Arts and business news from around the country.


Tips on Employee Engagement from the Experts

Posted by Melyssa Muro

Summer may be over, but the four lessons we learned from this past June’s Cause Marketing Forum Conference Session “Making Progress on Employee Engagement” are only the beginning of the new approach to employee engagement. Speakers JetBlue's Icema Gibbs, (2016 BCA 10 Honoree) Johnson & Johnson's Susan Can, INPEx's Mal Schwartz, and Realized Worth's Chris Jarvis provided valuable insight, summarized here:


1. Make sure to consider and measure two main elements of employee engagement: Chris

  • Positive Action – Take note of not only how many people are participating, but also their level of interest and the impact of their work.
  • Sharing Keep an ear out for employees sharing their experiences, what they feel they learned, and more importantly, invitations to participate based on their experience. 


2. Engaged employees equals higher business value: Icema, Susan, Chris

  • JetBlue “Speak Up Surveys” not only revealed a correlation between volunteering and higher crewmember morale levels, but also a direct relationship between time crewmembers spent volunteering together and how quick the plane took off.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s annual survey showed that employee engagement means a more productive environment, higher recruitment and retention rates, and appeals to millennials.
  • A value of $2,400 per employee that participates in corporate community engagement initiatives was calculated by Research by the Corporate Executive Council.


3. The value of meaningful community engagement opportunities cannot be understated: Susan, Mal

  • Johnson & Johnson has 130,000 employees; partnerships with hundreds of organizations and encouragement to volunteer where each individual’s passions lies ensures that no one is working for a cause they don’t truly believe in.
  • Research by HAVAS Worldwide shows that people are looking for brands to go local when it comes to community outreach. (Image below)


(Download the full HAVAS study, INPEX’s Scale UP & Go Local Infographic & FREE Toolkit)


4. Use technology to your advantage: Mal, Susan

  • Technology is already ready to use so help discover what people are doing in their communities in real time, instead of waiting for delayed, less accurate input via annual survey.

- Employees may communicate messages, images, etc. about their community engagement, just as they already do on everyday social media.


- You can create a communication loop for a continuous flow of info about details of a project, from every input to every output—and all the stops in between.


Vans and Americans for the Arts are Halo Award Finalists!

Posted by Stacy Lasner

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


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


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


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


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


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


Read about other businesses supporting arts education.


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



Facts from the Custom Culture website.


Royal Oak Gears Up for Ford Arts, Beats, & Eats Festival

Posted by Brooke LaRue

This Labor Day weekend, the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak will host the 18th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival, an event that—with the help of corporate supporters—has a multi-million dollar impact on the local economy.

Ford Motor Company has signed on to be the event’s title sponsor through 2018, and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the presenting sponsor of the event. Other local businesses supporting the event include Priority Health, OUR Credit Union, and Vibe Credit Union, among others. The new sponsorships bring $1 million to the festival, which showcases artists, musicians, and food from the Metro Detroit area, reported C & G Newspapers.

L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, told C&G Newspapers that the annual event brings about 350,000 people to downtown Royal Oak, has a $10 million impact on the city, and a $30 million impact on the region. Additionally, he stated that the festival has given $4.5 million to nonprofit and community organizations in the last 18 years – all with no cost to local taxpayers.

In addition to corporate support, the festival is made possible by organizations such as the Detroit Institute of Art, Deaf Arts Festival, and the Royal Oak Schools Performing Arts Committee. For example, C&G Newspapers reported that this year the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) will bring its mobile interactive classroom and creative exploration space to the event to help people, “think like an artist.” DIA will present onstage art demonstrations each day of the festival.

Ford Arts, Beats, & Eats aims to bring a low cost cultural experience to families while simultaneously supporting the community. According to the event’s website, proceeds from admission fees are distributed 25 percent to Arts Advocacy, 25 percent to the City of Royal Oak, and 50 percent to 13 local charities. “Downtown Royal Oak provides the ideal background for Ford Arts, Beats, & Eats, and our residents love this event…it has a very positive impact on our downtown,” Mayor Jim Ellison told C&G Newspapers.


New pARTnerships Planted at the New York Botanical Garden

Posted by Noor Asif
New pARTnerships Planted at the New York Botanical Garden

If you live anywhere in New York City, chances are that you have seen the brightly colored New York Botanical Garden’s posters promoting this summer’s Frida Kahlo exhibit: Art, Garden, Life. For this summer blockbuster exhibit, the New York Botanical Garden has replicated the gardens of Kahlo’s lifelong home, Casa Azul, in its greenhouses and displayed more than a dozen of the artist’s works in its gallery. The botanical garden is also hosting numerous Frida Kahlo inspired events throughout the summer. This grand exhibit was made possible by the creative and financial support of a variety of corporate partners who seized the opportunity to promote their brand and business by partnering on this art-themed event.


  • Bloomberg Philanthropies created a smartphone app that visitors can use at the gardens to learn more about the plants and their relation to Kahlo’s paintings. The app also transforms visitor selfies into works of art, which will be displayed online through social media.
  • Modelo Especial is providing a free beer to each attendee at any of the Frida al Fresco night events.
  • Univision Communications Inc. is publicizing the exhibit on its television and radio stations to help bring younger audiences to the gardens.
  • Aeromexico, the Mexican airline, provided air transportation for the art couriers, artisans, and curators who were involved in the exhibition.
  • Prestige Paints created a new color called NYBG Casa Azul to commemorate the iconic color of Kahlo’s beloved house in Mexico City.
  • The MetLife Foundation has partnered with the New York Botanical Garden to fund the overall exhibit as part of its mission to connect people with the arts and foster a greater awareness and understanding of cultures.

The diverse mix of corporate partnerships woven into the fabric of Art, Garden, Life highlights a growing trend…creative, mutually beneficial arts and business collaborations. By partnering on this exhibit, these businesses reached new customers, opened up new revenue streams, and publicly displayed their company values. For example, by providing free beer, Modelo Especial reached new customers and displayed the company’s appreciation for their cultural heritage. For Prestige Paints, this partnership was an opportunity to create a new product and revenue source that conveys the company’s appreciation of diversity and art. The partnership also sends a message that Prestige Paints draws inspiration from history and nature, much like the exhibit’s attendees.


Learn more about Art, Garden, Life.


Picture from The New York Botanical Garden website.


Female Power Hits the Racks at Nordstrom

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
0 Comments has recently announced a partnership with Piece & Co., a nonprofit dedicated to providing sustainable employment for female artisans in the developing world.


She Makes It is a 32 piece collection featuring products from Alice + Olivia, Current/Elliott, DVF, Joie, Rebecca Mickoff, Theory, The Honest Company, and Tory Burch, all from sourced materials from female artisans in developing countries.


Designer Rebecca Minkoff, in an interview with Piece & Co., noted, “This partnership was the best of both worlds because we were able to support and embrace one-of-a-kind artistry in a modern culture and share it in a huge way through Nordstrom, opening it up to a broadened consumer market.”


“It's been inspiring to see how much all of the brands have enjoyed creating their items with these beautiful fabrics, and how they've now been incorporated into their spring collections.” said Tricia Smith, executive vice president, general merchandise manager, Women's Apparel at Nordstrom. Continued Smith, “We think Nordstrom customers will really embrace Piece & Co.'s vision of connecting fashion and empowering the women who help create it and we can't wait to see how they make it their own."


See the full collection here.


Photo: courtesy of Nordstrom.


A Work of Art that Fits in Your Wallet

Posted by Kellyn Lopes

Wells Fargo, a 2005 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree, has built a collaboration with The Kinsey Collection, offering customizable credit and debit cards featuring images from the esteemed private collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey.


The collaboration came on the heels of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in 2013, with Wells Fargo presenting The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, a national touring exhibit of history, art, and artifacts. The Kinsey Collection is one of the largest unique collections of authentic and rare African American art, artifacts, books, documents and manuscripts that span 400 years. The current exhibit, Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection, is currently on view at Walt Disney World’s Epcot through 2016.


“What was almost instantly appealing about working with the Kinseys is that so much of what’s in the collection is about African American achievement,” said Tim Hanlon, President of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “We have an opportunity via the collection to help folks to really understand and appreciate the milestone that the Emancipation Proclamation really was.”


Through its partnership with the Kinsey Collection, Well Fargo is reaching new audiences, advancing corporate objectives and delivering its message in engaging ways through the arts. Customizing debit and credit cards with artworks from the collection connects current and prospective customers to Wells Fargo’s philanthropic mission and reinforces the Bank's commitment to the arts.



Absolut pARTnership

Posted by Kellyn Lopes

In 1986, artist Andy Warhol created a print ad for Absolut Vodka entitled “Absolut Warhol.” This sparked a series of collaborations, called Absolut Art, with other prominent artists like Keith Haring and Ed Ruscha. Each work depicts the artists’ interpretation of the iconic Absolut bottle. Since the first Warhol print, the Absolut Art Collection has expanded to include international artists and various mediums. The Absolut brand has remained closely situated with contemporary art and culture through its Absolut Art collaborations with artists such as  Spike Jonze, Swedish House Mafia, and Lady Gaga.


This year, Absolut Vodka will produce four million limited-edition Absolut bottles that recreate “Absolut Warhol.”  A Warhol-inspired ad campaign, created by the Sid Lee agency, will launch on October 1, with the theme, “Make the holidays pop.” By revisiting Warhol, Absolut realigns its brand with pop art culture, particularly the energy of New York City nightlife. A classic artist for a classic brand, Absolut recognizes the power in brand collaboration. Joao Rozario, vice president for vodkas at Pernod Ricard U.S said that the promotion is not for the purpose of “bringing the brand back to what it was,” because Warhol is “still an artist consumers today value a lot.”


“The art and night life culture in New York surrounding Warhol was incredibly creative,” Dan Brooks, creative director at Sid Lee, said, “and it’s something we’re taking inspiration from.”


Pernod Ricard, which owns Absolut, has partnered with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for the campaign; portions of the proceeds will be given as royalties to the foundation.


Absolut is also facilitating an online art exchange for consumers to submit and share their own Absolut Warhol inspired art. One participant will receive an original Warhol artwork.


For more information on the Absolut Art Collection, visit, and be sure to visit for more information on the Andy Warhol Edition.


Under Armour Recognizes the Brand-Enhancing Power of Dance

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

Athleticwear brand Under Armour has partnered with American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland on a new commercial. The ad was released in conjunction with the brand's new website, I Will What I Want, which "celebrates the will to find inner strength and to follow no one."


The 60-second spot begins with Copeland balancing on pointe while her voice is heard reading a rejection letter. As the camera pans over her physique, the letter lists all of the reasons why the applicant didn't make the cut, including the sentence, "You have the wrong body for ballet." Copeland swiftly disproves this statement by dancing a powerhouse solo across a stage.


The ad is significant in that Under Armour, whose brand image has traditionally been associated with sport, has chosen to highlight the atheleticism of dance. Utilizing dance as a marketing strategy, the brand recognizes the potential the arts have to reach new audiences and share the brand message in a new and engaging way.


Check out the inspiring video below.



Budweiser is MADE for Music

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
Budweiser is MADE for Music

(Image courtesy of


Budweiser, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, unveiled its 2014 MADE for Music campaign earlier this week. MADE for Music brings together millions of music fans from around the world, celebrating artists, makers and creators who leave their indelible mark on pop culture. MADE was inspired by the success of last summer’s Budweiser Made in America festival, curated by JAY Z in support of the United Way.


As part of the campaign, MADE Underground will follow Budweiser’s journey around the world to search for an eclectic mix of street musicians to create a global “busker band”—comprised of the most unique underground street performers—who will perform at the Budweiser Made in America festival on Saturday, August 30.


The 2014 MADE for Music initiative will be supported by a global campaign featuring JAY Z and Rihanna running across more than 85 countries around the world. Budweiser will bring live music experiences to fans around the world through over 150 live music events, including MADE In parties throughout the United States, Budweiser Storm EDM events throughout China and the Budweiser Made in America simultaneous festivals in Philadelphia and Los Angeles on August 30 and 31, 2014.


“Music’s ability to inspire millions of people around the world everyday can come from unknown but passionate artists like these [MADE Underground] street musicians as easily as it can from global icons like JAY Z and Rihanna. We’re proud to celebrate that this year by giving fans access to all levels of artists dedicated to pursuing their craft with passion and creativity,” said Camilo Durana, Global Director, Budweiser Sports and Entertainment.


MADE for Music’s YouTube channel will be the official global content hub for all things Budweiser. Fans can access exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of MADE Underground, along with artist interviews and more.


MADE for Music is symbolic of Budweiser's commitment to presenting unparalleled music experiences worldwide. For more information, 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.



More News

Diesel Brings Us the ABC's of Dance
May 02, 2014 0 Comments
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...
Go to full post
Blue Moon Shines Brightly on Americans for the Arts
Apr 01, 2014 0 Comments
On March 1, Blue Moon Brewing Company took to the skies of Brooklyn, NY, to celebrate the lunar new moon, promote their “artfully crafted” brand of beer, and raise money for Americans for the Arts through a Twitter campaign...
Go to full post
Flash mobs... the New Office Supply?
May 13, 2013 0 Comments
By now we are all familiar with flash mobs—those groups of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment...
Go to full post
In Philanthropists’ Shoes: Three Perspectives on Being Genuine From Luxury Brands and High Net Worth Individuals
May 09, 2013 0 Comments
While corporate philanthropy has long ago shifted from community charity to strategic, carefully designed programs, a fundamental question of authenticity can undermine the soundest strategies.   If the association between...
Go to full post

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.