of the Year. He is a member of BOMA Silicon Valley, Institute of Real Estate Management, and NAIOP. Joe serves on the UC Berkeley Fisher Center Advisory Board. Before his real estate career, Joe served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Q) Describe the evolution of the 2665 North First Street project.

In 2006, Orchard Commercial purchased a 30 year old, 120,000 square foot office building in North San Jose. The building was quite neglected and only about 40% leased. The opportunity and challenge was to renovate the building and attract new tenants. The building, while well located, suffered from poor market reputation and very large common areas. A quiet pall seemed to hang over the common area interiors that soared three stories to the roof. “Lifeless” was a word that often emerged in our conversations about what to do with it. One day, the head of our design department said, “This place looks and feels like an art gallery. Why don’t we play to that?” And the journey began.

 

Q) How do you determine which art pieces to feature?

Our in-house designer saved the day by directing us to San Jose University’s Art Department. Graduating students in the Masters of Fine Arts program were exhibiting their final works as a graduation requirement. Some of them had very large works that were incredibly striking. We hired a recent graduate who had an undergraduate degree in Marketing & Communications and a Masters in Fine Art to become our part time curator. She was tasked to recruit artists from the program to exhibit their works in our building for a 3-month period. Our first exhibit had nearly 50 works of student artists. We held a reception in the building for the artists and everyone else in the community we could think of to invite, including all the real estate office leasing brokers. It all worked so well that we continued with our curator who sourced works from students, faculty, and other emerging artists to create new exhibits each quarter. Some works were sold directly by students and the rotation would start all over again.

 

Q) How do you think the art feature has impacted the success of this project?

The revolving exhibits and the quarterly receptions changed the reputation of the building. Brokers brought their tenants. The tenants were excited about the exhibits and regularly attended the receptions, creating a new sense of community within the building that was contagious. The reasons that people choose one office space over another are legion. They are usually described in terms of location, amenities, and economics – quantifiable attributes that can be explained in a memo to the board or the boss. However, most buildings on the tenant’s short list will be fairly equal, so there are not many unique reasons to choose one over the other. Most prospects can’t remember which spaces they toured. People finally decide on the basis of feelings–“I love the feel of this place”–to select their new home from several fairly equal choices. Art brought the building to life and it made a huge difference, although the real reason people leased our space remained a bit of an unquantifiable secret.

 

Q) How has art helped your business connect with the community and/or achieve other business goals?

The surprising thing is how quickly word spread throughout the larger community. We promoted the program with invitations to the receptions but soon organizations were seeking us out as a place to host events because it was so interesting and ever changing. ZERO1, a group that works at the intersection of Art and Technology, selected our building for their opening gala. We hosted political events for the Mayor and other community organizations and causes. If you have space to lease, the more people that visit your building, the better. It worked incredibly well in a world where it is difficult to get anyone’s attention. The lifeless building became fun, approachable, full of life, and fully leased.

 

Q) In what ways does art intersect with the property management business?

The highlight example was the annual BOMA party mixer with a Mardi Gras theme held in our building. Every property manager, lots of brokers, and most of their vendors were packed into our building lobby. When someone has been to your house, they know who you are. Everyone knew us!

 

Q) Has art played a role in your development as a business leader?

Our promotion of the arts and artists had made us unique. Business and the arts rarely cross unless the leader is a notable collector of art or philanthropist. I am not a notable collector of art but rather an exhibitor of emerging original art. That is in short supply in the business world. I maintain that if all the art that is in warehouses could be where people work, it would make a real difference in both communities.

 

Q) What do you love about the arts?

I like the way that art can change the world. Our business is Commercial Real Estate. We are providing space for people to live their work lives. Art can make a remarkable difference in the joy of those work spaces. Many artists are not promoters and their works will never been seen by the public. Giving them a voice on our commercial walls at the beginning of their careers–that could make the difference.

 

Q) Do you have upcoming projects that feature art?

It is ever challenging to have enough time and money to bring the arts to the marketplace in a meaningful way. Currently we are supporting a project of the San Jose Downtown Association called “Downtown Doors.” High school students have an opportunity to submit their artwork through their teachers to be selected by a committee for publication in an unusual manner. Their work is turned into vinyl canvases and installed on the downtown streets on a variety of side doors and electrical utility boxes. That which was ugly turns into a work of art. Supporters contribute $2,500 to have this installation done and some money returned to the schools for art programs. There have been over 1,300 submissions and $90,000 distributed to schools since the program began. The winners are displayed as posters in a downtown reception at the San Jose Museum of Art. Orchard Commercial had copies of this year’s winners reprinted as posters and placed on display in our building lobby.

 

Q) Is there anything else you want us to know?

We do not spend a lot of money on this program, but it was something that had to be invented. It is very hard for students or emerging artists to get their works in public view. By putting their works in your public space, you are helping them. People that like the work will want to know about the artist, so a tasteful biography is appropriate as well as a sales price and contact point. Building owners and managers are constantly working to get as many people as possible to view their vacant spaces, so giving these prospects something to see and perhaps a glass of champagne to enjoy during a reception is a great move. It is a win-win proposition for your building, the community, and the arts.

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Brewing up New Partnerships in California

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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Business owner Samuel Gilbert has set the arts brewing in North Oakland, California. This summer, while awaiting pending permits before opening the New Normal Brewing company, Gilbert forged a connection with the community by inviting the arts in. Instead of choosing to let the building stand vacant before officially opening for business, Gilbert invited local artists to display their work in his space, noting that both beer and art bring people together.


Together with San Francisco's Guerrero Gallery, the future site of New Normal Brewing company hosted 3 art shows for the community, each featuring multiple artists. The shows brought in many future customers. Gilbert sold New Normal beer at each show, and donated the thousands of dollars he made to local nonprofits.


Construction on the New Normal Brewing company began in August 2015, and Gilbert hopes to have an official opening by the end of the year. After his pre-launch success, Gilbert plans to continue to incorporate the arts into New Normal Brewing. He recently told East Bay Express that he is interested in the similarities between visual-art and brewing’s creative processes.


According to East Bay Express, he also noted that, “any brewery has an abundance of ‘wall space,’ both in terms of literal walls on which you can display artwork, as well as the various paraphernalia and swag that are associated with the company’s brand name — bottle labels, tap handles, and so forth. ‘In my case, I want all of those surfaces to be places for artists to showcase their work.’”
 

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Hyundai and LACMA Begin 10 Years of Research and Discovery

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and South Korean motor company Hyundai recently announced The Hyundai Project, a 10 year corporate sponsorship dedicated to advancing art, technology, and Korean culture This partnership marks LACMA’s longest relationship with a corporate sponsor. The Hyundai Project will ensure funding of the Art + Technology Lab through 2020, which provides grants, in-kind support, and facilities at LACMA for artists to experiment with emerging technologies.

 

The Hyundai Project also supports the Korean Art Scholarship Initiative, a group of three exhibitions slated to open in 2018, 2022, and 2024 focused on Korean calligraphy, contemporary art, and 20th century art. Hyundai’s support will feature multiple publications and opportunities for research in key aspects of Korean art that have never before been explored.

 

 “Hyundai’s partnership with LACMA is significant not only due to the longevity of its commitment, but because of its innovative approach to supporting two critically important fields,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “LACMA is already a leader in the field of Korean art. Hyundai’s support allows us to promote scholarship in underrepresented areas of study. Their support of our Art + Technology efforts is also incredibly significant, not only in recognizing pioneering artists like Robert Irwin, Diana Thater, and James Turrell, but also supporting the next generation of artists through the Art + Technology Lab.”

 

James Turrell, Light Reignfall, 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Hyundai Motor as part of The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA in honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary, © James Turrell, photo © Florian Holzherr

 

“Art is a creative expression of human values that transcends age, gender, race and culture,” said Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman Euisun Chung. “The Hyundai Project at LACMA seeks to support global art communities in the areas of technology and Korean art. I am confident that this collaborative partnership will realize mutual objectives and bolster a deeper understanding of people, culture, and our environment.”

 

Photo: James Turrell, Light Reignfall, 2011, courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Diesel Brings Us the ABC's of Dance

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Diesel, known for its Italian fashions and designer jeans, has recently partnered with i-D, a magazine dedicated to fashion, music, art and youth culture, to create a one-of-a-kind video piece entitled “A-Z of Dance.” In the video, a team of street dancers perform 26 moves, one for each letter, in alphabetical order. The spot, shot on the streets and rooftops of sunny Los Angeles, promotes Diesel’s new collection of Jogg Jeans—denim/jersey hybrid pants that are perfect for dancers or those on the go. Director Jacob Sutton perfectly captures the world's hottest dancers walking in the air in their Jogg Jeans and cut-offs.

 

Diesel is encouraging the global fan community to contribute their own footage to create a second clip, release date to be announced. Dancers from all across the globe can submit their moves using the hashtags #joggjeans and #iDdance online.

 

Click the following link to view “A-Z of Dance,” and see how the astonishing power of choreography can build brand awareness and reach new customers.

 

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