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BCA 10 Spotlight: Yum! Brands in Louisville, Kentucky

Posted by Mariama Holman
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BCA 10 Spotlight: Yum! Brands in Louisville, Kentucky

At Yum! Brands, we believe in the power of the arts to educate, inspire and empower all students, especially those who are classified as ‘at-risk’.  Working with our local Fund for Arts organization we created the Yum! Family Series to leverage the arts and make a difference in the lives of children in our community.

- Jonathan Blum, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Yum! Brands Inc.

 

Believing a diverse and energetic city helps to attract and retain top talent from all over the world, Yum! Brands, Inc. is a strong supporter of the arts in Louisville, KY. In addition to annually donating more than $700,000 to local arts organizations, Yum! also provides marketing and advertising support, and pro-bono leadership and expertise to the organizations receiving support from the Yum! Brands Foundation. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 Award, nominated by Fund for the Arts.

 

The most significant arts-related project supported by the company is the Yum! Family Series, which provides family-friendly programming through a partnership with the Funds for the Arts and seven local arts organizations. Initiated by Yum! Brands to encourage family-friendly arts programming and to promote greater access to the arts, the program allows families outside of the company to experience arts programs at a greatly reduced cost. The sponsorship offers a broad range of families access to the arts, particularly those individuals who would not otherwise have an opportunity because of economic disadvantage.

 

With an emphasis on education, programs of the Yum! Family Series provide field trip opportunities for local students. Some programs also include student performers and provide high-level training in orchestra, theatre, choir, and performing arts. The Yum! Family series also provides quality after-school programs for at-risk youth through after-school tutoring, theatre, and choir programs.

 

Yum! Brands also incorporates the arts into the company’s culture by encouraging employees who are passionate about the arts to get involved, allowing them time off to do so. The company also generously matches employee gifts to the arts on a dollar for dollar basis, and provides board support on behalf of employees serving on local arts and culture boards. In 2013, Yum! Brands launched a global volunteer program to promote volunteerism in local communities. Within this new program, if an employee team partners with an arts organization and wins the company competition, the partner organization receives an unrestricted grant.

 

Bringing the arts into the office, the company occasionally hosts team building events that incorporate an artistic component, knowing it allows employees to truly tap into their personal creativity and bring that back to the business. Yum! Brands is also proud to have a corporate band that is part of the culture team and is highlighted at monthly meetings and events. Opportunities to support and engage with the local arts are communicated regularly to employees.  All employees of Yum! Brands are encouraged to take advantage of the many arts performances and exhibits available in their local communities.

 

Photo: Louisville Youth Choir, which provides choral training to over 200 youth. The children are captured performing at the Grand Ole Opry.

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Humana's App-etite for the Arts

Posted by Kate Reese
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Humana's App-etite for the Arts

Louisville-based Fund for the Arts is one of the nation’s largest United Arts Funds (UAFs), and thanks to Humana’s Digital Experience Lab (DEC) now has its very own mobile platform. Currently, more than 200 local businesses participate in workplace giving campaigns, generating nearly 45% for the united arts fund's campaign each year. Recently, however, Fund for the Arts began looking to reach potential supporters in new ways.

 

Humana is committed to giving every employee eight hours of paid “volunteer time," during which they can give back to their community in a variety of ways. A team at DEC decided their volunteer time would be spent developing a mobile app for Fund for the Arts.

The organization had a very clear idea of what added value the app could provide – “awareness of and attendance at arts events in the city.” Additionally, Fund for the Arts hoped that an app could increase donations, so the team at DEC analyzed what makes people donate by surveying current donors. 

 

The final product involves an easy-to-use arts calendar, communicates the benefits of becoming a donor, and even includes donor benefit cards (discount on local arts events and performances), so that donors can use their mobile device to get savings at the box office. When asked about the choice to develop this app, members of the DEC team said “Though none of us are professional artists, we all believe in the importance of the arts and wanted to do something to help further that cause in our community.”

 

Read the full case study at Humana's Digital Experience Center.

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Humana Employees Create Fund for the Arts App

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Louisville-based Fund for the Arts, the oldest United Arts Fund in the country, has launched a new app thanks to employee volunteers at Humana. Employees in the healthcare company's Digital Experience Center (an innovation lab) donated over 75 hours to help create the app, Louisville Arts Link, which launched on February 2, 2016. The app provides detailed listings of the various arts and cultural events in the area and enables users to donate to Fund for the Arts.

 

The Digital Experience Center team is proud to have volunteered to co-create the app with the Fund, its constituents and supporters,” said Antonio Melo, Director of the Humana Digital Experience Center. “It is a meaningful and tangible way for us to give back to the vibrant arts community in Louisville that we consider to be among the city’s great treasures.”

 

For its outstanding partnerships with the arts, Humana received induction into the BCA Hall of Fame in 2006, and Humana Chairman Michael B. McCallister received the 2013 BCA Leadership Award for his commitment to the arts.

 

According to the app also will digitize the Fund's ArtsCARD, which offers discounts for many of the 14 arts organizations that coordinate their fundraising through Fund for the Arts. Deals include special ticket packages, first option to purchase, free performances, and last-minute discount offers.

 

“Our goal for the app is to help promote local arts opportunities while increasing access, event attendance, engagement and awareness,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president and CEO. “The arts are everywhere in Louisville and Louisville Arts Link will make it so easy for our residents and visitors to discover and experience them.”

 

The app follows the release of Fund for the Arts' new branding, which was revealed in January 2016. “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history," the organization said.

In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf

 

Read the full press release here.

 

Does your business encourage skills-based volunteering to help arts organizations in your community? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us a partnership@artsusa.org.

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Creativity: A Critical Element in Corporate Innovation

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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In 2014, Amelia Gandara helped launch 2015 BCA 10 honoree GE’s FirstBuild, which focuses on creating the next generation of home appliances, and she now serves as the Director of Commercialization and Engagement for EnterpriseCorp, which focuses on economic development in Louisville. But before she took on the business world, she was a professional dancer with the Louisville Ballet and Missouri Contemporary Ballet.

 

“Dance prepared me for the ebb and flow of teamwork,” she says in a post for Americans for the Arts ARTSblog.There are times when I’d get a solo, like a presentation to the public in the workplace, and times when I had to blend seamlessly into the corp de ballet, like when preparing for a product launch.”

 

At FirstBuild, Amelia worked side by side with artists that were brought in as collaborators to create new appliances. In addition, the company sought out other engineers who excelled in creativity. “The idea that brilliant engineers can be locked away in a research lab to solve problems is no longer held by the most innovative companies.”

 

Learn more about how ballet helped this engineer achieve big things in Louisville.

 

Learn more about GE’s FirstBuild and the BCA 10 in this year’s program book.
 

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Humana is Moving the Needle

Posted by Leslie Lyons
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Humana is Moving the Needle

Promoting the philosophy, The Art of Controlling Your Environment, Moving the Needle, a full service creative and production company, was founded on the belief that artistic practice can directly lend itself to good business. This manifests in a variety of ways as the company is made up of visual, graphic, video and recording artists. One recent project upended the trickle down flow which typically goes from corporate sponsor to arts organization to audience.


The Humana Festival of New American Plays represents the longest-running partnership between a corporation and a theatre company nationwide and is produced and presented by Actors Theatre of Louisville. For nearly four decades, Humana has funded this thriving point-of-entry for new theatrical work which reaches an international audience. One member of that audience is Moving the Needle Creative Director and founding partner, Leslie Lyons. “Our company is based in New York, but I was raised in Louisville,” says Lyons, “and the Humana Festival is in my DNA. So, in 2013, I began investigating the marketing materials of the Festival because we wanted to pitch working with them. I quickly realized that while the Festival seemed to promote each season year after year, there might be an opportunity to create a branding piece that would convey the process and collaborative, creative effort that goes into these productions overall.”


So, Moving the Needle wrote a treatment that would have high brow artistic value but
be cost effective for the non-profit entity of Actors Theatre. The result is a two-video
branded campaign that was produced during the 2014 Festival which will be used to
celebrate the success of each year’s festival all the while educating audiences about its
rich process and history.


Managing Director of Actors Theatre, Jennifer Bielstein leverages the point. “With an expanding global audience, the need to reach people online is essential. Videos like the ones Leslie created for us enable us to not only reach people, but to actually engage them in what we do and effectively tell our story. We also expect to use the campaign to inspire some current audiences as it conveys our core values of Creatively, Collaboration, Engagement and Excellence.”


Having the origin of this project come from an audience member is quite unique and, in
this case, the results were products created by artists which flowed back to benefit the
corporate sponsor. This idea of cross pollination between the community, arts
organizations and corporations is exactly the kind of artistic control over environment
that Moving the Needle seeks out.


From Humana Foundation Executive Director, Virginia Judd, “At Humana, we embrace several core values that influence the way we conduct our business and relate to others. Two of these values, cultivate uniqueness and thrive together, are reflected in our partnership with Actors Theatre of Louisville and, by extension, Moving the
Needle.”

 

For its outstanding partnerships with the arts, Humana received induction into the BCA Hall of Fame in 2006, and Humana Chairman Michael B. McCallister received the 2013 BCA Leadership Award for excellence in leadership through the arts.

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Louisville's Fund for the Arts Announces New President & CEO

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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The Fund for the Arts, Louisville’s united arts fund, has announced that Christen Boone will replace Barbara Sexton Smith as President & CEO upon her August 31 retirement date.

 

Under Barbara Sexton Smith’s leadership, the Fund for the Arts has been repeatedly honored on a local, regional and national scale. Sexton Smith was nationally recognized with Americans for the Arts’ prestigious Michael Newton Award for Arts Leadership in 2013, bestowed for her excellence in fundraising. In addition, the Fund for the Arts partners Yum! Brands, Inc. and Humana Inc. were both honored with the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America Award on Sexton Smith’s nomination—a reflection of the strong partnerships she has built between the business and arts communities in Louisville.

 

Boone currently serves as Director of the Greater Louisville Project, which acts as a catalyst for action in the community by providing and analyzing research data centered on education, jobs and quality of life. Throughout her career, Boone has been no stranger to fundraising, driving the $120 million campaign to complete the 21st Century Parks development of the Parklands of Floyds Fork. As the Director of Development at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Boone generated $13.5 million for the organization’s capital/endowment campaign.

 

“[Christen] understands the relationships required to grow an organization,” said David Jones Sr., Humana co-founder in a press release issued by the Fund for the Arts. The Humana Foundation and Humana Associates are the Fund for the Arts’ largest annual donor, giving more than $1 million in the 2012 campaign and again in 2013.

 

“I began my career with Fund for the Arts and, in those years, I solidified my personal commitment to Louisville,” said Boone. “The work of the Fund aligns with my personal mission to create a stronger, more vibrant Louisville. I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of those who have helped make the arts a cultural anchor of our community.”

 

Hearty congratulations to Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts Designate President & CEO, and many thanks to Barbara Sexton Smith for her years of excellent leadership.

 

For more information on the Fund for the Arts, visit FundForTheArts.com.

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Yum! Hams It Up in Support of the Arts

Posted by Alexa Mirvis
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The Grand Champion Ham brought in a noteworthy six figure bid at the 50th Annual Country Ham Breakfast and Auction at the Kentucky State Fair on August 22. At stake for the bidders, mostly local corporations, was a 13.3 pounder from Harper’s Country Hams and the opportunity to contribute the proceeds of the winning bid to the charity of their choice. Yum! Brands Foundation, a committed supporter of the arts and a 2013 BCA 10: Best Business Partnering with the Arts in America honoree, placed the winning bid of $350,000. (Photo credit: Jennifer Osting, Yum Foundation with Barbara Sexton Smith, Ashley Spurlock and auctioneer Danetta Allen, courtesy of Fund for the Arts.)

 

Angela Osting, Manager of the Yum! Foundation & Global Community Investment, announced that the proceeds from the auction would be given directly to the Fund for the Arts, a Louisville-based organization dedicated to promoting meaningful arts experiences by providing grants and resources for regional arts programs. The Yum! Brands Foundation has demonstrated continued support for the Fund, whose grants sponsor the Yum! Family Series, designed to nurture young talent and provide arts experiences for children.

 

Osting commented, “For us, it is very, very important as a company and as a foundation that we give back to the communities where we live and work," with Yum!'s total contribution breaking down to over $26,000 per pound of ham. The ham itself was donated to Dare to Care, a Louisville-based food bank.

 

Congratulations to Yum! for continuously proving to be one of the best businesses supporting the arts in America!

 

For more information on the Yum! Foundation and the Yum! Family series, visit Yum.com.

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Louisville Arts Leader Honored by Americans for the Arts

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Administered annually since 1991, the Michael Newton Award is given to an individual, staff member or volunteer in recognition of his or her innovation in developing private sector partnerships for the arts and/or long-term achievement in effective, and creative fundraising techniques. This year, the award goes to Barbara Sexton Smith, president and CEO of the Fund for the Arts, the oldest united arts fund in the country, which raises money for arts institutions and programs throughout the greater Louisville area. She will be presented with the award Saturday, June 15 at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Pittsburgh. 

 

The award’s namesake, Michael Newton, came to the United States from England in the late 1960s and soon after began serving as director of the Arts and Sciences Council of Greater St. Louis. He also served as president of the Los Angeles Music Center and the American Council for the Arts. This award honors his distinguished career in the united arts fund field, advancement of consolidated fundraising strategies on the behalf of multiple arts institutions in the community, and exemplary management and leadership skills.

 

"It is such an honor to be receiving this award," comments Sexton Smith. "I'll bring it home and share it with our entire community because they are the ones who deserve this. We are lucky to live in a place where the arts are paid for and provided for everyone. I believe art is the common thread that connects all humanity and I get up every day looking for ways to create community connections through the arts. We believe a great American city is safe, healthy, educated and vibrant. The Arts are key to making this happen. Together through the Arts we create a great American city!"

 

In Sexton Smith’s tenure at the Fund for the Arts, the average gift through the workplace campaign grew from $87 in 2001 to more than $167 in 2011. The percentage of total dollars raised from employee campaigns increased by 25%.

 

Sexton Smith is also responsible for the creation of the Fund's NeXt! leadership development program, the goal of which is to prepare the next generation for volunteer leadership roles in the area of arts and cultural interests, with a strategic focus on strong corporate citizenship. Throughout the program’s two year commitment, NeXt! members attend monthly educational sessions about fundraising and professional development and are paired for fieldwork with one of the Fund’s cultural partners. Not only is NeXt! an exceptional fundraising technique (all 44 NeXt! host organizations are also donors to the Fund), it is an innovative example of a partnership with the private sector. Regional law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC has sponsored the program for the past three years, absorbing the cost for program participants.

 

Americans for the Arts is pleased to honor Barbara Sexton Smith as the 2013 Michael Newton awardee for her exemplary leadership skills and extraordinary long-term achievement in effective and creative fundraising in the Louisville community. 

 

For more information on the Michael Newton Award, visit AmericansForTheArts.org. To learn more about the programs and initiatives at Louisville’s Fund for the Arts, visit FundForTheArts.com.  

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