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Seeing High Seas: Art + Tech in Times Square

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Seeing High Seas: Art + Tech in Times Square

For tech giant Microsoft, partnering with the arts is nothing new. Since their BCA 10 honor in 2013, they have continued to collaborate with artists, including Mel Chin. The Queens Museum and No Longer Empty are hosting his exhibit Mel Chin: All Over the Place in the bright, bustling center of New York City. Here, tourists and art goers alike can step into Chin’s two-part multimedia works Wake (hosted by Times Square Arts) and Unmoored.

 

Among the mammoth installation of Wake’s animatronic Jenny Lind figurehead of the 19th century USS Nightingale and its skeleton, viewers can immerse (or submerge) themselves into the work with Unmoored. Together, Chin and Microsoft developed a mixed reality experience depicting New York City under water. Complete with different types of plankton, the imaginary water rises above the viewers when they don the Microsoft HoloLens – a potential glimpse into the future of the city.

 

According to Queens Museum, Chin’s work highlights “the natural environment, socioeconomic systems and injustice, the weight of lamentations as well as the lightness of humor to reveal truths” and uses different “disciplines that intersect in the artist’s politically charged work and demonstrate how art can promote social awareness and responsibility and reanimate curiosity.”

 

Through this partnership, Chin created a world where the past, present, and future collide.

 

Other businesses that collaborated on this project include Listen (a company that focuses on sound, strategy, and experiences), and Zengalt (the HoloLens team that focuses on museums).

 

Photo from Unmoorednyc.com

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Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer

Since 2006, Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, an offshoot of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative, has placed globes around the world to combat climate change. Using public art, Cool Globes has brought messages of awareness to Washington DC, California, Texas, and Copenhagen, Geneva, Marseilles, Amsterdam, and Jerusalem.

 

Last month, they unveiled the latest exhibit in Pittsburgh, with support from 2013 BCA 10 honoree PNC Foundation. In a news release, Greg Jordan, PNC General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer said:

The Cool Globes exhibit is internationally recognized not only for its artistry but also for shining a light on the environment. The exhibit, and the globe we selected for installation at Triangle Park that represents green building, couldn’t be a more natural fit with PNC’s commitment to sustainability initiatives. We can think of no better place to showcase this exhibit and the work of local artists than our hometown.

 

In 2013, at the time of PNC’s BCA honor, then Executive Vice President and Director of Community Affairs said, “The PNC Foundation has always believed that engagement in the arts enriches lives and builds stronger, more vibrant communities.” Through this partnership with Cool Globes, PNC Foundation continues to use the arts to create strong, engaged communities.

 

Cool Globes in Pittsburgh is also made possible by the City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office, Heinz Endowments, and the Pittsburgh Penguin Foundations.

 

Check out a sample of the globes on their site.

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Business Leaders Do Have A Role in Preserving Arts and Culture

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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In the article “Why Business Leaders Should Support Culture and the Arts”, the author reminds us that the early art makers of the Renaissance were patron-supported.

 

Applying that historical practice to current times, he offers, “As a business leader, being a patron then is not only good for the arts, it’s patriotic. In fact, it’s arguably the best investment you can make.”

 

The author, James G. Brooks Jr., the founder and CEO of GlassView, smartly imparts these two factors in business leaders’ roles in preserving national arts and culture:

 

  

 

Culture is a potent source of international influence.

The art created says much about society’s culture and we often associate a national identity with these contributions to the cultural landscape.

 

It is critical that society, business leaders included, encourages art that reflects themes surrounding the environment, health and wellness, education, inclusion, heritage, and yes, even fun food.

 

The arts are where the next generation will hone critical thinking skills.

Unique and creative interplay enhances problem solving, teamwork, and inventiveness, helping to increase critical thinking skills. Whether applied to the next generation or the current workforce, these skills go hand-in-hand with advancing community and business goals.

 

Our pARTnership Movement essay “Foster Critical Thinking” contains deeper insight into how businesses partnering with the arts can help employees stimulate critical thinking.

 

To share #ArtsandBiz stories, send an email to Jessica Gaines at jgaines@artsusa.org

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You Can’t Spell Earth Day without ART!

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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You Can’t Spell Earth Day without ART!

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22nd - as mentioned in the pARTnership Movement essay “Advancing Corporate Objectives and Strategies”, Subaru has taken to encouraging use of the arts to reiterate their corporate message.

 

Car manufacturer, Subaru, is a “zero landfill” company, meaning it sends none of its waste to landfills. In fact, the Subaru plant recycles 99.99% of its waste and considers its expertise in the area the art of reduce, reuse, and recycle! In 2015, Subaru decided to bring their expertise and zero landfill concept to the parks to reduce national waste with Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) apart of the pilot program.

 

Subaru has several techniques to prepare its waste for reuse or recycling, such as separating food waste for composting and sending the dust produced from weld slag to a recycling facility where copper and other metals are reclaimed. Over the years, Subaru has shared its zero landfill techniques with hundreds of businesses, schools and organizations to benchmark their own zero landfill goals.

 

In a recent collaboration with GTNP, Subaru presented an eco-centered arts challenge to FabLab students from Jackson Hole High School. (FabLab is shorthand for digital fabrication lab, an elective program that teaches students how to envision, design, and make innovative projects.) These students were invited to design concepts – fun, innovative, practicable, scalable.

 

Over a school year’s time, including observation of the recycling center and the park, the students developed concepts which they presented to a panel of Subaru and GTNP leadership. The panel selected two projects that will eventually be installed at GTNP – a recycling bin in the shape of a mountain range that uses clear imagery to aid visitors in self-sorting and “STREAM”, a large art installation that shows the amount of plastic bottle waste in a single day in the park.

 

This pARTnership not only helps the students imagine themselves as designers but, in keeping with Subaru’s eco-friendly messaging, helps remind the park’s visitors about their impact on the environment.

 

 

Photo: Models of the STREAM project conceived by Jackson Hole High School students.

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Water Conservation is Music to Our Ears

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Water Conservation is Music to Our Ears

The arts and business can easily flow together, even when it comes to water conservation. Just ask Kohler Co., a global leader in manufacturing kitchen products, engines and power systems, premier furniture, and the operator of two five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations. Kohler recently teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization located in all 50 states and more than 69 countries, and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to promote smart water use to over 36,000 concert attendees.

 

Based on research from the EPA WaterSense program, Kohler noted that the average American adult spends 8 minutes in the shower, using 18 gallons of water each time. In the spirit of conservation and music, Kohler started the #CommitToSix campaign to get Kohler customers and Bonnaroo concertgoers to cut their water use by 25 percent by shortening their shower time by just two minutes. Showers at the festival facilities were equipped with Kohler Moxie Bluetooth-enabled showerheads, allowing people to enjoy quality music while becoming more aware of the amount of time they spent in the shower.

Senior manager of sustainability at Kohler stated “whether you sing in the shower or not, pledging to cut just a few minutes of shower time is a simple way that festival-goers, music fans and everyone else can reduce water use.” Through partnering with the arts in a music festival like Bonnaroo, Kohler is making it easier than ever to sing in the shower and save water.

 

With a partnership that so perfectly blends business, arts, and advocacy, it should come as no surprise that both Kohler and Bonnaroo are previous recipients of Americans for the Arts’ BCA 10 Awards (Bonnaroo’s award is via parent company is AC Entertainment), being among the top ten businesses recognized every year for being the partners of the arts. Whether it’s a song in the key of C or a sea of fans, Kohler and Bonnaroo are taking on corporate responsibility with the arts.  

 

Photo: KOHLER® Moxie Showerhead

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At Zappos, Creativity is a Shoe-In

Posted by Chris Zheng
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At Zappos, Creativity is a Shoe-In

Zappos knows that building a successful business means starting off on the right foot. With consistent support of the arts, especially in its home community of Las Vegas, Nevada, the online shoe and apparel retailer is widely recognized as an engaging place to work and is able to attract talent from around the region.

 

From its lax dress code policies to providing employees with paint and art supplies to draw on the walls of the its headquarters, Zappos embodies a culture of creativity. Located in an area that is undergoing rapid revitalization, the company has continuously supported a thriving arts scene by hosting an art gallery in its own office. Gallery curator Paco Alvarez says of the company: “Zappos is a very creative environment. The more creative our employees can be the better. We want people to come to work and create an environment that they are pleased to come to.”

 

Support for the arts falls in line with the company’s Core Values, and one way it stands out from others is its choice to support a full-time resident artist. Miguel Hernandez has painted dozens of murals at headquarters and neighborhood businesses around the city of Las Vegas. Hernandez took hold of Core Value #1: Deliver WOW through Service, and quickly fell into his role as campus artist, self-managing his time and forming connections throughout the business while creating stunning paintings from employee requests. In support of Core Value #4: Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded, Hernandez blew people away with his creative designs, turning many blank office walls into outstanding works of art that welcomed visitors and employees alike.

 

In engaging the local community through support of a thriving and resilient arts culture, Zappos has established itself as a company with strong corporate values and an authentic loyalty to its community. When it comes to forming a successful online shoe business, Zappos has definitely taken a step in the right direction.

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