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"A People without Murals is a Demuralized People": Enlivening an Arts and Entertainment District with Public Art

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Arts Brookfield recently revealed their second installment of the “Paint the Town” initiative to promote public art murals in downtown Bethesda, MD.  With the help of their partner Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, artist Juan Pineda was selected to paint his bold and patterned style along the plaza and bus cove. Judges selected Juan from a collection of local artists who applied for the opportunity to complete the mural within weeks.  

 

This initiative supports both Juan’s and Brookfield’s profound commitment to enhancing the quality of life through art.  Juan has been painting murals in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years, has received a Proclamation Award for his work, and has received recognition for restoring a mural entitled, “A People without Murals is a Demuralized People.” Arts Brookfield, the cultural arm of Brookfield Properties, invigorates spaces through the free presentation of cultural experiences in their buildings around the world.  Brookfield, known for their signature programs, arts-inclusive office environment, and untraditional arts venues, was named one of the ten Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts with a BCA 10 award in 2014.

(Nominations for the 2017 BCA 10 Awards are open until January 13.)

 

It’s these steady partnerships that bring fruitful artistic, cultural, and economic growth to their communities for a lasting impact.

 

Photo: Courtesy Patricia Walsh, Public Art Program Manager, Americans for the Arts

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National Air and Space Museum Soars with a Gift from Boeing

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Early this month, Boeing announced a gift of $30 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to renovate and expand its main exhibition hall on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The 2-year renovation plan will be completed in time for the museum’s 40th anniversary in 2016, which is also the aerospace company’s 100th anniversary.

 

The contribution is the largest the Smithsonian has ever received from a corporation. This recent Boeing gift brings the total to $58 million the company has given the National Air and Space Museum. In addition to the renovations, the funds will be used to enhance educational programs and other exhibits at the museum, which is largely federally funded.

 

In appreciation of the gift, the museum will rename the gallery the “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.” The Milestones exhibition, which is the museum’s central and largest space, has looked much the same since the museum opened July 1, 1976. More than 310 million people have passed through the exhibition during the museum’s 38 years of operation. The new installation will give the hall a streamlined 21st century look and features themes and displays suited to today’s visitors. The square footage of the exhibition will be enlarged, and the displays will take full advantage of the atrium’s two-story height.

 

"A big focus of ours as a company is to enhance education and develop a future workforce by helping students, helping educators, helping parents embrace 21st-century skills and inspire innovation," said Steve Lott, Boeing's Head of Communications, North America.

 

“We’re honored to help preserve the legacy of pioneers who transformed an industry and influenced generations of innovators,” said Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney, according to a press release issued by the National Air and Space Museum. “By supporting the National Air and Space Museum with the renovation and expansion of the gallery, we hope to inspire others to dream, design and build the next game changers in aerospace history.”

 

The following video entitled, "Inspiring the Next Generation," details Boeing's partnership with the National Air and Space Museum, and how the company is educating and inspiring the next generation to become the air and space visionaries of the future.

 

 

For more information on Boeing's partnership with the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, visit Boeing.com and AirAndSpace.si.edu.

 

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MAXIMUS Supports Drug Abuse Exhibit at Maryland Science Center

Posted by Nicole Glotzer
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MAXIMUS, a worldwide provider of government services, recently announced its support for the Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause exhibit at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. The exhibit was organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Educational Foundation, as well as the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. National Guard, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Partnership.

 

The exhibit has traveled to nine U.S. cities and has been viewed by more than 22 million students, teachers, and parents since 2002. It aims to show how drug abuse affects individuals and society through an interactive exploration.

 

MAXIMUS has been a consistent supporter of the DEA Education Foundation’s mission. Thomas Romeo, President of MAXIMUS Federal Services, called the Target America exhibit “powerful” in the effort to combat the issue of drug abuse and addiction in the United States.

 

The exhibit offers a great deal of information about how drug addiction works from various angles. It demonstrates the science of addiction as well as its effects on individuals as well as society as a whole. The exhibit offers an example of a drug investigation, which allows people to learn about treatment and the steps law enforcement is taking to prevent abuse and drug-related violence. Target America will also begin exploring drug abuse and enforcement in the Baltimore area as well as drug-related science research at Maryland universities.

 

View the following video on the exhibition from Target America:

 

 

For more information on the exhibit, visit TargetAmerica.org. Learn more about all of MAXIMUS' corporate citizenship programs at MAXIMUS.com.

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Perserverance Pays Off: Reaching out to Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Suzan Jenkins
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Perserverance Pays Off: Reaching out to Your Local Chamber of Commerce

After several years of trying, I was happy to finally snag a meeting with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Chamber of Commerce to make a presentation called Innovative Ways to Attract/Retain Top Talent: Innovative Arts & Humanities Community Strategies. How did I do it? Sheer perseverance!!

 

Why did it take me nearly two years to convince the president and CEO of the chamber of commerce that arts-centric businesses play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy?

 

Because like many corporate professionals, she was skeptical that we could demonstrate that partnering with our sector can build market share; heighten awareness of member company products and services; attract employees; increase job satisfaction; and, enhance relationships with existing and new customers.

 

Like so many of her peers, she was unaware of that arts-centric businesses spend money locally, attract talented young professionals, generate government revenue at a high rate of return, and serve as a cornerstone of tourism and economic development

So I kept at it. And finally, she shared that her members’ most pressing concern was employee retention. She asked whether the arts and humanities community could offer strategies that would help corporate employers attract and retain top talent.

 

When I emphatically assured her that we could, she eagerly invited me to make a presentation to a joint meeting of the Economic Development and Small Business Committees. I was thrilled! So, of course I asked former Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council Board Member Mara Walker (also the chief operating officer of Americans for the Arts) to join me and bring her pARTnership Movement slides. I knew our dynamic duo would hit a home run!

 

Mara prepared a stellar presentation draft and we edited it together. She also prepared a captivating narrative that demonstrated how harnessing the creative community has helped specific multinational companies gain a competitive advantage and advance their business strategies. From the first slide, our audience was hooked!

 

Our presentation went smoothly, so much so that one of the members immediately invited us to make another presentation for their company within the month. And we will!

We must continue to give practical examples of how the business community can consider the arts and humanities as a resource for creative problem-solving and that our sector can help to build market share.

 

As we further develop our relationships within the business community, we can help them heighten awareness of their company’s products and services, attract new employees, and provide them ways to increase job satisfaction and enhance relationships with existing and new customers.

 

It’s not often that we can see and feel a win-win, but in this case it worked!

 

(Editor’s Note: Join Suzan at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio for the Private-Sector Funding in the New Normal session to hear more.)

 

*This post was originally posted on ARTSblog.  Photo: Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (right) and Mara Walker, COO Americans for the Arts address the Economic Development and Small Business Committees.

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