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Engaging Employees Through the Arts is Good Business

Posted by Jordan Shue
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Engaging Employees Through the Arts is Good Business

Americans for the Arts knows that engaging business employees through volunteerism and the arts is key to fostering a desirable work environment, increasing efficiency and morale, and doing good in the community. For arts groups seeking to build deeper ties with the business community, offering to address the need to engage employees in their work can serve as a powerful tool and argument for why supporting the arts is a win-win for everyonethe company, its employees, your organization, and the entire community.

 

Americans for the Arts is thrilled to announce the release of the first three workbooks in a series dedicated to helping nonprofits start arts-based employee volunteer and engagement programs, including:

 

1.       The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville’s WorkCreative, an arts-based training program that brings arts into the workplace by engaging employees in hands-on creativity to stimulate communication, build teamwork, and spark innovation for effective business growth.

2.       ArtsWave’s CincySings, a corporate arts challenge that brings arts into the workplace by creating a friendly, amateur singing competition featuring choirs of Cincinnati-based company employees.

3.       Americans for the Arts Business Volunteers for the Arts®program, a pro bono consulting program for arts organizations that operates in several cities around the United States.

 

If you’re trying to make the case to businesses in your area that using the arts can engage their employees, check out our one-pager advocacy tools, Six Ways to Use the Arts to Boost Employee Engagement and The Arts Boost Employee Engagement. Learn from practitioners who’ve taken the plunge, and work with us or on your own to do the same in your communities! Learn more.

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Architecture Firms in DC Compete at Canstruction

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Architecture Firms in DC Compete at Canstruction

Some of the best arts and business partnerships are ones in which businesses incorporate the arts as part of other charitable efforts. For example, architects in DC collaborated with their colleagues on a creative project this past November to raise awareness about hunger in the city. At the Washington Architectural Foundation's annual Canstruction event, teams created structures made of full cans of food that were then donated to charity. According to Greatergreaterwashington.org, this year's theme was transportation, which resulted in replicas of the Metro map, Washington Dulles International airport, and a Car2Go from firms such as KCCT Architects and Barnes Vanze Architects. Through this year's event, the firms donated a total of 68,313 pounds of food plus $5,070 in “votes” for the Capital Area Food Bank, resulting in 69,600 meals--27.600 more meals than the event raised in 2014.

 

Canstruction® is an Atlanta, Georgia based charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the cansculptures® go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. Canstruction® events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia.

 

Not only does Canstruction challenge architects to think creatively, enabling them to work collaboratively with their coworkers and hone their design skills in a fun way, but it also allows the businesses to give back to the community where their employees and customers live and work. For these firms, Canstruction is about more than just building a map or a car, it's about building a brand.

 

Photos: A DC Metro map and Can2Go by nevermindtheend on Flickr.

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Biotech Bands Battle it out in Boston

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the third annual Battle of the Biotech Bands, hosted by the Arts & Business Council of Boston, took place at Boston’s Royale Nightclub. Described as a fun, community-driven, networking event, Battle of the Biotech Bands features bands associated with Boston-based biotech companies. The bands compete to raise money for a charitable foundation of their choosing. According to the event's website, Battle of the Biotech Bands is “an amazing opportunity for biotech companies and innovators throughout Boston to rock out and partner with architecture, design, and building professionals.”

 

AURAL GAVAGE (Momenta Pharmaceuticals), who played on behalf of The Jolane Solomon Research Fund at Boston College, took home the gold. MOLECULAR GROOVE (PerkinElmer), who played on behalf of The American Cancer Society, and the ZAC MAC BAND (Ironwood Pharmaceuticals), who played on behalf of The Boys & Girls Club of Middlesex County also competed. Merrimack Pharmaceutical's BAD IDEA, the 2014 winner, opened the night.

 

“The Battle of the Biotech Bands is truly a unique event that brings together individuals from across the building and life science spectrum – a networking opportunity that doesn’t feel like you’re networking,” said Carly Bassett, Co-Chair, Battle of the Biotech Bands. “It’s about the music, charitable organizations, and connecting gifted innovators in the biotech industry with the teams of people that help make their organizations possible. Already in our third year, the industry response has grown exponentially. Our hope is to continue this annual tradition for many years to come.”

 

The event was sponsored by a variety of businesses, including Merrill Datasite, a virtual data storage company; Biobridges, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting company; and Choate, a law firm.

 

"Having the opportunity to sponsor the Battle of the Biotech Bands is personally and professionally gratifying," said Jason Falchuk, BioBridges' Managing Partner. "Our life sciences community is made up of brilliant, inspiring people working together to develop breakthrough therapies. Music also unites, inspires, and heals. If I had to choose only one event that captures the pulse of our exceptional community, this is it."

 

Visit the Battle of the Biotech Bands website for more.

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Cincinnati's ArtsWave Raises Over $12 Million in Support of the Arts

Posted by Jordan Shue
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ArtsWave, one of the nation’s oldest united arts funds based in Cincinnati, announced that their recently completed 2014 campaign has been the most successful to date. The campaign saw community contributions of more than $12 million, surpassing the organization’s goal for the year. This campaign marks the final year with CEO Mary McCullough-Hudson at the helm, as she plans to retire in August. During her twenty years of leadership, McCullough-Hudson doubled the campaign from $6 million to $12 million.

 

This year, ArtsWave added 8,208 new donors to the campaign, which received over 50% of its contributions from workplace giving campaigns at banks, insurance companies, restaurants, and other businesses in the region.

 

“We want to thank all of our donors and volunteers who took action for ArtsWave and our community,” said McCullough-Hudson. “The millions of dollars that this campaign invests every year in our local arts organizations create benefits for our entire region.”

 

In addition to traditional workplace giving campaigns and individual leadership support, ArtsWave expanded on the CincySings program to tie it to the overall campaign. In previous years, CincySings brought P&G and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center employees together to participate in “sing-off” events timed with their workplace giving campaigns. This year, ArtsWave expanded CincySings to include ten regional companies, which each sent a choir to participate in an evening performance that raised over $20,000. (Photo credit: The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati took the stage at CincySings, photo courtesy of J. Sheldon.)

 

Congratulations to ArtsWave and Mary McCullough-Hudson for a fantastic 2014 campaign. Click here for more information about ArtsWave.

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Connecting the Dots: Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville

Posted by Emily Peck
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Connie Valentine, CEO of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville talks about forging meaningful partnerships between arts and business in Nashville Arts Magazine

 

Read an excerpt from the article where Connie discusses one of ABC Nashville's signature programs, the Music City Corporate Band Challenge:

 

"Take, for example, the council’s Corporate Band Challenge. Valentine’s brainchild, the concept, in a nutshell, is to offer corporations, nonprofits—even government entities—the opportunity to create a band within their own ranks and compete against each other. While in Music City the concept may not seem such a stretch, its unique nature has even become a model for other cities.

 

Valentine took her idea to Ron Samuels, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Avenue Bank. “Count us in,” he said.  “We’re going to rock the house.”

 

Valentine says these bands that are formed connect employees, from the security guard to the CEO. “It bonds people from all walks of life in ways they never would in any other way. It’s team building at its best. It’s infusing creativity into a workplace, be it the financial sector or the nonprofit world."

 

Read the entire article at Nashville Arts Magazine.

 

*photo of Plumb Crazy with Next of Kin from Myers Plumbing courtesy of ABC Nashville.

Nashville Arts and Business Council Inspires Corporate Creativity

Posted by Timarie Harrigan
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Nashville Arts and Business Council Inspires Corporate Creativity

The Arts and Business Council of Nashville celebrated Nashville’s diverse and robust artistic community with their annual ArtWorks exhibit and reception. Designed to reveal the artistic potential of the community, ArtWorks invites companies to enter ten original pieces of art created by their employees. Featuring entries that ranged from painting and photography to sculpture and architecture, ArtWorks was a showcase of the creative potential in the business community. All entries compete to win the Critic’s Pick Awards and the People’s Choice Awards, adding a little friendly competition to the mix.

 

Company winners

Critic’s Pick 1st Place:Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon

Critic’s Pick 2nd Place: Earl Swensson Associates

Critic’s Pick 3rd Place: First Tennessee

Critic’s Pick Honorable Mention: PMC; Zeitlin & Co. Realtors; Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse

People’s Choice: Avenue Bank and First Tennessee (It’s a tie!)

Individual Winners

Critic’s Pick 1st Place: Mike Kelly of Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse

Critic’s Pick 2nd Place: Laura Moseley of Werkshop Marketing

Critic’s Pick 3rd Place: Jim Breslin of Earl Swensson Associates

People’s Choice 1st Place: Alex Arakalian of Avenue Bank

People’s Choice 2nd Place: Andy Fisher of First Tennessee

People’s Choice 3rd Place: Gregg Boling of GS&F

 

Read more about the evening on www.abcnashville.org

 

 

*This post was originally posted in BCAnoteworthy.

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