Arts and business news from around the country.


FOX’s Urges Empire Fans to “Get Behind the Beat”

Posted by Kate Reese
FOX’s Urges Empire Fans to “Get Behind the Beat”

For fans of FOX’s critically acclaimed Empire, it’s hard to resist the compelling story of a musician’s struggle to overcome her destitute beginnings and achieve artistic eminence. Now FOX is helping real musicians find their own voice by partnering with the nonprofit Notes for Notes on a promotional campaign that will raise money to build fully equipped music studios across the country. The campaign, “FOX PRESENTS EMPIRE, Behind The Beat,” which launched just prior to the second season of Empire during the Teen Choice Awards, will help the next generation of musicians realize their potential by providing young people with free access to instruments and audio equipment, as well as professional mentors.


Notes for Notes works within Boys and Girls Clubs to provide youth with access to fully-equipped, staffed recording studios, allowing students to experiment with, create, and record music at no cost. The organization believes that music is a “universal language of humankind, with the power to transcend virtually any cultural, racial, or socioeconomic barrier.” Notes for Notes already features locations across the country in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, and New York. The “Empire, Behind the Beat” collaboration aims to open the first ever Notes for Notes studio in Chicago by raising $200,000 to begin studio construction in spring 2016.


The “Behind the Beat” campaign marks another chapter in FOX’s ongoing effort to support emerging artists. In March, to commemorate the series finale of FOX's Glee, the company partnered with the Give a Note Foundation to establish the 21st Century Fox Give a Note Grants, which will support 16 under-funded music education programs at schools across the United States. Learn more about the Give a Note initiative.



AC Entertainment Not Only Presents, but Partners with the Arts

Posted by Kellyn Lopes

Praised by Rolling Stone as “one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock ‘n roll,” the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival features more than 150 artists and attracts an audience of 80,000 each year. Since 2002, the festival has presented the highest-quality musicians ranging in style from bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, reggae, blues, electronic, hip-hop, Latin, African, and more. The 100-acre entertainment village of Bonnaroo is a cultural hub, comprised of art installations, a comedy club, movie theatre, street performers, silent disco, arcade, beer garden, technology village and an impressive array of food and shopping. The brains behind the operation? AC Entertainment, a 2014 BCA 10 honoree.


AC Entertainment not only presents the arts, but partners with the arts as well. The company has partnered with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority on a program known as Arts at the Airport, designed to turn the airport terminal and surrounding facilities into a space for rotating public art exhibits and permanent acquisitions.


“A part of the Bonnaroo founding mission is to emphasize the impact that the festival has on creativity in both the visual and live performance arts,” said Ashley Capps, CEO of AC Entertainment, in an interview with Pollstar. “The Arts at the Airport is an ever-growing, ever-changing showcase of cultural diversity and creative talent in Tennessee, and we’re proud to have the festival represented on such a grand scale.”


In 2014, AC Entertainment called for artists to submit Bonnaroo-inspired artworks, selecting 3 to be installed in the airport concourses (shown below). The overhanging displays are a powerful presence that engage travelers and promote the festival in a new way, offering a creative marketing solution for AC Entertainment that brings together local artists, festival goers, and the community.


Concourse A

"EYEZ on Bonnaroo" by Peat Wollaeger

Concourse B

"Amaranth Tactical Co-Mission: AK- BNA1 and AK-BNA2" by AK Llamas

Concourse C

"Just a Perfect Day" by Carla Ciuffo

"Spectrum Wind" by Duncan McDaniel

(Images courtesy of


The 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has concluded for this year, but the airport installations will remain until January 2015. They stand as a reflection of AC Entertainment’s arts partnerships that have become intertwined with the company’s core mission and values.


For more information on AC Entertainment and the company's support of the arts through its various festivals and events, visit


Time Warner Inc. Honors Volunteers

Posted by Caleb Way

Employees of Time Warner Inc., a  2006 BCA 10 honoree and 2007 BCA Hall of Fame inductee, gathered this past Tuesday, June 3, in the name of corporate volunteering. The Richard D. Parsons Community Impact Awards, now in its 33rd year, recognizes the exceptional community and public service contributions of Time Warner Inc. employees. The company, which is a champion of employee engagement initiatives, holds true to the award’s credo of “honoring those who inspire us.”

If you joined the Arts & Business Council of New York on Twitter (@ArtsBizNY) last week as they dedicated Thursday, May 29 to the topic of employee engagement, you know that allowing time for and creating space for employees to exercise passions they already have increases productivity and creativity within the workplace. “I almost feel guilty for receiving an award for doing something that I love doing,” said Michael Rowell, a Shift Supervisor at Turner Broadcasting and 2014 honoree for his work with Open Hand, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides meals to the underprivileged.

This year, the arts, among many other worthy causes supported by Time Warner employees, had a seat at the table. Two of the five Richard D. Parsons Community Impact Awardees were honored for their contributions and civic work in the arts sector. Joe Raiola, Senior Editor at MAD Magazine, DC Entertainment is also the Artistic Director of Theater Within, a platform that he uses to present the performing arts as an agent of positive social change. He was recognized for his work in championing the Annual John Lennon Tribute Concert in New York City, the proceeds of which benefited local and international charities. Additionally, four HBO employees received accolade as a team for their involvement in California’s Young Storytellers Foundation (YSF). YSF works with students to build literacy and writing skills, turning their unique pieces into stage productions. The four honorees recruited a team of mentors from HBO for the YSF students, who advised them as they developed screenplays for an annual showcase.
Time Warner Inc.’s Richard D. Parsons Community Impact Awards serve as a great example of how to promote employee volunteering, engagement, and recognition. Not only are Time Warner employees engaged and inspired, they are given the chance to invest in causes that are near and dear to them, all the while giving support to worthy nonprofits.

For more from Time Warner Inc., join the Arts & Business Council of New York on Tuesday, June 24th as they host Alex Tapnio, Associate Manager, Marketing and Employee Programs/Corporate Responsibility for a workshop on how arts organizations can more effectively engage volunteers from the business community. Alex will be moderating a discussion between representatives from Free Arts NYC, Materials for the Arts, Only Make Believe, and Deutsche Bank as they speak to this topic of corporate volunteering and present proven methods and success stories.

View a short clip and read more about the 2014 Richard D. Parsons Community Impact Awards here.


5 Tips For Connecting With Your Network Over In-Kind Donations

Posted by Eleanore Hopper

Rosie’s Theater Kids (RTKids) was given a rare opportunity to advertise in Condé Nast publications at no cost to the organization. RTKids had a chance to take full-page, color advertisements in some of the most-read publications in US, but had no marketing team to strategize placement, or copywriter and designer to create the ad. They needed to submit the advertisement within two weeks.


This was the quick, first project I was given as a new participant in the Arts & Business Council of New York’s Business Volunteers for the Arts® program. As a consultant in the areas of communications and business development for clients in the arts, this was fun and very familiar territory.


Increasingly, donors are more willing and able to give in-kind contributions (non-cash donations of good or services). According to an annual report created by CECP in association with The Conference Board entitled Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition the “direct cash donations dominated at 47% of total giving in 2012, non-cash contributions have been growing at a faster rate of 10% or more in each year since 2008.” This means that organizations, like RTKids, sometimes receive a donation that does not directly support their bottom line as a monetary contribution would.


In my initial meeting with RTKids, many questions came up about how to maximize this special opportunity. What was the best message for the ad? How could RTKids summarize the organization’s mission in a way that would grab attention and drive home the impact of their work? How could RTKids get the ad in front of potential supporters? And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, would they encourage donations by advertising this way?As a consultant working with organizations that straddle the digital and print marketing divide, I can confirm that it is difficult for non-profits to measure the impact of traditional print methods of advertising, let alone use them to secure donations. In some cases, it can cost an organization more to take advantage of this kind of opportunity than it is demonstrably worth. It might have been costly for RTKids to utilize (strategize, write, design) the donated ad pages without help from the Business Volunteers for the Arts™ program.


However, clear, consistent and persistent reiteration of a non-profit’s brand and mission is valuable to the overall health of the organization. Every little bit helps when it comes to reinforcing the perception of your organization and its core values which are in turn the essential attractor for potential donors.


1)  DO consider potential benefits of a non-cash donation (goods and/or services) in light of the resources required to reap those benefits. DON’T forget to factor in the volunteer help you can get from your passionate community. Consider how a project such as the one described above can become an opportunity to establish a deeper relationship with a member of your constituency that possesses specific expertise.


2)   Seek help from a variety of sources. If you have a project you need help with, get the word out to your supporters, volunteers and community. As they say, you never know who may know someone who can help…


3)  Get the word out early. If you are seeking volunteer help, consider that many skilled helpers will be more likely to contribute if they can balance the project with their other commitments.


4)     If the project is simple and on a short time-line, take advantage of the many online volunteer matching services. Posting your projects to these online platforms can be a great way to reach supporters who are passionate about your cause but may not have heard of your organization.


5)    Sign your organization up to work with volunteers from the Arts & Business Council of New York’s wonderful Business Volunteers for the Arts™ program!

If you have specific questions about how your organization can implement these tips, feel free to contact me!


(This post is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage.)


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