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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor VF Corporation at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“VF has a proud history of supporting the arts in the communities where our associates live and work, because we believe that thriving communities also mean thriving employees. Empowering local arts organizations that inspire and positively impact people and societies will always remain a focus for us at VF.” 

- Steve Rendle, Chairman, President & CEO, VF Corporation

 

VF Corporation is one the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies with nearly 70,000 associates and operations in more than 170 countries. VF is committed to giving back to its local communities and believes that being an actively engaged citizen is valuable for both the community and for the business.

 

VF and its brands encourage associates to pursue volunteer opportunities, whether through corporate volunteer programs or on their own. During the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC, which took place each year from 2015 to 2017, hundreds of VF associates joined the more than 1,400 volunteers needed to execute the three-day event. As a lead financial contributor, VF brought its Wrangler brand to the festival by sponsoring the Wrangler Stage, one of the festival’s most popular destinations. Wrangler also contributed the use of its headquarters’ downtown grounds to the festival, which provided space for audience seating and a food and beverage marketplace.

 

VF regularly celebrates associates who volunteer their time. Through the VF 100 program—which honors the 100 associates company-wide who have accumulated the highest number of service hours each year—VF has donated $1,000 to each winner’s charity of choice via the VF Foundation, VF’s philanthropic organization. Since the VF 100 program’s inception in 2005, more than 1,100 associates have contributed over 295,000 hours and more than $1 million has been donated to community causes.

 

VF takes an active role in supporting arts initiatives in its hometown of Greensboro. The company is a long-time lead contributor to ArtsGreensboro’s annual community-wide ArtsFund Campaign, which supports more than 50 arts organizations, projects, and artist initiatives each year across Guilford County. VF’s senior management is also playing a strategic role in a Greensboro-based, art-focused task force that is spearheading the effort to create Greensboro’s “Cultural Arts Master Plan,” whichwill serve to advance and support creative life in Greensboro.

 

Wrangler Stage, courtesy of VF Corporation

 

Several of VF’s brands offer customers the ability to showcase their artistry by crafting custom products while also benefiting local nonprofits. For nine consecutive years, the Vans brand has hosted its Custom Culture arts competition, which supports high school arts programs around the country. Participating schools have the chance to win $75,000 towards art programming, and four runner-up schools can earn $10,000. Since 2012, Vans has partnered with Americans for the Arts to offer Custom Culture Grants to public high schools to support arts education. VF is grateful for the ways in which the arts have enriched the company, and will continue to give back to the arts in their communities.

 

Nominated by ArtsGreensboro

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360 Degrees of Dance, Design, and Technology

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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360 Degrees of Dance, Design, and Technology

Last week, Barney’s New York, Samsung Electronics America, and Martha Graham Dance Company unveiled the new Window on Madison Ave. Combining fashion, tech, and art, the display offers passersby, shoppers, and art enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company in a piece choreographed by Cynthia Stanley. Stanley’s Husband Theo Stanley of Harbor Picture Company directed “Mantle.”

 

The piece features eight current and former Martha Graham Dancers, wearing exclusive pieces by noted designers Craig Green, Lowe, Prabal Gurung, Rick Owens, and the Row. In addition to showcases the dancers, choreographers, and the fashion, “Mantle” is also providing people the opportunity to experience something through Virtual Reality. Using Oculus VR headsets, audiences can explore the dancers and the designs from a new perspective.

 

Together, these businesses and the arts are proving that the intersection between industries helps reach new customers and admirers.

 

Photo credit: Current and former Martha Graham Dancers in "Mantle," photo by Theo Stanley

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Vans and Americans for the Arts are Halo Award Finalists!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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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 partnership@artsusa.org.

 

 

Facts from the Custom Culture website.

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Telephone Repairman Finds True Calling in Shoe Design

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Where do you find inspiration? In December, AARP posted a video interview with shoe designer Chris Donovan. After working as a telephone repairman for 25 years, Donovan quit his job to follow his dream: designing women’s shoes.

 

 

Donovan "derives his inspiration from Theology, current events and his life experiences as a technician also living and working in a fishing port," his website claims. He has even created shoes featuring sutures for seams and hip replacements for heels.

 

After retiring from the telephone business, Donovan spent two years in Italy at Polimoda Fashion Institute. "The teacher comes over and she's like 'that's awful. What are you doing?' She goes 'What were you?' and I go 'I was a technician, I was like a phone repair guy kind of guy.' And she goes, 'So you're crude. Do crude.' And it started clicking. All of a sudden my designs started changing, my ideas started changing, and all of a sudden they fell in love with my stuff," he explains.

 

Regardless of the industry, employers can encourage innovation in employees by challenging them to draw inspiration from the world around them and engage in activities that foster creativity. Many businesses, like 2015 BCA 10 honorees Corning Incorporated and GE's FirstBuild, are now implementing artists-in-residence programs to help employees think differently about their day to day work. Other businesses offer wall space for employees to doodle ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Some, like Griffin Technology, feature their own employee art gallery. Hallmark features Hallmarket, a showcase of over 100 employees’ personal artwork such as sculptures, jewelry, paintings, and textiles, all of which are created outside of the employees’ work at Hallmark.

 

Where do you find inspiration at work? Tell us on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org.

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Dance & Design Take Flight for Cole Haan’s Fall ‘15 Line

Posted by Kate Reese
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Dance & Design Take Flight for Cole Haan’s Fall ‘15 Line

Cole Haan recently partnered with parkour athletes and dancers from the New York City Ballet (NYCB) on an ad campaign “Prepare for Takeoff,” designed to convey the ultra-lightness of the company’s new ZeroGrand shoe line. The dancers were photographed in gravity-defying poses at the TWA Flight Center in JFK International Airport, an airy, futuristic space designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1962.

 

The terminal is the perfect setting to promote the ZeroGrand. “The thing that kind of drew me to it was the idea of ‘take flight,’ which is something that comes very naturally to those dancers,” Cole Haan design director Elyse Siegal told Footwear News. The campaign also promotes Cole Haan’s new Global Innovation Center, which is responsible for a variety of design platforms including the Grand.OS technology used in ZeroGrand.

 

In addition to collaborating on the ad campaign, Cole Haan also partnered with NYCB to create the ZeroGrand Stagedoor Ballet Flat, part of its new fall line.

 

Not only did Cole Haan benefit from the partnership, but according to Sara Mearns, one of the dancers featured in the campaign, the project “challenged the whole cast to think of how creatively we could bring lightness, flexibility, and cushioning to life visually with our movement.” The result is an aesthetic that is both graceful and athletic, conveying a reputation for traditional excellence in combination with groundbreaking artistry. The partnership illuminates the power of the arts to help convey a message about a new product in a deeply emotional, visually captivating way.

 

More information about the partnership and behind-the-scenes footage can be found here.

 

Learn how Payless ShoeSource benefited from partnering with the American Ballet Theatre in The pARTnership Movement essay, "Put Your Company in the Spotlight."

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Female Power Hits the Racks at Nordstrom

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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http://c.nordstromimage.com/Assets/Web-Ready-Slices/02-23-15-p01-cid0309152726-7-adam-33d744a4-cda5-4a4a-b667-a4480154e4f0-fil-file.jpg?Version=1Nordstrom 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.

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Fashion Label Rag & Bone Features its Fall Collection through Dance

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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Ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jookin pioneer Lil Buck are the stars of Rag & Bone’s newest ad campaign. Designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright chose to showcase their fall 2015 collection with this short dance film because, as Wainwright said, “Times have changed. Runway shows don’t resonate with the regular guy. So we wanted to challenge ourselves and engage people.”

 

The video connects a raw street aesthetic with sophisticated refinement, pointing to the two dancers as well as the clothing that emulate those qualities.

 

Rag & Bone’s collaboration is a reminder of how the arts are a strategic partner in producing content that creatively engages customers and reinforces brand recognition. This video is a captivating way to showcase the company’s message and promote the new collection in a memorable way. Watch the full video below.

 

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BucketFeet Shoes: Step into the Arts

Posted by Kellyn Lope
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Chicago based shoe retailer, BucketFeet, launched in 2011 with the mission “to connect people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world.” Different artists around the world, including illustrators, painters, tattoo artists, writers, and graffiti artists, design each shoe and print the company produces.

 

The startup recently raised $7.5 million, and is extending its sales to retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor, in addition to its own studios and pop-up shops.

 

BucketFeet accepts design submissions from artists around the world and handles all of the manufacturing and distribution of shoes. Artists receive a minimum of $250 down payment and an additional $1 per shoe sold, with the average artist making at least $1,250 on a single design.

 

Cultivating an environment that blends backgrounds and celebrates cultural diversity is a priority of BucketFeet, as the company utilizes the power of the arts to connect people and to foster cultural exchange. The company notes, “Art is universal. It speaks every language, cuts through cultural differences, and outlives creators.”

 

Cofounder Raaja Nemani was inspired to create the company after traveling through Argentina wearing a pair of customized shoes that an artist friend of his had designed. Nemani said, “It wasn’t really about the brand name, it was about the story.”

 

Learn more about BucketFeet shoes at Bucketfeet.com.

 

Photo: Jana Cruder, courtesy of BucketFeet.

Wearing MoMA, By UNIQLO

Posted by Caleb Way
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If you have found yourself on Fifth Avenue recently, you may have noticed a large “SPRZ NY” advertisement accenting the window of UNIQLO’s flagship store on the corner of 53rd Street. You may have also turned that corner and continued on to the Museum of Modern Art. This close proximity is just the start of a dynamic partnership between the two. SPRZ NY, UNIQLO’s latest collaboration with MoMA, its midtown neighbor, merges the worlds of visual art and fashion. The now global project, unveiled this past spring, celebrates innovative artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. The result is a line of clothing and accessories featuring art work from MoMA-approved artists originally and exclusively produced and sold in New York.

 

The SPRZ NY items are displayed in glass on UNIQLO’s newly remodeled second floor. Shoppers are exposed to an experience not surprisingly far from what they may have at MoMA just down the street. The works are not merely items to be purchased, but art to be admired as patrons pass through the space.

 

This partnership not only enhances the MoMA and UNIQLO brands and fuels traffic across 53rd Street – but also creates an innovative and personalized experience for shoppers and museum visitors alike. For UNIQLO, the partnership brings vibrancy to their workplace and helps them communicate marketing messages in engaging ways. Larry Meyer, CEO of UNIQLO USA said, “Manhattan attracts people from all over the world, and New York is associated with art and culture. Even though UNIQLO and MoMA both operate in different fields, we both aim to promote art as widely as possible. It’s a great match”. For MoMA, this match brings mobility to their brand as countless UNIQLO customers leave the store with not only a new t-shirt but with the message of what inspired it.

 

The partnership between UNIQLO and MoMA might just be one that sets the tone as arts organizations and businesses across the city develop strategies to expand and engage their audiences.

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Shops for Success at Tony Walker & Co.

Posted by Lauren Piekarski
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Tony Walker & Co. (TW&Co.) is a Buffalo-based, high-end fashion retail center located in Williamsville, New York. A high percentage of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) patrons live in this Buffalo suburb and patronize the TW&Co. Center, which inspired both organizations to form an innovative collaborative partnership in the fall of 2013 to benefit both organizations.

 

The relationship began small. Tony Walker & Co. promoted its brand at a BPO concert, formally announcing its new partnership with the Orchestra. Before the concert and during intermission, the company displayed pieces that carried in the store, increasing brand awareness to the thousands of BPO audience in attendance. TW&Co. also featured the Orchestra in its annual catalog, which was disseminated to thousands of Buffalo area households.

 

In early May of 2014, Tony Walker & Co. hosted a BPO “Shop for Success Day.” During this full-day promotional event, any shopper who mentioned the BPO at TW & Co. received a 10 percent discount on his or her purchase. The company then donated 10 percent of the purchase proceeds to the BPO. Each patron who mentioned the BPO received a favor bag filled with items from both organizations.

 

In addition, Tony Walker & Co. generously hosted a “Shop for Success Day” reception to celebrate its growing relationship with the Philharmonic. Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a  fashion show featuring BPO musicians and staff. Musicians strolled the catwalk donning pieces from designers such as Mara Hoffman, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Tory Burch, and others. (Photo credit: BPO musicians walked the runway in TW&Co.'s first annual 'Shop for Success Day', courtesty of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.)

 

The Mara Hoffman line in particular piqued interest among patrons. Buffalo native Mara is a successful New York City-based fashion designer whose father, Monte Hoffman, has played cello in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for 50 years. It seemed only fitting that the BPO musicians and staff and TW&Co. celebrated this connection by featuring Mara’s bright-colored, extraordinary tribal-influenced pieces. (Photo credit: BPO musicians don Mara Hoffman originals, courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.)

 

“Tony Walker and Co. loves working with the BPO,” commented Brittany Troy, event coordinator at TW&Co. “The ‘Shop for Success Day’ was a great way to advance our relationship. We could not be happier with the partnership we are building. The employees at Tony Walker & Co. are very excited to help the Orchestra welcome the 2014-2015 season”

 

This relationship demonstrated the potential mutual benefits of innovative collaboration with local businesses. Not only did the BPO reach out to an expanded audience in the Williamsville area and raise funds for the organization, but TW&Co. aligned itself with a major cultural asset of Western New York increasing its brand awareness to the BPO’s religious followers. The “Shop for Success Day” is just one reason among many why the #BPOlovesTonyWalker&Co.

 

Lauren Piekarski is a graduate of Canisius College and the M.A. Arts Management program at the University at Buffalo. She currently serves as the special events coordinator for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

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