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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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Recruitment & Retention’s Secret Weapon

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Recruitment & Retention’s Secret Weapon

 

What keeps CEOs up at night? According to new research by The Conference Board, failure to attract and retain talent is at the top of the list, and innovation isn’t far behind. In December 2015, voluntary quits rose to nearly 3.1 million, the highest level since December 2006. For HR practitioners charged with battling these challenges, it’s time to raise the curtain on businesses’ secret weapon: the arts.

 

Build it and they will come.

Des Moines had an image problem. Creative millennials were leaving the city after graduation for more vibrant communities. To solve the problem, the city’s businesses banded together to fund The Des Moines Social Club, which now hosts over 700 events a year, manages four resident theater companies, and helps sustain many arts organizations in the city. The transformation is evident. In 2014, Fortune named Des Moines the #1 City with an Up-and-Coming Downtown and Forbes named Des Moines the #1 Best City for Young Professionals. The robust arts scene has helped creative employees see Des Moines as more than just cornfields.

 

Remember, inspired employees bring creativity to work.

Just as creative employees want live in a vibrant community, they crave a culturally rich work environment. An engaging company culture is a crucial asset for businesses competing for top talent. Facebook, for example, not only offers employees opportunities to take art classes but, like many companies of all sizes, it employs an artist-in-residence to help inspire creativity and present new ways for employees to think about their work. Other businesses like The Standard insurance company host employee art shows to engage employees, empowering them to exercise their creative skills and pursue their artistic passions.

 

Embrace diversity and open-mindedness.

According to a 2015 survey from Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the research arm of Talent Management magazine, "Almost three-quarters of human resources practitioners see diversity and inclusion as a strategic enabler for their companies' business strategy." Celebrating diversity communicates to employees and future employees that your business embraces an open exchange of ideas. Utility company PECO, for example, hosts multicultural events in Philadelphia, not only contributing to the city’s appeal, but also promoting its commitment to diversity in a visible way. Other businesses express their commitment to diversity by displaying corporate art collections in their lobbies.

 

     Take your employee communications cue from “AutoZone the Opera.”

Employee communication is key to retaining talented employees. Regardless of the industry, arts-training not only helps staff communicate better with one another, but artful messaging is more likely to hold employees’ attention. At AutoZone’s 2013 and 2014 national conferences, the company partnered with Opera Memphis to produce “AutoZone: The Opera.” The performances reminded employees about the company’s values and customer service procedures in a fun, memorable way.

 

Supporting the arts is not a new concept for America’s businesses, but in order to solve today's pressing human capital issues, HR practitioners need to tap into their own creativity and put the arts to work.

 

The pARTnership Movement is an initiative from Americans for the Arts to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Want to learn more?

 

Find additional ways that the arts can help your business thrive in 2016.

 

Read The pARTnership Movement essay on recruiting and retaining talent.

 

Read success stories showcasing how Americans businesses are using the arts to recruit and retain talent.

 

Find other examples of businesses using the arts to recruit and retain talent.

 

Sign up for our monthly arts and business newletter to receive more relevant research and examples of how the arts can help businesses recruit and retain talent.

 

Is your business using the arts to recruit and retain talent? Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at pARTnership@artsusa.org.

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6 Ways the Arts Can Help Your Business Thrive in 2016

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Foster Critical Thinking & Innovation

Did you know that GE has a new division called FirstBuild (a 2015 BCA 10 honoree) that brings artists into the factory to help create the next generation of appliances? Or that litigation firm Faegre Baker Daniels LLP uses theater to train its lawyers? The increased demand for customized products and services and the rise in consumer power is leading to an emphasis on continuous innovation. Last year we learned from BCA 10 honoree U.S. Bank’s CEO Richard Davis that CEOs representing the country’s top companies now believe that creativity is the most important attribute of a future C-Suite senior leader. Americans for the Arts’ and The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate study also supports their claim.

 

To learn how businesses are using the arts to foster critical thinking and drive innovation, read this essayYou can find additional examples here.

 

Engage Employees, Especially Millennials

2014 BCA 10 honoree Hallmark displays employee art. Facebook offers art classes to employees. 2015 BCA 10 honoree NV Energy's employees volunteer with local arts organizations and at arts events. “Employee engagement” is not just a buzzword or a passing trend. It holds powerful benefits for businesses. For example, many studies show that employees (particularly millennials) who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal, and satisfied employees. The arts offers businesses many opportunities to engage employees both in and out of the workplace (a topic we’ll explore more on pARTnershipMovement.org in 2016).

 

Find more examples of how the arts can help engage employees.

 

Recruit & Retain Talent

Creative employees want to live and work in a vibrant community; if you build it, they will come. According to a recent Cone Communications study, 76 percent of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding where to work. Millennials are also highly mobile. Today’s businesses are not just competing for talent against other companies, but also against other communities, cities, states, and countries. In 2014, a survey by ManpowerGroup showed that 40 percent of U.S. employers have difficulty filling jobs. How do communities like Des Moines, Iowa and Corning, New York attract top employees? They invest heavily in local arts and culture.

 

For an example of how business support of the arts helps attract creative talent, read this essay about the transformation of Des Moines. You can find additional examples here.

 

Put Your Company in the Spotlight

In 2015, BCA 10 company Zions Bank showcased costumes from a local ballet company in the bank’s branches, which resulted in substantial media coverage and increased visitors for both the bank and the ballet. Celebrating the arts is a way to build a powerful presence and engage with multiple stakeholders quickly and effectively. According to Americans for the Arts’ BCA National Survey of Business Support of the Arts (the next iteration of which will be released in 2016), 79 percent of businesses agree that the arts increase name recognition.

 

To learn how Portland General Electric partnered with the arts to build an emotional connection to their intangible product, read this essay. Learn about other ways the arts can help you put your business in the spotlight.

 

Advance Corporate Objectives & Strategies

Over the holidays, competitors Apple and Microsoft both sent powerful messages to consumers through music. In August 2015, Google demonstrated its support of people with disabilities through a visual display on the steps of prominent buildings in Washington DC, which also called attention to Google’s Cultural Institute. The arts are an incredibly effective way of breaking through to audiences facing information overload. Consider the flash mob trend and the rise of video in marketing. According to an article in The Guardian quoting research by Cisco, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.

 

Learn how other businesses are using the arts to advance corporate objectives and communicate strategic messages in this essay, and find additional examples here.

                                                               

Contribute to the Economy & Quality of Life

When you partner with local arts, you partner with the whole city. The arts enhance community development, create jobs, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and more. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $135.2 billion in economic activity every year—$61.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $74.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. For 2015 BCA 10 honoree, commercial real estate firm Prospective Inc., the impact of the arts on the company’s bottom line is undeniable. “The impact of the arts on demand for office, retail, and residential real estate, result(s) in higher valuations of commercial and residential properties and increased tax revenues to local, county, and state government. Investment in the arts provides a powerful economic return,” said Joe Ritchey, Principal of Prospective Inc.

 

Read more about how supporting the arts helps contribute to the economy and check out how other businesses are contributing to their local economies through the arts.

 

Want to learn more? Find additional ways that the arts can help your business thrive in 2016.

 

How has partnering with the arts impacted your business? Tell us on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at pARTnership@artsusa.org.

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Architecture Firms in DC Compete at Canstruction

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Architecture Firms in DC Compete at Canstruction

Some of the best arts and business partnerships are ones in which businesses incorporate the arts as part of other charitable efforts. For example, architects in DC collaborated with their colleagues on a creative project this past November to raise awareness about hunger in the city. At the Washington Architectural Foundation's annual Canstruction event, teams created structures made of full cans of food that were then donated to charity. According to Greatergreaterwashington.org, this year's theme was transportation, which resulted in replicas of the Metro map, Washington Dulles International airport, and a Car2Go from firms such as KCCT Architects and Barnes Vanze Architects. Through this year's event, the firms donated a total of 68,313 pounds of food plus $5,070 in “votes” for the Capital Area Food Bank, resulting in 69,600 meals--27.600 more meals than the event raised in 2014.

 

Canstruction® is an Atlanta, Georgia based charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the cansculptures® go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. Canstruction® events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia.

 

Not only does Canstruction challenge architects to think creatively, enabling them to work collaboratively with their coworkers and hone their design skills in a fun way, but it also allows the businesses to give back to the community where their employees and customers live and work. For these firms, Canstruction is about more than just building a map or a car, it's about building a brand.

 

Photos: A DC Metro map and Can2Go by nevermindtheend on Flickr.

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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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The Art of Corporate Storytelling

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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The average American is exposed to thousands of brand messages each day, from traditional advertising to product packaging in supermarkets. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by information overload. So how can businesses cut through the clutter to convey important messages to customers, employees, and other stakeholders? Many businesses turn to the arts to help communicate strategic messages in a catchy, memorable, and accessible way.

 

In Advace Corporate Objectives & Strategies, our latest addition to The pARTnership Movement essay series, we explore how Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was able to communicate a strategic message about a new coffee line (while also engaging employees) by partnering with Pomegranate Center, a nonprofit organization that builds arts-filled community gathering spaces.

 

“We wanted to communicate a strategic message that aligned with the idea of bringing people together—whether to share a cup of coffee or to make the world a better place,”
said Karen Yacos, former Director of Enterprise Domestic Community Outreach at Green Mountain Coffee.

 

Arts partnerships also help Kaiser Permanente—a California-based, nonprofit health plan that serves more than 10 million members from Hawaii to the East Coast—go beyond protecting the health of its members to bolster the health of entire communities in which it operates. The company's Educational Theatre Program models positive behaviors and healthy decision-making through the medium of theater.

 

Learn more about these creative approaches to corporate storytelling in the Advace Corporate Objectives & Strategies essay.

 

Arts partnerships offer companies effective and cost-efficient methods of achieving critical business goals. Explore The pARTnership Movement essays to learn how America's top businesses are partnering with the arts to recruit and retain talent, put companies in the spotlight, and foster critical thinking among employees.


Do you know of a company that partners with the arts to advance corporate objectives and strategies? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at pARTnership@artsusa.org.

 

Photo: College interns in Colorado tackle the obesity crisis with the play "Health Team 4" through Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Program. Photo by Ricardo Casillas.

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Dance & Design Take Flight for Cole Haan’s Fall ‘15 Line

Posted by Kate Reese
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Dance & Design Take Flight for Cole Haan’s Fall ‘15 Line

Cole Haan recently partnered with parkour athletes and dancers from the New York City Ballet (NYCB) on an ad campaign “Prepare for Takeoff,” designed to convey the ultra-lightness of the company’s new ZeroGrand shoe line. The dancers were photographed in gravity-defying poses at the TWA Flight Center in JFK International Airport, an airy, futuristic space designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1962.

 

The terminal is the perfect setting to promote the ZeroGrand. “The thing that kind of drew me to it was the idea of ‘take flight,’ which is something that comes very naturally to those dancers,” Cole Haan design director Elyse Siegal told Footwear News. The campaign also promotes Cole Haan’s new Global Innovation Center, which is responsible for a variety of design platforms including the Grand.OS technology used in ZeroGrand.

 

In addition to collaborating on the ad campaign, Cole Haan also partnered with NYCB to create the ZeroGrand Stagedoor Ballet Flat, part of its new fall line.

 

Not only did Cole Haan benefit from the partnership, but according to Sara Mearns, one of the dancers featured in the campaign, the project “challenged the whole cast to think of how creatively we could bring lightness, flexibility, and cushioning to life visually with our movement.” The result is an aesthetic that is both graceful and athletic, conveying a reputation for traditional excellence in combination with groundbreaking artistry. The partnership illuminates the power of the arts to help convey a message about a new product in a deeply emotional, visually captivating way.

 

More information about the partnership and behind-the-scenes footage can be found here.

 

Learn how Payless ShoeSource benefited from partnering with the American Ballet Theatre in The pARTnership Movement essay, "Put Your Company in the Spotlight."

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Google Steps Up Support of Americans with Disabilities

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Google Steps Up Support of Americans with Disabilities

Google recently celebrated a milestone in American legislation by creating a new ad campaign on the steps of major cultural buildings in Washington D.C. July 24-27, 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which was put into place in 1990 after a group of disabled people pulled themselves up the Capitol building steps protesting delays in the groundbreaking law. Google partnered with advertising firm 72andSunny to create the campaign, which features portraits of and quotes from several influential activists involved in the movement.

 

To accompany the art installations, and further convey the company’s support of this cause, Google created a website that provides additional information about the project and history. Google also connected the project to its Google Maps feature by building a digital walking tour of the installations. The project is part of the work of Google’s Cultural Institute, which collects resources and provides news updates for those interested in art, culture, and history.

 

Read more.
 

Photo from Adweek.

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Bang on a Pringles Can: From Packaging to Percussion

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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This summer, Pringles is partnering with the arts to inspire creativity and convey the message that the snack food is as essential to summer as new music and live concerts. As part of its Summer Jam campaign, Pringles is challenging the world’s leading percussionists to use the company’s iconic cans as percussion instruments. Thousands of auditions were held, and the winning performances are featured on the campaign website.

 

According to the campaign’s official press release, “whether you bop it like a drum or shake it like a maraca, a Pringles can is not just a can of irresistibly crunchy crisps – it's an instrument and a ticket to this summer's hottest music.” Throughout the summer Pringles will feature codes under its lids that provide consumers with a chance to win two VIP tickets to a Live Nation concert, including airfare and hotel accommodations. Thousands of other winners will receive free music downloads.

 

"Summer is the time of year when people are looking to let loose with friends, and we're helping to fuel those moments by bringing together two summertime staples – music and Pringles," said Mark Miller, director of marketing, salty snacks. "Whether it's an impromptu dance party on the beach or rocking out backstage at a Train concert, Pringles is the ticket to all summer music experiences."

 

 

Head to Pringles.com/music to check out more Pringles Percussion Prodigy videos.
 

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Obey Your Verse this Summer with Sprite

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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Obey Your Verse this Summer with Sprite

Sprite’s Obey Your Verse campaign is back with 16 limited edition cans featuring lyrics from hip-hop artists Drizzy, Nas, Rakim, and Notorious B.I.G. “Legacy means everything to me,” Nas told Rap-Up, “When I wrote these lyrics, I never imagined my fans would someday have the opportunity to enjoy a can of Sprite and experience my art in a totally original way.”

 

Wieden + Kennedy, a New York based ad agency, and The Fader, a music publication, partnered to facilitate the licensing and clearing of the 16 lyrics, reported Bevnet. Additionally, four mini-documentaries have been made that will highlight both hip-hop legends and newcomers, such as Isaiah Rashad and Vince Staples. The Sprite-sponsored and The Fader produced documentaries were filmed in the artists’ hometowns and will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

 

Andy Cohen, president and publisher of The Fader told Bevnet, “Sprite has always embraced artists in very early stages in their career and [Isaiah Rashad and Vince Staples] are artists we identified as doing very interesting things especially with their lyrics, and were very true to themselves. That fits with what Sprite is and stands for as a brand.”

 

Obey Your Verse also helps enforce Sprite’s motto, “Obey Your Thirst.” According to the campaign’s website, "’Obey Your Thirst’ is a rallying cry to those who relentlessly follow their passions wherever they may lead. And Sprite knows this never-ending pursuit of self-expression leaves you with a deep physical thirst, the kind that can be satisfied with a Sprite.”

 

According to BevNet, Sprite and The Fader have a history that dates back to the mid-1990s, when Fader co-founder Rob Stone worked on the brand’s “Obey Your Thirst” campaigns in its early years. More recently, Sprite partnered with the magazine to produce a series of documentaries and photo galleries highlighting emerging musical talent out of South Africa.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola Company.
 

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