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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

Posted by Emma Osore
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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

The QCA ArtHotel Residency, is a new program of Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with The Paper Factory Hotel and the Z NYC Hotel. These Queens-based hotels are committed to arts and culture in the community and their brand identities are rooted in the arts. The Paper Factory’s eclectic decor and artistic ambiance are enriched by modern industrial accents reminiscent of this building’s past- a paper factory in 1970s, converted into a hotel in 2010s. The Z NYC Hotel is steps from the Queensboro Bridge, and features a sleek, Jazz Age theme combined with modernist industrial chic.

 

QCA ArtHotel artist residency program offers two Queens-based artists, a $3,000 stipend each, for a 3-month period of time to work outside of their traditional environment and daily life. While the artists do not live on site, the residency spaces are a place where artists retreat to create their work and have an opportunity to focus inwardly and share her/his process with the public.

 

The QCA ArtHotel residency is intended to give artists a safe place to focus on their work in the public realm, build different audiences, and be seen making work within the Queens community. In turn, this gives the public access to a working artist’s process. This residency is also intended to build the value of local working artists in an attempt to revise the narrative of displacement due to gentrification and development borough-wide.

 

For their inaugural year, visual artists Erin Treacy and Jennifer Williams were chosen from a pool of applicants based upon criteria that included artistic excellence, a public engagement experience and a clear proposal of art activity to happen during the residency. 

 

Jennifer Williams, who will be in residence at Z Hotel says, “what excited me about the ArtHotel residency was the chance to immerse myself in a neighborhood amidst radical change and transform the blank slate of a hotel room into localized experience describing the neighborhood's current state of flux.”

 

Erin Treacy of Sunnyside, Queens notes, "working in the studio is usually a solo pursuit for me. I am excited to be a resident at the Paper Factory Hotel, allowing for me to open up the studio process and discussion with a larger community. It is a great open and sunny space that will surely contribute to my palette and allow for me to expand the scale of my work!"

 

Artists like Jennifer and Erin are creative and valuable community members who are often experts at creative problem solving and encouraging neighbors to interact, in addition to being specialists who make works of art. The public and guests of the partnering hotels will be invited into the artist’s hotel room studios to experience the creative process at various times during the residency. The Queens Council on the Arts provides updates for ongoing activities as each of these participating hotels for the duration of the 3-month residency.

 

Photo: Queens Council on the Arts

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St. Petersburg’s New Art Scene

Posted by Melyssa Muro
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St. Petersburg’s New Art Scene

Amid the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, the private and tourist sectors alike have recently seen an explosion of revenue due to utilizing one simple lifehack—the arts. These reciprocal relationships of business, tourism, and arts in St. Petersburg stand living testament to the many ways any business can use the arts and not just boost sales, but improve the entire community.

 

Steve Westphal, St. Petersburg local entrepreneur and restaurant owner says, “without a doubt, collaborating with the arts, whether individual artists, arts organizations or arts festivals, is a good decision for businesses.” Westphal features etched glass, metal sculpture, marine life prints, and iconic grouper paintings by the late Bill Woo in his restaurant —and business is booming as a result.

 

More specifically, small businesses like his have been part of an astounding economic impact of over $200 million generated by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, according to a 2015 Arts & Culture Economic Impact Report produced by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

 

Staybridge Suites is getting in on the action, as well. Partnering with ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing, the hotel has converted its dining area and lobby into a gallery space where artists can display their work. In addition to having pieces on display at all times, Staybridge hosts Art Night every three months, each bringing up to 100 people in. As artists revel in the exposure and hotel guests are more satisfied with their stay, it is easy to see why the show’s curator, Nathan Beard, refers to the partnership as “a mutually beneficial relationship.” Beard explained how the partnership goes even further than this, “we are always referring people who stop by ARTicles to the hotel and the hotel is referring guests to our gallery.”

 

Additionally, the City of St. Petersburg itself has collaborated with the local Chamber of Commerce to establish the St. Pete Store & Visitors Center, which displays the work of many artists and crafters on a rotating showcase. With a cycle of 40 artists being represented, the Chamber has reported the collective artists’ return to be nearly $20,000.

 

With all of the opportunities created and partnerships listed above, it is easy to agree with director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, John Collin’s statement, “Art is great for business.”

 

 

 

 

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The Artistic Star of Starwood Capital

Posted by Chris Zheng
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What kind of mind is needed to create and manage a multi-billion dollar real estate, hotel, and debt empire like Starwood Capital Group? A creative one.

 

Founder, chairman, and CEO Barry Sternlicht is not only a defining member of the international business community, but also an inspired artistic force, deliberately incorporating a visual vocabulary in each corporate endeavor.

 

Richard LeFrak, the chairman and CEO of LeFrak, which has conducted several deals with Starwood, described Sternlicht’s unique creative focus: “we would go into the building, and I wanted to talk about the elevators—he wanted to talk about the palm trees. But he’s a very visual person. That’s what jumps out at him.”

 

Dissecting complex commercial agreements through creative means and designs puts Sternlicht in a league of his own. This methodology is a driving force in the risks that Starwood is known for taking, carefully navigating a volatile economic landscape. In a discussion with Rusty Gregory, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mammoth Resorts, during an acquisition meeting over the ski resort, Sternlicht pulled out a pad and began to draw hotel designs. “He put hotels on the base [of the mountain] with notations- the number of hotel rooms. Then there were the associated amenities, the spa, the restaurant,” said Gregory. “I’ve been in business a long time—I’ve never seen anyone express it like this. In a very organic way. More like a designer would do it.”

 

Indeed, in each facet of business, Sternlicht acts as a designer, whether that means drawing ideas on paper to use in negotiations or critiquing landscaping designs for his newest hotel. Additionally, his artistic business acumen reaches beyond real estate. As a sitting member of Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board, he is critical to managing key initiatives in promoting strategic partnerships between the arts and the private sector community. 

 

Sternlicht embraces this responsibility wholeheartedly: “I’m an artist by nature—I love to paint and draw and sculpt. Last count, I think I was one of two businessmen inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame. I’ve won a lot of awards, but that one’s my favorite one.”

Barry Sternlicht is the engine behind the capital giant Starwood and his vehicle of choice in business is creativity.

 

Photo: Barry Sternlicht inside of his Greenwich, CT. Photo by Yvonne Albinowski for Commercial Observer.

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Planning a Meeting? Don’t forget the Art!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Planning a Meeting? Don’t forget the Art!

Expectations are changing in the world of corporate meetings. Nearly two-thirds of the meeting planners polled in Successful Meetings’ 2016 Trends Survey said the ‘need to create a compelling meeting experience for attendees’ is now key to creating effective meetings in 2016.

 

According to Mark Cooper, CEO of the International Association of Conference Centers, “a compelling media experience” might mean a teambuilding exercise or other experiential learning experience, or an opportunity to volunteer in the host community. In light of this trend, many hotels and conference centers throughout the United States are curating art experiences for meeting attendees—often in partnership with local artists or museums—that provide exposure to the city’s unique culture.

 

For example, according to an article on SuccessfulMeetings.com, the Westin Cleveland Downtown’s art collection now features pieces curated by local artists that evokes the Cuyahoga River and incorporates tree branches reclaimed from the construction of the Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge. “Our art collection enhances our guests’ overall experience by showcasing exceptional pieces that provide an intimate look and immediate understanding of the community they’re visiting,” says Karen Troyer, director of sales and marketing for Westin Cleveland.

 

Here are five other great examples:

 

  • Event planners Shackman and Associates New York organizes events for meeting attendees that challenge them to tap into their own creativity at local art studios.
  • The Hilton Anatole in Dallas offers a curated “art dine-around,” which pairs the hotel’s art pieces with food and beverage items from their country of origin, as well as an art scavenger hunt.
  • The Conrad Indianapolis offers guided tours of its art collection and often invites the artist to present his or her work to the group. At a recent Young Presidents’ Organization meeting, the hotel’s culinary team created a menu inspired by the art in the group’s meeting spaces.
  • Cleveland’s The Metropolitan at The 9 features an art studio and rotating gallery as part of its new Artist in Residency program.
  • Destination marketing company Alaska Destination Specialists Inc. recruits native Alaskan artists to offer working craft tables or booths to showcase sewing, beading, and carving skills.

 

“Absolutely, return on investment is critical,” says Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events VP Cindy Fisher, “but so is ensuring that it’s an impactful event experience for those attendees.”

 

Have you incorporated the arts into your corporate meetings or attended a meeting that featured an art experience? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org.

 

Photo credit: The Westin Hotel in Cleveland by LAND studio. Photo by Ricky Rhodes.

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Van Gogh to Chicago with Airbnb

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Van Gogh to Chicago with Airbnb

The Art Institute of Chicago has created a 3D replica of Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles painting in an apartment building in Chicago and is inviting the public to stay overnight for $10 through Airbnb.

 

According to an article in The Guradian, "The surreal Airbnb listing was created as part of a new exhibition, Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, which brings together the three paintings of the same name that the artist created while living in 'The Yellow House' in Arles, Provence." The exhibit will also feature drawings, illustrated letters, and books from the artist's collection.

 

Reservations are booking up quickly, and the Art Institute is announcing available dates on its social media pages as part of its marketing efforts.

 

Airbnb also develops its own artful sleepover events, including a night on Ellis Island and a VIP package for the Greatful Dead's Fare Thee Well tour.

 

Photo: Airbnb.

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The Art of Denver’s New Luxury Hotel

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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The Art of Denver’s New Luxury Hotel

If you’re traveling to Denver this summer, check out The Art hotel, which opened in June 2015. Developed by Corporex Companies and philanthropist Lanny Martin, who also chairs Denver Art Museum's board of trustees, The Art is the first luxury hotel in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to the Denver Art Museum, the History Colorado Center, the Clyfford Still Museum, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, and a variety of art galleries. Corporex hopes the hotel will serve as a catalyst for revitalizing the area, which was hit hard during the recession, and draw more attention to the arts in Denver.

 

Dianne Vanderlip, former curator of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, is now the in-house curator at The Art. The hotel's art collection boasts a “who’s who” of modern art, including Tracey Emin, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg, Leo Villareal, and Andy Warhol. Some of the most notable pieces are LeWitt’s massive tri-color piece that greets guests as they enter the hotel and Villareal’s light show that flashes patterns on the ceiling of the outdoor portico. There are bronze horses, avant-garde videos playing on the elevators, and more. Off the elevators, each floor will display a modern artist’s original piece, and the artist’s works and color palette will translate into each guest room. “Every piece was predicated by a desire to say something about the specialness of Colorado…” said Vanderlip in an interview with Condé Nast Traveler.

 

“Some hotels just use decorations or cheap facsimile art,” artist Mary Ehrin, who was commissioned to create a sculpture for the hotel, told Colorado Public Radio. “Using real great art is important because strong work inspires strong discussion.”

The Art also includes a high-end restaurant, a bar with an outdoor terrace, and two floors of leasable office space.

 

Learn more.

 

Photo courtesy of The Art hotel.

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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Brings More Poise and Grace to its Business

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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Poise, grace, posture, and confidence are some of the many exceptional attributes of ballet dancers. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts also sees these as important qualities its associates need to deliver a superior level of service to its guests.

 

JW Marriott is taking the service culture to a new level with the launch of “Poise and Grace,” a series of video training tutorials led by Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet.

 

“At JW Marriott, we look to identify associates that live the brand vision of orchestrating the exceptional, crafting luxurious experiences for guests that are inspired by their passions,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President and Global Brand Manager of JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.  “Poise and posture are globally recognized cultural cues that reflect the care and dedication our associates provide in every service interaction.”

 

The inspirational videos are typically shown to associates during the daily team meeting. The videos focus on the importance of warming up, breathing techniques, movement flow and connecting with audiences. While hotel guests do not see the videos, they experience the impact: confident, poised associates with strong first impressions and meaningful connections.

 

“We are proud to partner with JW Marriott on the Poise and Grace video training series,” said Wheater. “Ballet technique breeds discipline, self-confidence and a genuine interaction between people. Dancers epitomize poise and grace, and this program is a wonderful way to both celebrate our brand partnership and enhance the JW Marriott guest experience.”

 

  

 

Photo: courtesy of JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

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Getting Lit in a Gorgeous Hotel

Posted by Stephanie Dockery
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Pen Parentis, a nonprofit literary organization, aims to build a community for writers who have children. Founded by author Milda M. DeVoe, the organization inspires and motivates parent-authors to stay creative after beginning a family. Outreach is conducted through a series of monthly literary salons, hosting notable authors (such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan) and spirited discussions, which have built a loyal audience of published writers, readers, editors, and agents.

When the organization first hosted events in a boutique hotel, the fit wasn’t quite right. That hotel seemed mostly concerned that the organization boosted food and drink sales; meanwhile they continued to market the group as a “book club” rather than using the organization’s preferred term, “salon.” During this first, troubled, partnership, Toni Hinterstoisser, then general manager of the Andaz Wall Street hotel, courted Milda, encouraging her to host Pen Parentis salons at Andaz Wall Street. Toni and Milda frequently ran into one another while attending marketing and networking events held downtown. “When are you going to dump that other hotel chain and come over to us?” he would wheedle. “We love salons. We know what you are and what you need.” As fortune would have it, the first hotel underwent renovations, making it impossible to continue hosting Pen Parentis events. Milda walked straight into the lobby of the Andaz Wall Street, requested the general manager’s attention, and accepted his offer to host Pen Parentis events. With three authors already lined up to present, Toni and Milda formed an alliance based on a handshake agreement.

Andaz Wall Street, a Hyatt brand hotel, saw the sponsorship as a very practical exchange of needs and resources when they first partnered. The hotel aims to “bring the neighborhood to the guests and enrich the guest experience.” Pen Parentis' programs help fulfill that mission, and that's why current general manager Jeffrey Miller continues to support the organization. Pen Parentis attracts a multitude of downtown writers and Wall Street locals, which Andaz loves. Andaz Director of Communications Megan Montenaro believes “brands can go right or wrong when attempting something inorganic to their mission.” Because Pen Parentis’ programs align with Andaz’s brand, the hotel is happy to allocate resources for their events. As a result of this brand harmony, Pen Parentis programs have been able to expand, and in return, Milda has introduced Megan to downtown cultural councils and cultural leaders, allowing Andaz to expand its marketing outreach.

Because Pen Parentis has regularly scheduled monthly salons, the hotel is incentivized to market the events to their guests and “friends of the hotel.” The general manager sends emails to patrons inviting them to Pen Parentis events. To further encourage attendance, Andaz markets Pen Parentis on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and Andaz staff have live-tweeted salon discussions.The casual but intimate atmosphere of both the hotel and the salsons encourages guests to build a relationship with Andaz, enhancing the hotel’s brand.

November’s salon focused on food writing, so Andaz prepared to host 45 Pen Parentis attendees at the Chef’s Table, where the chef cooked select recipes from a featured book, The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat, co-edited by Caroline M. Grant, who conducted readings. With food at the centerpiece of the event, Andaz found a perfect way to further feature their business: guests enjoyed the creations of the hotel’s talented chef, and the food enhanced the literary discussion. Megan Montenaro emphasizes, “When you partner with the right people, it’s not hard to do the right events.”

 

In return, Pen Parentis requests that visiting authors stay at the Andaz, as the hotel is much more than just a corporate sponsor of the salons. Milda states, “They are our heroes, and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”

Pen Parentis believes the partnership’s best outcome has been adding businesspeople who work on Wall Street to their audience. In part because of Andaz’s upscale location, culturally-savvy locals who are looking to upgrade their date night or post-work drink experience are attracted to the salons. One of these individuals happened to be a young lawyer from a law firm looking for a nonprofit to incubate. As a result of the partnership with Andaz, Pen Parentis developed a relationship with and received pro bono aid from that law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

 

Pen Parentis and Andaz Wall Street are now entering the third year of their partnership, and they plan to continue it. Milda describes the hotel as “the most gracious, enthusiastic hosts imaginable, often providing unexpected treats for salon guests and panelists. Last May’s authors and guests were treated to a four-course dinner at the Chef’s Table. The more enthusiastic our hosts are, the more our audiences surge to the events. They are terrific because they understand and support what we do.”

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Turn Your Stay into a Work of Art

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Turn Your Stay into a Work of Art

Known for its extraordinary architecture and elegance, the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is much more than a place to rest your weary head. Since April 2009, the Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program has put the hotel on the map as a hospitality hotspot for those with a palate for the “palette.”

 

The Artist–in-Residence program transforms the hotel lobby and common spaces into a working art studio and gallery, open to hotel guests and visitors. The business center on the ground level has been renovated to accommodate both a workroom for artists as well as a space where art can be displayed. The community is encouraged to visit the hotel to witness the evolution of each piece first hand.

 

The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program is a member of the international Alliance of Artists Communities, an organization with more than 250 members that serves a diverse field of artist communities and residencies, supporting living artists in the creation of new work. Currently, the Pfister hosts artist Stephanie Barenz, a painter and architecture enthusiast from Milwaukee. Barenz was one of six finalists included in a 4-week public voting period. She was ultimately chosen by a selection committee consisting of leaders in the local art community as the fifth artist in the Pfister program. Her work focuses on travel and how journeys can transform perceptions of home, or other places visited.

 

“Each year, we are repeatedly impressed by the quality of artists who apply to our program,” said Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “We’re thrilled to be attracting such amazingly talented artists like Stephanie. Her proposal to bring a unique perspective by incorporating the memories and habits of the traveling public into her visual expressions will be an outstanding addition to the work of previous Pfister artists.”

 

“The Pfister is the perfect stage for my work, which deals with how travel affects one’s relationship to place,” comments Barenz. “The hotel carries thousands of stories from over a hundred years…Over the course of the year, I plan to create a body of work that will include 20 to 30 paintings. Images of these paintings will be turned into a book and I plan to collaborate with the Pfister Narrator, the hotel’s writer-in-residence. I am so looking forward to moving into the studio, starting my project, and getting to know more of the Milwaukee community through my platform at The Pfister.”

 

Building upon Charles Pfister’s vision of the “Grand Hotel of the West,” the Pfister hosts an expansive collection of Victorian art. In tandem with the contemporary works from the artist-in-residence, the artistic ambiance has made the Pfister Hotel a first-choice destination for memorable events such as galas and weddings.

 

“For decades, The Pfister has hosted the much acclaimed Victorian Art Collection, the largest of its kind in any hotel in the world,” comments Kurth. “We want to expand on our reputation as a destination hotel for art connoisseurs by offering our guests and the public a glimpse into the world of art as it is being created—in real time, by amazingly talented artists.”

 

For more information on the artistic initiatives at the Pfister Hotel, visit www.thepfisterhotel.com.

 

Inspired to start an art collection or residency program in your business? The pARTnership Movement can connect you with Americans for the Arts member organizations to advise you on pARTnerships that might work for you!

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Are You the Monet of Marketing?

Posted by Reina Chadwick
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Are You the Monet of Marketing?

Business leaders are faced with many decisions. They are responsible for a staff, various departments, as well as decisions that affect the company and ultimately their own livelihoods.

 

Within these decisions lies a leader’s ability to think outside of the box. Business leaders around the country are being forced to think differently as a way to cope with the ever-changing economic landscape. While this is not a brand new phenomenon, we are seeing an increase in those business leaders who are looking to the arts to build their competitive advantage.

 

Don’t believe me? Look right in our [Miami] backyard for a few examples of businesses that have partnered with arts organizations: Kaufman Rossin & Co., TD Bank, American Express, and Northern Trust Bank. These companies recognize that the arts play a major role in the community and that people in the community see their name, thus creating brand awareness.

 

But businesses are in it for more than just brand recognition. Companies that place high value on the arts in their company culture tend to have less turnaround and have more productive employees. These are just some of the incentives to working with the arts.

The InterContinental Miami is a prime example of a successful business-arts partnership as they recently initiated an arts program right in their hotel lobby. 

 

“This past December and January, we proudly launched our inaugural art exhibit, Andy Warhol –“The Model Boy” by David Siqueiros,” says Robert Hill, general manger of the InterContinental Miami. “This arts program is our new initiative to support and create awareness for the burgeoning visual and performing arts community in Downtown Miami and the Greater Miami area.”

 

Read the rest of the entry on ARTSblog.

 

*Photo: Attendees admire the works of David Siqueiros at the opening of his show at the InterContinental Miami.

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