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Nashville Attorneys Beautify Old School Bus for Local Bicycle Rental Service

Posted by Alexa Mirvis
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Nashville Attorneys Beautify Old School Bus for Local Bicycle Rental Service

(Photos courtesy of Stacey Irvin, April 2013)

 

What happens when you combine lawyers on lunch break with paintbrushes and an old school bus? In downtown Nashville, this mix resulted in a unique collaboration between two law firms and a local arts organization, giving attorneys a chance to get in touch with their creative sides while connecting with their communities.

 

This past summer, the owner of a Nashville bicycle shop, approached the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville seeking corporate support for his creative idea: to paint an old school bus with a community mural and repurpose it as a bicycle hub. Through the its WorkCreative program, designed to bring art into the workplace and integrate employees in hands-on creativity, the Arts & Business Council invited the Nashville offices of two law firms, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, to contribute some time to mural painting.

 

Both law firms have an extensive history of philanthropy work. Baker Donelson has supported arts organizations like ArtsMemphis, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Nashville Chamber Orchestra, among other causes, through financial contributions or by donating time and services. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings operates its own foundation and demonstrates a strong commitment to the civic and charitable endeavors in the communities where offices are located.

 

This particular collaboration between the law firms and the Arts & Business Council offered a unique set of benefits for the parties involved. For the law firms, these benefits extended beyond what is gleaned from traditional philanthropic efforts like Pro Bono work and financial contributions. Employees of the firms had the chance to awaken their creative sides in a project that stimulated innovation and interpersonal communication, which are invaluable in a business setting.  Most importantly, the law firms benefited from the positive community relations and brand recognition that developed through their support of Nashville’s artistic community and the bike shop, which is a beloved member of the local economy.

 

Thor Urness, Partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, describes his experience. “People in business and the arts approach their work differently but can learn a lot from each other. Working side by side with the artist for a great cause—promoting cycling in Nashville—was a lot of fun for all of us. The Arts & Business Council’s WorkCreative program offers a great way to expose our lawyers to the creative process used by artists. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings was delighted to participate in the bus mural project because it gave our lawyers a chance to use the right side of our brains in a creative way that helped others.”

 

For these law firms, partnering with the arts is an opportunity to demonstrate corporate values and advance philanthropic goals while engaging employees in creative and stimulating activities. The completed Bicycle Bus Mural Project was a functional community art piece reflecting the vibrant creative spirit of Nashville as well as the camaraderie between local businesses and the arts.

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Bringing Together Arts, Culture, and the Law

Posted by Joan Goshgarian
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Bringing Together Arts, Culture, and the Law

“It’s easy for me to be passionate about producing beautiful photography. It’s a lot harder to get excited about the mundane details of running my photography business. This conference was an excellent source of information on legal details that are an important part of any artist’s business. Although it would be impossible to get all the answers in one day, I now have a better idea of the questions to ask. I also made connections with other artists and organizations that can help me strengthen my business.”  ~ Becky Field, Photographer, Concord, NH

 

So begins the feedback from the attendees at the Arts, Culture, and Law Conference that the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts (NHBCA) sponsored in June along with the New Hampshire Departments Cultural Resources and Justice, the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) School of Law. The conference was designed for members of the arts and cultural industry, artists and organizations and board members, as well as legal professionals interested in cultural issues.

 

I was involved with this conference because the NHBCA started the Lawyers for the Arts/New Hampshire program in 1991 with our member law firms to offer arts-related legal assistance on a no-fee basis to artists and organizations.

In 2002, the NHBCA established a relationship with the UNH School of Law (then known as the Franklin Pierce Law Center) in Concord to refer these artists and arts organizations to the on-site clinic at their school.

 

The clinic is student-staffed and faculty-supervised, and in general assists people in civil matters who are unable to pay. In addition, UNH School of Law is a specialist in intellectual property matters and has a history of assisting those with issues in a variety of creative fields. Since the inception of the Lawyers for the Arts hundreds of artists and arts organizations have used this service.

 

In conjunction with the beginnings of the Lawyers for the Arts program, the NHBCA member law firms also created a booklet “Incorporation and Tax Exemption for New Hampshire Arts and Other Nonprofit Organizations: An Introductory Guide.” They responded to our request for this publication because we all have a demonstrated belief in and commitment to the importance of the arts and entire nonprofit community in New Hampshire.

 

The full-day Arts, Culture, and Law Conference featured more than a dozen panels discussing the presentation, “The IP Dialogues: Copyright Done Right and Gone Wrong.” A dozen other 60- and 90-minute panel sessions took place over the course of the conference; included those with representatives from the legal profession as well as from arts, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions. Panelists gave short introductions to the topics being discussed, with the bulk of each session devoted to answering questions from attendees.

 

Session topics included: “Art and Culture Get Down to Business”; “Artist and Institutional Relationships”;” Content Creation and Distribution in a New Media World”; and “Copyright and the Performing Arts.”

 

In addition, table topic discussions facilitated by leaders from the legal and cultural communities occurred during lunch. Cathy Green, chair of the board of the UNH School of Law welcomed the attendees, and New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney provided closing remarks that highlighted his appearance at the United States Supreme Court with the importance and symbolism of the arts.

 

At the end of the day the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception at the conference site and included its artist networking group which is part of the Creative Concord initiative. Lawyers, artists, conference attendees, and sponsors sipped wine, sampled hors d’oeuvres and shared the day’s insights. The music of the guest harpists and the art exhibits on the walls at UNH added to the energized gathering.

 

McGowan Fine Art Gallery owner Sarah Chaffee wrote, “I can’t say enough about how valuable that Art, Culture & the Law Conference is/was. I used information that I took away from the seminar on copyright the very next day. One of my artists thanked me for being so knowledgeable and standing up for her rights!”

 

With feedback like this, of course we will organize the third annual Arts, Culture, and the Law Conference!

 

*This was originally posted on ARTSblog.

 

*Photo courtesy of Alex E. Proimos

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Bringing Creativity to the Courtroom

Posted by Timarie Harrigan
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Bringing Creativity to the Courtroom

Intelligent Entertainment Solutions recently released a case study that highlights the success of a collaboration between performing artists and renowned law firm Duane Morris.

 

“Duane Morris employees create and deliver presentations internally and to clients on a daily basis. The firm sought to support the executives’ careers without relying on a typical “presentation skills” course. Duane Morris retained the services of IES to lead a workshop called “The Connecting Workshop: Communicating for Business Through Humor and Story Telling.”

 

The workshop was produced by Linda Orton and lead by Emmy nominated comedian Beth Lapides and Greg Miler. IES created a workshop to help the employees communicate company information and messages in a way that people remember, i.e., through humor and stories.

 

Creative thinking, performing and artistry are talents that can be learned and honed. In a corporate environment, creative skills give professionals a competitive advantage to solve problems, market their skills, improve teamwork, client relations and productivity.

Over a period of six hours, attendees learned about the principles of comedy and storytelling, what makes a story funny and entertaining and how to apply story telling to a corporate presentation.

 

The results were outstanding. Duane Morris employees commented that the workshop “just worked” to teach them how to deliver appropriate humor and stories in a presentation. Client presentations improved through the application of creativity, humor and story telling. One marketing executive claimed that she had learned how to use her creativity to be more expressive and articulate, and thereby discern what the audience wanted to hear (and how it wanted to hear it). “

 

Read the rest of the article on PRWeb.

 

*Photo courtesy of Highways Agency.

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Energizing the Arts in Houston

Posted by Emily Peck
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Energizing the Arts in Houston

Oil and Gas Financial Journal recognizes the power of the arts to transform communities.  The journal recently featured Baker Botts LLP based in Houston, one of the 2011 BCA 10 winners.  Here is an excerpt:

 

Baker Botts LLP has been an integral part of Houston's business community since 1840 when the firm's founder, Peter Gray, launched his law practice in the Republic of Texas. As Houston's economy grew, so did the firm. Today, lawyers at Baker Botts are experienced in a wide range of areas, including corporate, environmental, global projects, intellectual property, litigation and tax and work for companies across many industries. Deeply ingrained in Houston, Baker Botts does work for many companies in industries integral to Houston: banking, finance, and energy are key.

 

But to Baker Botts, doing business in Houston means more. The company has been a major supporter of the arts since the 19th century and was recently honored for its continued commitment by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts, when it was named as one of 2011's Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America.

 

Ten companies were selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2011. A black-tie gala was held at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City on October 5, 2011.

 

"These businesses have demonstrated an unwavering dedication to supporting the arts through financial and in-kind support, innovative partnerships and community involvement," said Joseph C. Dilg, chairman, BCA executive board and managing partner of Houston's Vinson & Elkins LLP. "Because of their enduring support for the arts, citizens across the country have access to the arts through education, exhibitions and performances."

 

For years, Baker Botts has been committed to this effort. The firm provides pro bono legal services and financial contributions to a variety of arts organizations, including Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and Rice University, among others.

 

The firm is also dedicated to providing opportunities for employees and clients to increase their involvement and exposure to the arts. Each winter, the Houston office hosts a family holiday event tied to its support of local performing arts organizations. These events have taken place in conjunction with productions such as The Nutcracker at Houston Ballet, and The Grinch at Theater Under The Stars followed by an exclusive on-stage reception.

 

Baker Botts understands the importance of exposing youth to the arts, and they provide arts education opportunities for K-12 students. The firm's Dallas office has sponsored Julius H. Dorsey Elementary School in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas since 1993 in conjunction with the Dallas Independent School District Partners in Education Program. Among other activities, Baker Botts participates in the arts and crafts program that addresses the artistic needs of kindergartners who do not have access to art classes.

 

Baker Botts also incorporates the arts in conjunction with its diversity initiatives. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2011, Baker Botts plans to display an art exhibit by Artists of the Americas. The exhibit will include original artworks by distinguished, internationally emerging artists from Latin America whose works have been recognized by prominent cultural institutions and will be featured in several of Baker Botts' domestic offices.

 

Read the entire article in Oil and Gas Financial Journal.

 

*Photo: Joseph Dilg, partner, Vinson & Elkins and chairman emerita of the BCA Executive Board; Josh Davidson, partner at Baker Botts. Photo courtesy of Glen Davis.

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