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Superstore Hits Art Enthusiasts’ Biggest Target: Their Wallets

Posted by Elhadji Mare
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It is easy to spot one of Target’s many commercials when they appear on television. They are always filled with various shapes, vivacious colors, and catchy music that is sometimes matched with a short choreographed dance. There is no question that Target understands the importance of the arts to their business and overall expansion as a global superstore. On Target’s website, they categorize working with art organizations as their corporate responsibility, highlighting these collaborations as a necessity for their company. To underscore their commitment, Target sponsors multiple “museum nights” where free admission is offered to the public at some of New York City’s popular museums. They have partnered with the Children's Museum of Manhattan, Brooklyn Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem to provide complimentary access to these world-renowned exhibition spaces.

 

Target collaborates with the Children’s Museum to bring Free First Fridays, providing free admission on the first Friday of every month. This program brings art and interactive activities to children, for some, their first encounter with the arts.

 

Target’s Free First Saturdays is a collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum where on the first Saturday of every month (except September), Target sponsors free admission for the public from 5 to 11 p.m. Each First Saturday is replete with art of different mediums. Events range from video presentations and curator tours of the exhibits, to live music and hands on activities to get patrons more involved with the featured exhibitions.

 

The Studio Museum in Harlem is unlike the other museums that only have free admission on the first day of every month. It is host to Target’s Free Sundays, and is free each week. At the museum, there are gallery pieces from the likes of Alma Thomas and Richard Hunt, and hands-on activities for kids and adults to create mosaics using glue, paint markers, and cardboard.    

 

Make sure to check out the Children’s Museum on the first Friday, the Brooklyn Museum on the first Saturday of the month, and the Studio Museum in Harlem every Sunday to take advantage of these great opportunities to explore world-class institutions. Usually in New York City, nothing comes free, but with Target’s support of art museums, they are actually inviting the public to close their wallets and open their hearts and minds to the arts.

 

Photo: Target

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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

Posted by Emma Osore
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Hotels Make “Room” for the Arts in Queens

The QCA ArtHotel Residency, is a new program of Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with The Paper Factory Hotel and the Z NYC Hotel. These Queens-based hotels are committed to arts and culture in the community and their brand identities are rooted in the arts. The Paper Factory’s eclectic decor and artistic ambiance are enriched by modern industrial accents reminiscent of this building’s past- a paper factory in 1970s, converted into a hotel in 2010s. The Z NYC Hotel is steps from the Queensboro Bridge, and features a sleek, Jazz Age theme combined with modernist industrial chic.

 

QCA ArtHotel artist residency program offers two Queens-based artists, a $3,000 stipend each, for a 3-month period of time to work outside of their traditional environment and daily life. While the artists do not live on site, the residency spaces are a place where artists retreat to create their work and have an opportunity to focus inwardly and share her/his process with the public.

 

The QCA ArtHotel residency is intended to give artists a safe place to focus on their work in the public realm, build different audiences, and be seen making work within the Queens community. In turn, this gives the public access to a working artist’s process. This residency is also intended to build the value of local working artists in an attempt to revise the narrative of displacement due to gentrification and development borough-wide.

 

For their inaugural year, visual artists Erin Treacy and Jennifer Williams were chosen from a pool of applicants based upon criteria that included artistic excellence, a public engagement experience and a clear proposal of art activity to happen during the residency. 

 

Jennifer Williams, who will be in residence at Z Hotel says, “what excited me about the ArtHotel residency was the chance to immerse myself in a neighborhood amidst radical change and transform the blank slate of a hotel room into localized experience describing the neighborhood's current state of flux.”

 

Erin Treacy of Sunnyside, Queens notes, "working in the studio is usually a solo pursuit for me. I am excited to be a resident at the Paper Factory Hotel, allowing for me to open up the studio process and discussion with a larger community. It is a great open and sunny space that will surely contribute to my palette and allow for me to expand the scale of my work!"

 

Artists like Jennifer and Erin are creative and valuable community members who are often experts at creative problem solving and encouraging neighbors to interact, in addition to being specialists who make works of art. The public and guests of the partnering hotels will be invited into the artist’s hotel room studios to experience the creative process at various times during the residency. The Queens Council on the Arts provides updates for ongoing activities as each of these participating hotels for the duration of the 3-month residency.

 

Photo: Queens Council on the Arts

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Investing in Curiosity and Exploration

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Investing in Curiosity and Exploration

What makes one business outshine others in its field? A few things come to mind but committing to community often pushes a company ahead of its competitors.

 

Digital agency, Situation Interactive, is an example of this type of commitment. As a creative-driven agency that uses media and technology to tell immersive brand stories, Situation Interactive has been fortunate to be named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM) in 2016. It’s not so much about luck however, Situation Interactive’s Founder Damian Bazadona attributes this type of recognition as a direct reflection of their clients and team. Their ability to gain this honor is further highlighted by the company’s beneficial and necessary commitment and investment in the community.

 

Every year, Situation rewards praiseworthy NYC public school students with a Broadway show experience. The program began with one middle school, MS 343 in the South Bronx, that is located in the poorest congressional district in the nation yet, one of the highest performing schools in New York City. Using funds slated for holiday gift baskets for clients and partners, Situation sent the entire school to see Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark – significant as most of these students had never been on a field trip, much less seen a Broadway show.

 

School trips to world-class arts and culture with access to working arts professionals: The Situation Project was born.

 

Now in its sixth year, the Situation Project predominantly provides Broadway-level experiences, see #TheatreMakesMe, but also boasts other art and culture experiences for these NYC middle school students including experiences like a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an 8th grade photography class before it had opened to the public.

 

With the Situation Project, Situation Interactive shows how they are on a mission to stimulate and expand the imaginations of students in their local communities.

 

Photo: Situation Project

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Using Business to Build the Leadership Pipeline in the Arts

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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In the story “Packaging Your Impact: How Con Edison Engages Its Employees through the ABC/NY Diversity in the Arts Leadership Program” we learned a lot about mutually beneficial arts-based partnerships.

 

We learned that the program promotes diversity: Hosted by Arts & Business Council of New York (ABC/NY), the Diversity in the Arts Leadership (DIAL) program promotes diversity in the arts management field by placing undergraduate students of color in summer internship experiences at many of NYCs coveted arts and culture organizations.

 

We also learned that the program supports employee engagement: The DIAL program doubles as an arts-based platform to engage corporate employees at Con Edison, energy provider to NYC and Westchester County. Not only does Con Edison financially subsidize the intern stipends for the summer and provide in-kind event space but their employees have volunteered their personal time to fill two-thirds of the student’s business mentor roles.

 

Con Edison Project Specialist and DIAL mentor, Elizabeth Matias, shares, “Con Edison has built an incredible platform to engage its employees and I take pride in the interdisciplinary partnership and the opportunity to bridge my skills in arts and business”.

 

The program’s ability to help Con Edison employees put their company in the spotlight and also develop more experienced and better prepared student for arts leadership makes this program a successful archetype of mutual benefit partnerships for both sectors.

 

ABC/NY and Con Edison will go into their 17th year as partners on this program but the program boasts 25 years strong. In these 25 years, the program has placed more than 230 students from across the country into 110 arts nonprofit organizations in NYC to develop leadership in the business of the arts.

 

The program is now open for undergraduate student applications from anywhere in the country. Priority Application Deadline: January 27, 2017   |   Final Deadline: February 10, 2017

 

Photo: ABC/NY

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Samsung’s Day of Service is a Day for the Arts

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Samsung’s Day of Service is a Day for the Arts

Samsung is a global leader in all things technology, from consumer electronics to semiconductors to information systems and more. On May 13th, Samsung dedicated time to the community in order to add arts advocacy to that list. For the company’s fourth semiannual Day of Service, Samsung New York employees teamed up to throw an Art Prep Party for Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides over 1,600 underserved children and families with high-quality arts education and mentorship programs to support self-confidence and resiliency. Employees helped paint bags and make art supplies for Free Arts NYC programs, providing employees with a unique opportunity to give back to the community while also showing off their creative skills.

 

The event took place at Samsung’s innovative and immersive space, Samsung 837, which opened this past February. Samsung 837 is a one-of-a-kind digital playground, marketing center, and cultural destination that aims to engage the public with its products and get in touch with the cultural epicenter that is New York City.

 

The center’s creative potential speaks to Samsung’s far reaching support of all kinds of art forms. Vice President and General Manager at Samsung 837, Zach Overton, said “we have a proven track record of innovation, and with Samsung 837, we are creating the flagship of the future. 837 is a fully immersive cultural center, featuring programming which will tap into people’s passions such art, music, entertainment, sports, wellness, culinary, technology and fashion, all powered and enriched by technology.” Partnered with local artists and the nearby Whitney Museum of Art, Samsung 837 provides a stunning gallery space for visual arts programming as well as an open radio and DJ studio.

 

It is no surprise that Samsung has engaged with the local community to support important initiatives. A press release for the Day of Service stated: “At Samsung, we believe in being an active corporate citizen, investing in the communities where we work and live. Our employees power our drive to make the world a better place. During our semiannual Day of Service, our offices across the country – from New Jersey to California – close and our employees spend time supporting local and national charities and organizations.”

 

Through its partnership with the arts, Samsung has boosted its brand and become a dependable and welcomed member of the community, reinforcing their decision to create a flagship tech center in New York City, “where the best marketing happens and where people have a finger on the pulse of culture. As a result, [Samsung has] and will continue to attract top talent from around the world.”

 

Samsung creates technology that powers the future. In supporting and partnering with local arts programs for arts education, the future that they envision is sure to be a promising and creative one.

 

Photo from www.samsung.com/us/news 

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Uber Partners with WQXR to Provide Instruments to NYC Public Schools

Posted by Kate Reese
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Uber Partners with WQXR to Provide Instruments to NYC Public Schools

Uber-users know that often drivers will offer water bottles, an iPhone charge, or a radio-station switch. Now, one radio-station is switching the options available when you select your Uber. WQXR partnered with the ride-sharing company to help make music education available to public school students in New York and New Jersey.

To support the local classical radio station’s instrument drive, which ran April 8-18th, Uber gave users the option to donate to the cause.

 

For a designated amount of time, users could enter code GIVEMUSIC and select the GIVE option in Uber, and a driver would come by to collect unused instruments for donation! This partnership is good news for students hoping to study double-bas or cello, though WQXR will give all donated instruments (large or small) to local public school students – the next generation of great musicians.

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Storefront Art Walk Puts Brooklyn Artists, Businesses, and Community in the Spotlight

Posted by Emma Osore
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Storefront Art Walk Puts Brooklyn Artists, Businesses, and Community in the Spotlight

 

SAW was created in 2010 by local artist and business owner John Avelluto (The Owl’s Head Wine Bar) and business owner Heather Hamilton (Long’s Wine & Liquors) as a way to showcase the diverse community of Bay Ridge and give it a unique platform for engagement and dialogue with the visual arts. By supporting and promoting emerging local artists and celebrating local Bay Ridge businesses, SAW broadly explores the intersection between commerce, art and community. While Bay Ridge is home to many artists, the neighborhood is under-served and underfunded in terms of public arts spending and grants.

 

SAW, an annual event in its 7th year, is sponsored by the 5th Avenue Business Improvement District, Brooklyn Arts Council, Red Hook Winery, Bubbles and Suds Laundromat and SixPoint Brewery. This year there will be fifteen artists working with a variety of visual media to present individual art projects in storefront windows.  From 68th Street all the way to 84th Street on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, the event will feature artwork as varied as the participating businesses.

 

The artists were selected by a jury of six based on artistic merit, feasibility, and an ability to successfully engage with the Bay Ridge community. Mollie Flanagan, Program Manager and Curator of The NARS Foundation and one of this year’s jurors, said: "I look forward to seeing the ultimate productions of this diverse group of artists. Creating a unique synergy between the businesses on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge and Brooklyn artists, SAW is set to bring about another exciting year of site-specific art to the community.”

 

Each artist will choose a 5th Avenue business and create a unique installation with the particular business in mind. There is no cost to the merchant and the artist will install their own work. Beginning on May 14, 2016 each SAW artist will display in a storefront window so that Bay Ridge residents and visitors alike can enjoy the unique pieces while outside the establishment. Walking maps will be distributed at participating businesses.

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The Art of Pizza in NYC

Posted by Kate Reese
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The Art of Pizza in NYC

When a love of art and Italian food combine, the result is delizioso. In 2011, local entrepreneurs and Neapolitan food purveyors Bruno Cilio and Dario Cipollaro de l’Ero opened a combination restaurant and art gallery, PizzArte, located steps from the Museum of Modern Art.

 

PizzArte curator Sunny Shin, who also curates for Coohaus and Gallery Ho, rotates pieces for the gallery every four to six months, displaying pieces from prominent Italian and international artists. Two such talents are sculptors and painters Paola Romano, who has exhibited at the Venetian Biannual, and Lello Esponito, who has shown in the United States, Italy, and Spain.

 

The art features help PizzArte convey the restaurant’s emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. “The idea was to create a place that wasn’t just going to feed your stomach, but your mind,” said owner Bruno Cilio to a DNAinfo reporter. Cilio firmly believes that fine art should be experienced on more than just gallery walls. He views the restaurant as “less a business venture than a way to celebrate the art, food and traditions of home,” the article states.

 

PizzArte’s owners draw connections between the hand-painted art on the restaurant’s walls and the hand-made artisan pizzas in their kitchen. The hope is that customers will feel engaged with the work on display, “providing an opportunity to intimately engage with it and to have the feeling of actually living with art.”

 

Photo: PizzArte Facebook page. 

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Celebrating STEAM at NASDAQ

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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On February 4, 2016, We Connect The Dots–a STEAM education program–joined with Microsoft to ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City.

 

The ceremony celebrated the success of We Connect the Dots, its partnership with Microsoft, and their collective work to close the opportunity divide in technology, education and STEAM education. We Connect the Dots was founded by former Microsoft employee Laurie Carey.

 

The event signaled to business leaders worldwide the value of arts education in creating tomorrow's leaders in the business world and beyond.

 

"In addition to being one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, Microsoft is dedicated to addressing the opportunity divide that too many young people face. Working with nonprofits like We Connect the Dots, Microsoft is working to close the gap between those that have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not." --Michael Sokoll, CFA, Senior Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk

 

o ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City. - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/art-in-the-news/steam-program-rings-nasdaq-opening-bell?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=poherron@artsusa.org&utm_content=creativity%5Fconnection%5F2%5F4%5F16&utm_campaign=Creativity%20Connection%3A%20February%202016#sthash.HQJtWDz5.dpuf
We Connect The Dots – a STEAM education program

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Microsoft & Apple Unite Through Song

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Microsoft & Apple Unite Through Song

"From now on... if we haven't got exactly what the customer wants, we'll send him where he can get it. No high pressuring and forcing a customer to take something he doesn't really want. We'll be known as the helpful store..the friendly store...the store with a heart...the store that places public service ahead of profits. And, consequently, we'll make more profits than ever before." --Mr. Macy, Miracle on 34th Street.

 

Throughout 2015, we featured the results of many research studies and case studies in our newsletter and on this site that show the increasingly powerful impact of the arts on a business's bottom line and recruitment efforts. Now, as the year comes to a close, we bring you a great example of how Microsoft, a 2013 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America recipient, broke through the cluttered holiday marketing-sphere through song this year to send a message to customers and employees that the holiday season means more than just sales.

 

According to the company's YouTube page, "to celebrate the holidays, Microsoft employees, who were selected from across the country, gathered together, meeting each other for the first time, at the new Microsoft 5th Ave Store to spread some holiday wishes. Joined by a local NYC children's youth choir, they share a message of peace and harmony with their neighbor down the street." Microsoft's caroling session took place in front of Apple's iconic flagship store.

 

Microsoft videotaped its employees, and posted the video on YouTube, where it received over 207,900 views and media coverage, including an article which stated, "Yes, Apple and Microsoft are rivals, but at the end of the day, it's the people that matter. It's a message that gets lost this time of year during the holiday sales...Whatever the true intent, whether it's the kindest form of trolling imaginable or truly a message of cheer for a respected rival, you have to tip your hat to Microsoft on this one."

 

 

Apple, in turn, has been running a television commercial featuring Stevie Wonder using Apple products to record a Christmas song with R&B singer Andra Day and his children. The YouTube video featuring the commercial has received over 3,203,767 views.

 

 

Read more stories about how the arts have helped businesses cut through the clutter to convey strategic messages, and read an essay on the topic.

 

Photo: Microsoft YouTube video.

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