Arts and business news from around the country.


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.


New Study Shows: More Corporate Giving in 2014

Posted by Stacy Lasner
New Study Shows: More Corporate Giving in 2014

Every year the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy publishes their annual Giving USA analysis on philanthropy. According to a recent ARTSblog post by Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Research and Policy, Randy Cohen, their latest report shows that 2014 was a good year for the arts and corporate giving.


With the exception of International Affairs, giving in 2014 rose across all sectors, with Arts, Culture, and the Humanities seeing the highest percentage growth. In 2014, private sector giving to the arts, culture, and humanities (by individuals, foundations, and corporations) totaled $17.23 billion, representing a 9.2 percent increase from 2013. Corporate giving grew the most in 2014, increasing 13.7 percent for a total of $17.77 billion.


Corporate contributions are directly related to profits and the economy, but profits and the economy can also be positively impacted by the arts! In 2012, the production of arts and cultural goods added more than $698 billion to the U.S. economy. This production amounted to 4.32 percent of GDP, ahead of the $586-billion construction industry and the $461-billion transportation and warehousing industry, according to a recent federal report by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Through The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts helps businesses understand the powerful affect the arts can have on the economy and community vitality. The arts enhance community development, create jobs, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and create an environment that attracts skilled and educated workers.


Read more about the results of Giving USA 2015.


Learn more about The pARTnership Movement.


Giving in Numbers: A Preview of the 2015 Engagement Survey

Posted by Stacy Lasner

CECP, in association with The Conference Board, has released a brief of the 2015 Giving in Numbers, the most complete annual survey of corporate societal engagement. The full results will be released in autumn 2015 and will reflect responses from 271 multi-billion dollar companies with aggregate revenues of US $8.3 trillion.


The brief indicates that companies are increasingly seeing community investment as essential to their operations, and many companies are choosing to involve employees in their social engagement plans. For example, the survey found:


  • corporate matches of employee donations accounted for 12% of total corporate cash contributions.
  •  9 out of 10 companies offered an employee matching program.
  •  6 out of 10 companies offered paid-release time volunteer programs.
  • 30% of employees volunteering is average.
  • 50% of employees volunteering is the minimum to be in the top quartile.


You can find more statistics from the Giving in Numbers Brief here.


Does your company involve employees in your engagement with the arts? Tell us about it using #ArtsandBiz on Twitter or email


PECO Puts Its Energy into the Arts and Culture

Posted by Stacy Lasner

When businesses partner with the arts, they partner with the whole city. As Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility company, PECO, based in Philadelphia, has a long-standing commitment to arts and culture. In fact, the company invests more than $1 million in the performing and visual arts in the Greater Philadelphia region each year. For this tremendous dedication to the arts, PECO was recognized as a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree in 2014.


“At PECO, we celebrate the arts, and the major role they play in human development and economic impact in the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Craig Adams, president and CEO.” Every day, we put our energy into organizations and programs that make the arts more accessible to a wider audience.”


Through PECO-sponsored programs, people of all ages and backgrounds have an opportunity to enjoy and experience the arts throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. PECO is a longtime sponsor of arts events such as Philadelphia’s Free First Sundays at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and various free summer concert series in the suburban six-county area. They also support many renowned arts organizations, including Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra, Mann Center for Performing Arts and People’s Light and Theater Company.


In 2015, the company is proud to sponsor exhibitions like “Horace Pippin” The Way I See It” at the Brandywine River Museum. This exhibit showcases the work of one of the most prolific American artists of the 20th century. PECO also helped bring hundreds of Mongolian artifacts to Philadelphia by sponsoring “Genghis Khan: Bring the Legend to Life” at The Franklin Institute.


PECO also celebrates arts and diversity year round through the PECO Multicultural Series at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. With festivals devoted to Hispanic, Southeast Asian, African-American culture and more, the PECO Multicultural Series reflects the great diversity of the customers and communities PECO serves.


Thanks to PECO's support, an exhibit of the acclaimed American Hands photo project by Sally Wiener Grotta will be on display at the Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, through June 15. Learn more.


The Arts Mean Business

Posted by Stacy Lasner

Supporting the arts is good for business. As Jay H. Dick, Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts, states in a blog post for the National League of Cities, “cities of all sizes that, even minimally, invest in their local arts organizations can see economic benefits. “


This year’s GDP report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts found that the arts and culture sector represented 4.32 percent of the GDP – a higher percentage than tourism (2.6 percent), transportation (2.7 percent) and construction (3.4 percent).


In his blog post, Dick shares a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Ohio, which illustrates this economic contribution on a local level. The bank determined that for every one dollar spent in ticket sales at the Cleveland Playhouse Square, $2.20 is generated in additional expenditures to the local economy. In a five-year period, 79 new businesses moved downtown, and the cost of downtown office space nearly doubled.


“The great thing about the arts is they are already in your city,” says Dick. "The arts, unlike many industries, are not going to relocate overseas or to a different city. The arts are committed to serving your city’s residents and improving the quality of life. But what they do need are community leaders to recognize them as an industry worthy of both private and public sector support.”


For more information about the economic value of the arts in your community, check out Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports, which provide a research-based approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in America.


Read Jay H. Dick’s post on the National League of Cities’ Cities Speak blog.


StubHub Commits $1 Million to Music Education

Posted by Kellyn Lopes

Ticket marketplace StubHub has partnered with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to bring music instruments to schools in low-income areas. A longtime supporter of music education, StubHub announced its commitment to put $1 million worth of musical instruments into classrooms at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. In recognition of the music festival’s home, the first schools to receive over $80,000 worth of musical instruments will be in Austin.


StubHub is collaborating with Dr. Martens and indie band Portugal. The Man, among others, to award the instrument donations.


Emma Leggat, StubHub Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, said: “Monetary support will always be vital to keeping school music programs alive, but at StubHub, we aim to do more than that. In combining our sheer reach as a company with the voice and inspiration that only musicians can bring, we hope to increase our impact by shining a national spotlight on the issue itself.”


StubHub’s current support of music education builds upon its previous partnerships with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Next Concert Series, which in 2014 resulted in nearly $600,000 worth of instruments to be donated to 16 schools in the US. The StubHub Foundation, created in 2012, allocates over a quarter of its $3 million in charitable giving to non-profit arts, primarily music education.


Watch this video about StubHub’s partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.



Learn More from The pARTnership Movement about StubHub’s support of the arts.


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!

StubHub Celebrates the Power of Giving…and the Arts

Posted by Jordan Shue

StubHub is a company that truly understands the “season of giving”. In keeping with its commitment to supporting arts education, the online ticket marketplace recently launched a donation campaign with the aim of raising funds for three grassroots music organizations that support music education.


Through the campaign, each download of the StubHub Music app will result in a $1 donation to one of the following arts organizations:

Each download of StubHub’s free app, StubHub Music, through one of the above links will result in a $1 donation to the organization through January 31, 2015. The StubHub Music app enables users to find information on when their favorite artists are playing and where, discover new music, buy tickets, and more. What better way for StubHub to give back than by matching donations to the organizations that support the next generation of musicians?



Emma Leggat, StubHub’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, spoke about the 1 for 1 campaign: “By enabling music fans to access StubHub’s new concert discovery app while directly supporting music education–the very future of music–our 1 for 1 campaign is just one of many ways StubHub is channeling our audience and our technology to support causes that matter”.


The campaign is an expansion of StubHub’s standing commitment to arts education: since 2012 nearly $1 million has been allocated to arts non profits that are dedicated to music education. The company also has an ongoing relationship with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and launched the Next Stage Concert Series last April in order to bring more musical instruments to students around the country.


(Photo: Students performing at StubHub’s Next Stage Concert Series. Image courtesy of Getty Images.)


It's #GivingTuesday!

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

Black Friday... Cyber Monday... #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday, the worldwide movement to create a national day of giving, is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving -- this year, Tuesday, December 2, 2014. The pARTnership Movement encourages our network of business leaders and companies to participate in #GivingTuesday through the arts by sharing our messaging campaign, including the 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts, with employees, colleagues and friends.


Join Americans for the Arts in the spirit of giving. Consider making a gift to Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for the advancement of the arts and arts education. As a thank you for your support, #GivingTuesday donors will receive an Americans for the Arts tote bag (while supplies last)!


In addition, you can support Americans for the Arts by shopping on Amazon! That's right -- when you shop on AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchase price to Americans for the Arts. AmazonSmile has the same products, same prices, and same service that you have come to know and love from Amazon. Just start your shopping at and select "Americans for the Arts Inc" to support our cause.


Share your #GivingTuesday stories with us! We'd love to hear how you have supported the arts around the nation, and will work with you to promote your story nationally on the pARTnership Movement website.


For more information on #GivingTuesday, visit


Canada Seeks Private Sector Support for the Arts

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

America is not alone in making the case for business support for the arts. Business for the Arts, Canada's association for connecting arts and business, looks into the motivations behind Canadian corporate arts support. According to the article below, Canadian corporate contributions to the arts are up 49 percent since 2008. Astonishingly, 57 percent of corporations said they had not given to the arts because they had never been asked. (This correlates to our own American survey, the BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, in which 66 percent of American businesses surveyed said they had never been asked to give to the arts.) The question on Canadian minds -- with a scramble for limited government arts and culture grants, will Canadian arts groups look to the business community for the support that they need, and will businesses step up to the plate and give more to the arts? Read the full article from The Globe and Mail below.


When it comes to arts funding, can corporate dollars replace government grants?


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