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BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)

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

 

“The arts can have a profound impact on people of all ages. Whether it’s music, theater, or any other form of art, the value to our society cannot be understated. I’m proud of West Bend’s long history of supporting the arts both within our company and in our community.” 

- Kevin Steiner, President and CEO, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

 

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s mission is to provide peace of mind to its customers through sound insurance and superior service. The company is anchored by its core values of excellence, integrity, and responsibility. In 1995, West Bend Mutual Insurance established the West Bend Mutual Insturance Charitable Fund, which focuses its grant-making priorities on programs that support the arts, strengthen children and families, protect the environment, and enrich community life. The company supports the arts because of the importance of telling a story, of honoring a legacy, of preserving history, and of bringing people together to create something greater than themselves.

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance understands and harnesses the power the arts to create a positive culture and build meaningful relationships. In 2011, the company unveiled the Silver Lining ® Stage at Regner Park, an outdoor performance space in West Bend, Wisconsin. West Bend Mutual Insurance also sponsored the construction of the Silver Lining Arts Center at The West Bend High School and the Silver Lining Amphitheater at the Washington County Fair Grounds.

 

Beki Borman Painting, photo by Charlotte Reyes; courtesy of West Bend Mutual Insurance

 

The company has used the arts to create beneficial environments for both the communities it serves and its associates. West Bend Mutual Insurance began collecting artwork in the early 1970s and eventually implemented a policy to integrate art into all of its offices to provide a pleasant and stimulating working environment. Initially partnering with the Milwaukee Art Gallery, West Bend Mutual Insurance began leasing artwork for office spaces. Today, the company owns more than 600 art pieces and shares a strong relationship with the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance also hosts an “Art Among Us” gallery, which exhibits works by associates and their families, and encourages staff to participate in art activities during the annual “August is Art Month” program. For the duration of the month, the company displays artwork by associates’ children, hosts demonstrations on art techniques, and invites artists and photographers to share their artistic processes.  

 

Through corporate philanthropy programs, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company raised more than $63,000 for the 50th Anniversary Campaign of the United Performing Arts Fund, and has donated more than $100,000 to local arts organizations. They have been recognized for their support of local artists and for ultimately playing a role in making West Bend a vibrant, artistic community.

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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

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

 

“Fostering an appreciation for the arts helps build a foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and learning. The Standard invests in the arts because a vibrant community of arts and artists brings energy to the larger community. The arts can attract the innovators and creative thinkers we need in the public and private sectors now more than ever.”

– Greg Ness, Chairman, President and CEO, The Standard

 

 

The Standard, an insurance company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, supports the arts because it believes arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in creating vibrant communities. Since its founding in 1906, the company has understood that the arts provide space for communities to come together to build understanding, appreciation, and empathy for others.

 

 The Standard and its employees donated more than $700,000 to arts and cultural organizations last year, which included $200,000 in direct corporate contributions and $167,000 in donations made by employees of The Standard during its annual employee giving campaign. The company matches all employee contributions 2:1 during the campaign, which resulted in an additional $330,000 in company arts contributions.  Additionally, The Standard gives paid time off for staff to volunteer in the community, as well as trains and places employees on arts and other nonprofit boards. Currently, 16 of The Standard’s senior executives serve on arts boards.  

 

A pop-up gallery in The Standard’s offices showcases employees’ visual and textile art, jewelry, and fashion pieces. The show was designed to break down barriers among departments, foster better relationships among co-workers, and encourage innovation in the workplace. As a part of long-term partnerships with a variety of arts organizations, The Standard offers employees tickets to local arts experiences which can be used for team building, entertaining customers, or family outings.

 

The Standard is an early funder of the Creating Connection initiative, a national movement that seeks to make arts and culture a recognized, valued, and expected part of everyday life. To raise awareness of the value of the arts, they also sponsored Everybody Reads, a city-wide shared reading experience, during which free copies of a featured novel are available at local libraries and Portlanders are invited to attend books discussions and community events.

 

The company has been a supporter of the Portland Opera for more than 50 years, and partners with its Opera-to-go program, which serves more than 14,000 students each year. In doing so, they provide access to high-quality performances for children across the region, regardless of geographic or economic barriers. In addition, The Standard also recently made a major in-kind donation of technology services and assessment to Portland Opera to improve its technology infrastructure and digital presence.

 

PCM Outdoor Adventure Opening, courtesy The Standard

 

In recognition of their support, The Standard has received numerous past awards including Top Corporate Donor the Arts and Philanthropic Leader in the Arts. Greg Ness, The Standard CEO, has been awarded The John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

 

Nominated by Portland Opera

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Serena Williams x Allstate Foundation Purple Purse

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Serena Williams x Allstate Foundation Purple Purse

Tennis all-star Serena Williams teamed up with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse and artists, including Isabel Castillo Guijarro to raise awareness about domestic violence. Together, they unveiled a street art campaign that will appear in six cities with six different murals.

 

Domestic violence, while remarkable common – affecting 1 in 4 women – is often overlooked. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse conducted a Public Opinion Survey, which revealed that “the most common form of domestic violence – financial abuse – remains difficult to detect and understand,” with 2/3 saying they “have not seen anything on financial abuse as a form of domestic abuse in the public forum.”

 

These murals are meant to be backdrops for photos, to be shared on social media. In the age of Instagram and other platforms, the stigma of social media continues to grow. By using shareable public art, Allstate Foundation and Serena Williams aim to shed new light onto this issue.

 

As reported in the press release, here are the locations of the murals:

 

  • New York City, Tictail Market, created by Isabel Castillo Guijarro
  • Houston, The Heights, created by Ana Marietta
  • New Orleans, Oak Street, created by Milagros Collective
  • Chicago, Wicker Park, created by Lauren Asta
  • Seattle, (week of Aug. 6) created by Ellen Picken
  • Los Angeles, (week of Aug. 13) created by Carolyn Suzuki

 

Photo: Mural by Isabel Castillo Guijarro

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Dance Troupe Markets Creativity

Posted by Emily Peck
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Dance Troupe Markets Creativity

 

Most dance companies make money by selling tickets to their performances. Boise-based troupe Trey McIntyre Project has a more expansive business model: "We've decided that we have a real asset, which is the creative process itself. We're selling that," says John Michael Schert, the company's co-founder and executive director.

 

Some corporate giants are interested in the pitch. The University of Chicago Booth Business School recently brought Schert in for advice on getting inspired, and several Boise businesses have teamed up with the dance company.

 

"Artists live the whole process of inspiration. We decided to refine it as a tool," says Schert, a former dancer himself. "We want companies to understand what they are creating, whether it is a marketing strategy or a healthcare policy, and get them to think about where they get hung up, and how to find ways around those stopping points to come up with new ideas."

 

At Aetna, the dance troupe's work is intended to be more hands-on -- literally. The health insurance company's philanthropic foundation is in discussions with TMP about training thousands of the company's doctors and nurses on improving their patient interactions. The goal, says Schert, would be to help them learn to ready body language and reduce their patients' stress.

 

The troupe's creativity about its own business model has certainly helped its bottom line: The group is aiming to have its corporate business account for a third of TMP's $2.25 million annual budget.

 

Schert is bullish about how the business-and-art synergy can pay off for both sides.

"We're changing the role of the artist," he says. "We can help with how ideas are generated and harnessed. It helps companies, and it helps artists state their value."

 

Read the entire article at CNN Money.

 

*Photo courtesy of Trey McIntyre Project.

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