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Arts and Business Partnerships Celebrated Across the Globe

Posted by Mariama Holman
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Arts and Business Partnerships Celebrated Across the Globe

Business support of the arts is widespread across almost every continent, with examples from countries ranging from the United States to India to Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

 

In the United States, Americans for the Arts’ Private Sector Initiatives department along with a plethora of local Arts & Business Councils and Business Committees for the Arts across the country celebrate the great work businesses and arts organizations can do when they decide to partner. Each year, Americans for the Arts hosts BCA 10, a special night that honors 10 companies that practice exceptional involvement in the arts community in a way that enriches workplace, education and community. These businesses are nominated by local arts organizations and contend against many stand-out companies. Nominees span a wide swath of industries ranging from real estate and finance all the way to healthcare and consumer products and goods, including both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. The 10 finalists are celebrated at the BCA 10 gala in New York City, which takes place in The Central Park Boathouse each year.

 

 

America is not alone in fostering a business community that supports the arts.

Internationally, companies understand the importance of giving back to the community, preserving and dispersing cherished cultural artifacts and cultivating local, regional and national pride through the arts.

 

Arts communities around the world in turn, celebrate and acknowledge these champions of culture and heritage.

 

For instance, recently Forbes India honored GVK, an energy, airport, transportation, hospitality and life science conglomerate headquartered in Hyderabad, India, with the designation of Corporate Commitment of the Year.

 

GVK recently converted 439,000 square meters of space in Terminal 2 at the Mumbai International Airport (MIA) into an impressive installation of art works and cultural artifacts from across the country. Art impacts every facet of the Terminal, with contemporary engineering and design all the way to traditional Indian arts throughout the ages and works created by women in villages living nearby.

 

“Frankly, it is not done for foreign nationals — it is done for Indians who I feel have learned to forget what the true beauty of India is,” according to Sanjav Reddy, managing director of the joint venture that governs Mumbai’s airport.

 

In Mexico, numerous companies are awarded honors for supporting the arts through their foundations, such as the Caixa Foundation. Per Mundo Ejecutivo, there are approximately 131 corporate foundations within Mexico alone – and this support is not just concentrated amongst large, national organizations. Thirty-six percent of the corporate foundations actually stem from smaller businesses. 

 

The notion of smaller to medium sized businesses celebrating local heritage, culture and innovation through the arts is found in South Africa as well. Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an organization focused on creating mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and the arts. For the past 19 years, it has recognized businesses in the community that create successful partnerships with local artists and arts organizations with the BASA Awards, which honor small businesses, such as Mathews and Associates Architects which supported the Cool Capital Biennale Pretoria showcase of new ideas and designs, and Pam Golding Properties, a real estate company that sponsored the popular Knysna Literary Festival featuring South African talent such as Hugh Masekela and Nik Rabinowitz.

 

Arts & Business Scotland has maintained an Arts & Business Scotland Awards event for the past 30 years acknowledging small, national and international businesses from the likes of Deloitte to ArtPistol, a social enterprise for promoting UK artists.

 

Event awardees say there is magic in the mix of organizations, given smaller firms compete with large organizations for the same recognition, and take great pride in the accomplishment of winning.

 

“For such a small and new organization as IFS Worldwide & Cultural Documents it’s a massive endorsement when you think about the competition and short listers – it is a great honor to get an award” said a representative from IFS Worldwide and Cultural Documents.

   

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Trips to the Art Museum are Good for Business

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Trips to the Art Museum are Good for Business

In the pARTnership Movement, we affirm that when a business partners to support museums, (theater, music, dance or public art), they help to make the community more attractive to current and future employees. And, happier employees make for a happier workplace. We also share stories about Panasonic bringing exciting new technology to the museum world or merchandise collaborations between museums and the private sector.

 

In the article “Can a Trip to an Art Museum Ignite Creativity in Business?”, author Jon Darsee, Executive Vice President of Health Policy and Payer Relations for iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (a privately held digital healthcare solutions company that works in cardiac arrhythmia information) offers “One way to facilitate out-of-the-box thinking is by viewing art.”

 

And, we totally agree.

 

Darsee interviews Jim Leach, the former 15-term Iowa congressman and former chairperson of the National Endowment of the Humanities who is now the interim director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, who says “A good museum, for instance, displays art that stretches the imagination and expands cross-cultural understanding.”

 

In our essay “Foster Critical Thinking”, we explore how the arts can harvest success toward business goals. When strengthening innovation, progress, competitive advantages and more, including the arts, perhaps museums, is a great way to improve your company’s position.

 

 “Without innovation, without the ability to continually develop new ideas, a business is lost. Art museums can help develop this aptitude in multiple ways; they open doors to thinking that were not open before. Museums, through the art they present and interpret, are transformative mechanisms. The concept of innovation can transfer to other arenas of activity, including the business world,” says Jeff Fleming, Des Moines Art Center Director, in the article.

 

Make note: sometimes, to get a big creative spark, you might have to reach FAR outside of your organization, to a museum.

 

 

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Samsung Put Art In the TV

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Samsung Put Art In the TV

Samsung is a global leader in all things technology, from consumer electronics to semiconductors to information systems and more. The cutting-edge company continues to boost their brand by acutely including the arts in the scheme.

 

Last year, we shared a story about Samsung’s Summer Speaker Series and the Pipeline to the Workforce hosted at Samsung837 that brought in speakers and leaders from the creative and artistic industries. This Spring, Samsung will debut a new TV known as The Frame, a flatscreen that can camouflage itself as a piece of art when not in use.

 

Samsung collaborated with Yves Behar, a renowned Swiss designer, on this TV innovation to offer consumers an elegant masterpiece that seamlessly blends into the interior of any home. Dave Das, SVP Consumer Electronics Marketing for Samsung Electronics America says, “The Frame empowers you to think about TV in a new way, bringing art and entertainment into new parts of your home. This is how television transforms—and becomes an essential part of your lifestyle.”

 

 

The Frame’s "Art Mode" will enable users to select from more than 100 art pieces in many different categories -- from architecture, landscape, wildlife, drawing, and more -- for it to display when not in use as a conventional TV. Paired with numerous options for visual layouts and colors, as well as accessories like a stylish TV stand designed like an easel, the product is ideal for any artist-inspired living space.

 

This brand, long known for creating technology that powers the future, is innovating products that help users reimagine their home in an artful presentation, that like a gallery.

 

Take a look here at Samsung837's year of Art and Tech!

 

Photos: Samsung

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Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

2017 Philly Tech Week (PTW), a week-long celebration of technology and innovation happening throughout the Philadelphia Region, presented by Comcast and organized by Technical.ly, kicks off on April 28. Organized into seven tracks (Creative, Access, Dev, Civic, Business, Media and Sciences), some tracks have conference sessions to delve deeper into the content areas. The Creative Track “where art and technology collide,” encompasses projects ranging from video games, digital art, community initiatives, and more.

 

In an effort to involve more artists and creatives in the Creative Track and the overall event, PTW has launched a microgrant competition for artists to apply for funds to develop a creative display to showcase at the PTW Signature Closing Event. A few immersive, interactive or innovative creations will be selected and more information about the microgrant opportunity can be found here.

 

2016 PTW grants went to mission-minded community groups.

 

Photo: Aidan Un

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Two Institutions’ Approach to Reawakening Inventiveness

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Two Institutions’ Approach to Reawakening Inventiveness

NUvention: Arts

A course offered by Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the McCormick School of Engineering in partnership with the School of Communications MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises program.

 

NUvention: Arts uses lectures, case studies and guest speakers to give students a first-hand look at what it takes to start a creative arts company in an age of digital disruption. Culminates in a team project that asks students to create and pitch an arts-minded business idea.

 

With digital technology changing the interaction with and consumption of the arts, and with entrepreneurship on the rise, this course is giving students the ability to develop successful businesses in which an artistic component is the helm.

 

Theatre student, Elizabeth Hunter, who used the course to re-work her approach to her educational video game on Shakespeare’s Macbeth titled, Something Wicked, says “It was super valuable for me to be in an environment where the goal is not deconstruction, but construction.” Hunter worked alongside MBA and other masters-level students in the course, being tasked with creating, rather than critiquing.

 

Ahren Alexander knew early on in his Northwestern career that he was interested in entrepreneurship.  The engineering major also had a keen interest in music. “We Skyped in with Beyonce’s manager, the CEO of Pandora, the lead singer of Train. It was awesome,” Alexander said. “There was also an opportunity to chat with entrepreneurs in the area, around Chicago. It was just phenomenal. That’s something I think is extremely important with entrepreneurship – being able to make those kinds of relationships.”

 

 

Innovation Institute

An artist-led professional development program at the contemporary art center and urban artist residency program McColl Center for Art + Innovation.

 

The Innovation Institute has a professional facilitator with a background in organizational coaching and creative development join an artist to lead participants, business leaders, in exercises around unlocking creativity, encouraging risk-taking, and stimulating imaginative thinking. The sessions begin with the artist talking about his or her work and creative process. The artists then lead the participants through a series of experiences where they are making, sharing, presenting, critiquing and discussing art.

 

This pushes participants outside their comfort zone. “By having them participate in the creative process, they gain a visceral understanding of the fact that for every piece of art they see on the wall of a gallery, there are probably 40 other pieces that were failures that nobody will ever see,” says artist and program instructor Susan Harbage Page.

 

Fabi Preslar, president at SPARK Publications, a design firm specializing in custom-published books, magazines, and catalogs, attended the Innovation Institute. In the months before she attended, she had been feeling burnt out. “Just to hear how these artists find inspiration in their everyday experiences helped reawaken my creativity,” says Preslar. With her new perspective, she was able to make

the bold decisions needed to reinvigorate her business. Her company’s revenue jumped 118 percent in the year after her graduation and then rose another 19 percent the following year.

 

Bob Hambright, Division President at Centex Construction, sent his executive team to the institute. One of the Centex executives ended up coming back with an idea for a bold new HR model for how the company should hire, retain, and develop its people. “To me, the Innovation Institute ended up being a good way to stretch people’s minds. I think that spending time with right-brained artists and participating in these art activities helped them appreciate people with different skills from their own. Their time at the Institute helped them appreciate the importance of creativity in finding the best business solutions.”

 

More about the institute in the pARTnership Movement essay on fostering critical thinking.

 

 

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Panasonic’s Exciting New Museum Technology

Posted by Melyssa Muro
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The average museum-goer likely doesn’t spend much time wondering about the production of each exhibit or, by extension, the meticulous work of the curating team to create the experience. Yet, the staging of an exhibition—specifically the technologies utilized for each display—remains at the forefront of Panasonic, worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies. To showcase their cutting edge visual systems, Panasonic curated a virtual museum consisting of four “rooms,” each with brief video overviews, and interactive links to more information on each product creating the display, including case studies of past successes.

 

‘Experiential projection’ showcases large scale, high brightness, high resolution panorama projections using edge blending, laser projection, and ultra-short throw lenses. ‘Informative displays’ aims at optimizing the visitor experience through digital signage, light ID transmission, large scale screens for a video wall, and interactive maps and displays. Through the ‘4k experience,’ 4k broadcast, display, and projectors are used to zoom in and/or provide a rotated view of any given exhibit or piece to recreate the details with incredibly high resolution. Lastly, the ‘control room’ provides a glimpse of how security cameras can both protect and help in summarizing audience demographics.

             

Through these advanced visual systems, Panasonic hopes to alleviate the increasing financial pressures on the museum and heritage sector to bring culture to life. “Technology can assist… to create immersive and engaging environments to widen access to collections that had previously been never been seen or to provide new commercial opportunities for additional revenue streams,” states European Marketing Director Stephen Yeoin the virtual museum’s introductory segment. With the desires of the visitors, curators,  and funders in mind, Panasonic’s forward-thinking has led to the fruition of engaging, immersive, and cost-effective exhibitions—allowing heritage sites increased opportunity as well as expanding their own market and putting their own name in the spotlight.

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