News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

When Working Together is as Important as the Work

Posted by Wayne Andrews
0 Comments
When Working Together is as Important as the Work

Where we live is important to each of us. It is a key part of our identity. It’s a source of pride, even if our hometown is the punch line to a joke.

 

Is it really the good schools, parks, and access to shopping centers that make us live where we live? Many people find a fulfilling sense of community in smaller towns and rural regions that do not have all the advantages of larger communities.

 

Maybe it is not the measurable elements that give a place a sense of community but rather those intangible qualities that create the feeling. Could it be that working with your neighbors to build a park is more important to the sense of community than the actual park? The arts have always been one of the focal points around that help to build a sense of community.

 

Town festivals, cultural events, and celebrations are often the most visible signs of a community working together. Each pumpkin festival, summer concert series on the town square, or art sale pulls together diverse elements of the community.

An example of this can be seen in Oxford, MS, which has worked to define itself as an arts community. Numerous programs have been launched in partnership between various segments of the community.

 

Last year working with local business owners, artists, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a monthly art crawl was launched to highlight the visual artists in the region.

 

Business owners opened their shops to one night-only art exhibits to encourage residents to spend the early evening downtown, walking and looking at art, hoping they would purchase items from their stores or enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, impacting the local economy.

 

The success was measurable and visible. Business owners experienced growing crowds, walking through art exhibits, sidewalks full of visitors from other communities, and retail shops drawing new customers during the art crawl.

 

Read the entire post on ARTSblog.

Finding a Local Business Partner to Support the Arts

Posted by Emily Peck
0 Comments
Finding a Local Business Partner to Support the Arts

By Wayne Andrews, Executive Director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) based in Lafayette County, Mississippi

 

The arts have always been a reflection of community — creating from the cultural fiber of their environment and serving as the original grassroots marketers.

 

This connection between community and the artist has been the key to building support. In the technical terms of marketing professionals, artists create brand loyalty and businesses have started to recognize the value of partnering with the arts to reach their loyal customer base.

 

Check any social media site and you will find a wealth of businesses trying to show their support arts and charitable organizations.

 

Pepsi has their Refresh Project, CITGO offers to Fuel Good, Maxwell House offers Drops of Good, and Tom’s of Maine offered a nationwide promotion entitled 50 States of Good.

This drive to connect is beneficial as the programs offer access to funds for groups both large and small, while providing marketing a media that expands the reach of groups. Yet, many of these programs although seemingly altruistic, are just efforts by corporate marketing departments to create a program that makes a national company feel local.

Still, these programs have value because they encourage smaller, local companies to think about how to support their communities.

 

An example is Cathead Vodka in Gluckstadt, MS is a small start-up that began their business with a concept that everything they did was about their community. They took a product rooted in the juke joints of Mississippi and tapped its heritage as part of its mission.

 

In the creation of their product, Cathead looked at how it would be part of the community and recognized that as they grew, they could help grow support for community organizations. In defining their brand, they looked for partners that would celebrate that theme (they also have “support live music” on the label).

 

Cathead did not look to make donations, but championed a cause united under their product. Starting with Mississippi, the owners have found partners who they feel are giving to the community and recognize the value of roots of their town.

Upon finding a cultural soul mate, the company pledges a percentage of their sales to that charity. Cathead’s owners, Austin Marshall and Richard Patrick, have found that by following their passions both for their product and in what they support in their community has been a strong business model.

 

They have been able to not only tap the grassroots and community goodwill of organizations like Music Makers Foundation and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, but have established how they conduct business, thereby growing their reputation along with the community groups they support.

 

This is the offshoot of large corporate campaigns — actual relationships between businesses and arts groups who mutually support a passion.

 

This is not to imply that those corporate programs asking us to like their product on Facebook or vote for a charity for the organization to receive a donation are lacking in value. Their value may be that they encourage real partnerships and giving from businesses on a local or statewide scope.

 

What kinds of unique local business and arts partnerships have you seen in your community?

 

*This post was originally posted on ArtsBlog

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.