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Top 10 States for Arts and Business Arts Partnerships

Posted by Mariama Holman
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Americans for the Arts has been honoring businesses that uniquely partner with arts organizations within their communities over the last decade through the annual BCA10 awards, receiving nominees of both large, small and mid-sized companies across a dozens of industries and over 47 states.

 

We are taking a moment to call attention to the top 10 states that have celebrated business and arts partnerships by number of BCA10 nominees from 2005 to 2017, with pro-arts quotes from iconic awardees from the respective cities.  

 

1.     New York

 

Time Warner Inc., New York,

At the announcement of Time Warner’s recognition in the BCA Hall of Fame Award for the 2007 BCA10 gala, Richard Parsons, then CEO and Chairman stated that, “Creativity is as important to the communities we serve as it is to the businesses we run. That’s why we’re committed to supporting the arts. By giving young people a chance to develop their talents and interests through media and arts programs, enabling more people to experience world-class theater, and nurturing diverse new artists and new works, we strive to help keep the arts rich and accessible.”

 

 

2.     California

Wells Fargo, San Francisco, CA

Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Company went on record during their 2005 BCA10 awardee announcement saying that “the arts make communities great places to live, work and play. Supporting the arts is simply the right thing to do.”

 

 

3.     Texas

American Airlines, Dallas, TX

Bella Goren, American’s Vice President of Interactive Marketing and Reservations at Americans for the Arts as well as a member of the board of North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, accepted the 2005 BCA10 award in New York on the company’s behalf. “American and our people have a long-standing record of supporting the arts and enhancing what the arts bring to our communities,” said Goren afterward. “Hundreds of American and American Eagle employees volunteer in many positions and capacities in local and national arts organizations, and this commitment has been ongoing.  We’re proud of them, and grateful for their contributions.”

 

 

4.     Florida

Bacardi North America, Coral Gables, FL

 

According to Robert Furniss-Roe, the former Regional President of Bacardi North America, “Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi, and this sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 150 years ago. Arts programming enriches the lives of our employees and their families, our neighbors, and our business partners. The realm of the arts cross borders and languages to bring all people together in the name of beauty, knowledge and community.”

 

 

5.     Pennsylvania

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

 

“The arts can bring a community to life and influence its economic development. That is why PNC has long supported creative programs and initiatives that make the arts more accessible to our employees and everyone we serve,” said James E. Rohr, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

 

 

6.     Missouri

Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO

“Hallmark’s mission is to inspire meaningful connections, which enhance relationships and enrich lives. We feel the arts are central to this purpose,” said Donald Hall, Jr., President and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc during the 2014 BCA10 awards at the Central Park Boathouse in New York.

 

 

7.     Wisconsin

Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, WI

At the 2013 BCA10 announcement, John E. Schlifske, Chairman, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, stated that “Northwestern Mutual believes in the long-term benefits of sponsoring arts in the community. The arts inspire us to think differently and use new skills in all kinds of work. Our Foundation takes great pride in fostering and supporting an arts scene that not only provides entertainment, but also economic growth.”

 

 

8.   Tennessee

HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN

"The arts nourish the spirit, challenge the mind, bring joy to the soul and enhance our communities. HCA's support of the arts is consistent with our mission to improve the quality of human life,” said Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Chairman and CEO of HCA in light of the company’s recognition for the 2006 BCA10 award.

 

 

9.   Illinois

Deere & Company, Moline, IL

"Support of the arts is integral to Deere's long-standing commitment to our communities,” said Robert W. Lane, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  Deere & Company. “We are pleased to make major contributions to the arts that enhance the quality of life.”

 

 

10.  Ohio

Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

“Every day at P&G we strive to improve people’s lives with our brands and products, as well as improve the communities where we live and work. Supporting the arts produces ripple effects of benefits that help communities thrive and make them great places to live,” said Proctor & Gamble CEO, David Taylor upon the 2016 BCA10 announcement.

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Why Does Your Business Value the Arts?

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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In their acceptance speeches at the 2016 BCA 10 Awards, twelve industry leaders spoke about what being honored at the 2016 BCA 10 means to them and why they encourage and seek out opportunities to bring the arts into their worlds.

See the full event recap and view the BCA 10 program book to learn more about this year’s best businesses partnering with the arts. Know a company that partners with the arts? Nominations for the 2017 BCA 10 Awards are open through January 13, 2017.

 

1. Let’s Start Easy—With an Arts Business

[Describing a Mayor’s address to a group of teachers and students] And he told these kids, I think he managed to look every single one of them in the eye, he said, “You do what you wanna do, and you apply it the way you want to apply it, and take risks. Do art, do drama, do music, do what you’re doing here.” And it’s moments like that, seeing these kids and the teachers, that make me really appreciate the luck I have to be involved in a business that gets to provide, in a large measure, that creativity.

–Robert Buchsbaum, CEO at Blick Art Materials

Watch the full speech here.

Photo courtesy Blick Art Materials.

2. A Health Care Leader

When a chairman hires a Chief Mindfulness Officer and he allows his employees to meditate and to be mindful, he is art. When an IT executive plays a mean jazz saxophone, he too is art. When a community relations director forms a Latin band and sings in the nightclubs of NYC, he is art. And when a multicultural marketer shares marketing tips to a philanthropist—a corporate philanthropist at Aetna sharing marketing tips through The Grateful Dead—they too, are art. When a company has 16 different colors in its logo, that company is art. And we believe that everyone in this room is art. And when art and the folks in this room come together, we spark innovation; we inspire youth. We celebrate and heal communities. We stimulate economies. We sustain this great nation.

–Floyd Green, Vice President, Community Relations and Urban Marketing at Aetna, Inc.

Watch the full speech here.

Photo: Rana Faure

 

3. From the Utility Company

The focal point for Austin Energy is transformational power, which makes sense. As an electric utility, we deal with transformers and power each and every day, but there’s also a transformational power in art to bring people together: to create bridges of knowledge and understanding, to explore new ideas, to drive change.

–Allen Small, Distribution Director at Austin Energy

 

 

 

Photo courtesy Austin Energy

 

4. From the Water Meter Folks

At Badger Meter, my best engineers are all musicians. There’s some connection—I don’t know it because I’m a philistine—but there’s some connection between art, between music and engineering. I don’t understand it, but they know it and they’re all musicians. My best salespeople were on a stage at one time in their lives. My best marketing people were involved in the visual arts. And it’s those skills that you can’t just teach in a classroom. Somehow those were developed through their education.

–Richard Meeusen, Chairman, President, and CEO at Badger Meter

Watch the full speech here.

Photo: Rana Faure

5. From the Insurance People

In four months, I’ve met with every one of the 320 employees and the number one thing that they talk about is the arts, giving back, and community. … I think it’s the ability for all of us in our lives to be able to give back. To be able to do the things that are special and unique in our lives.

–Marc Schmittlein, President and CEO at CopperPoint Insurance Companies

Photo courtesy CopperPoint Insurance Companies

 

6. The Automotive Marketing Expert

I feel like we are receiving an Oscar for this [award] and it is really a true honor. These are the artists that have worked really hard to make all of these projects happen in Burlington, Vermont, and so more than anything I want to say ‘cheers’ to them and thank you to Americans for the Arts and BCA 10 for recognizing the rapport of business, art, and community coming together. So we have Scott, Mary, Michael, Kate. and Abby. These are the artists. Short and sweet.

–Jill Badolato, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dealer.com

Photo: Rana Faure

 

7. From the Beer Brewers

I really have a great job because our slogan at Dogfish Head is “off-centered ales for off-center people.” We have about 300 co-workers, the majority of them in Delaware, and a small salesforce around the country. We have all kinds of folks that are artists themselves. We have a magician’s assistant, a death metal guitarist, jazz musicians, graphic artists, illustrators, all kinds of folks. And our philosophy is that it’s really necessary to give back to the community and that’s what Beer and Benevolence is all about. Be it the environment, be it the community in general—but the arts especially.

–Mark Carter, Beer & Benevolence Coordinator at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Photo courtesy Dogflish Head Craft Brewery

 

8. Lawyers, Too!

We basically said, “We work with the most creative, innovative, crazy people around the world, you know, creatives always are. And why don’t we do that in Oklahoma City as well, and bring everybody into our office, make that community, that place-making kind of place.” And what we have seen really is that the engagement of our employees, of our staff, of our directors, in the arts has increased 200-300%. But one of the most amazing things for us is the karma—whatever you want to call it—the karma, good will, love that we’ve seen through this community, of this web of people that we put together.

–Douglas Sorocco, Director at Dunlap Codding

Photo courtesy Dunlap Codding

 

9. The One Known for Making Almost Everything

I’ll never forget my first day when I made it to manager and got an office; you got to tour the corporate art grouping and actually go in and pick out your own art. And so what did you feel? You felt that sense of passion and to be able to go in and say I resonate with that picture, that’s gonna bring out the best of me. And what a privilege to be able to work with a company like that.

–Susan Podlogar, Global Vice President Human Resources at Johnson & Johnson

Photo courtesy Johnson & Johnson

 

10. A Change Management Consulting Firm

Service, volunteerism, and sponsorship are important to our management team, our consultants, and our identity as a company. Supporting the arts had proven to have both personal and professional benefits for our employees and provided us an interesting and refreshing connection within our community.

–Kat McDonald, Community Engagement Manager at M Powered Strategies

Photo: Rana Faure

 

11. Even a Wealth Management Business

I would also like to extend a special thank you to the Americans for the Arts organization. Like us, you recognize that the arts are a transformative vehicle in our society and that cultivating the arts is not only important, but necessary to a world that seems to be moving away from creativity.

–Dave Blowers, Executive Vice President at Northern Trust

Photo courtesy Northern Trust

 

12. Don’t Forget About P&G!

Procter & Gamble has a long history of supporting the arts and we are blessed to live in a community where the arts have provided such amazing experiences for our employees, for our families, for new talents to come into our region and really be transformed by the arts.

–Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer at Procter & Gamble

Photo courtesy Procter & Gamble

 

 

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Arts Groups Make Strong Chamber Allies

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Across the country, Chambers of Commerce and arts organizations are partnering to advance business and community goals. In a recent article in Chamber Executive, the membership magazine for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Americans for the Arts' Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives Emily Peck and Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC Philadelphia) Executive Director Karin Copeland discuss the unique partnership between arts organizations and Chambers of Commerce.

 

"In 1981, ABC Philadelphia was started by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the National Arts & Business Council (now part of Americans for the Arts), and housed within the chamber.

 

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber and the national Arts & Business Council realized that this entity would be a valuable tool in leveraging new funds, funneling new resources, and  cultivating new leadership from the business community to support nonprofit arts and cultural institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area. ABC Philadelphia is the only local arts agency in the U.S. that is directly affiliated with a chamber, and for 35 years this partnership has led to unique and important work in advancing both the arts and business sectors."

 

Read more (p21).

 

The article also spotlights a partnership between ArtsinStark, Canton, Ohio's local arts agency, and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, which partnered on the creation of the Canton Arts District, "the Best Arts District in Ohio."

 

Learn more about the relationship between ABC Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

 

Do you know of another great Arts-Chamber partnership? Tell us on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org.

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Cincinnati's ArtsWave Raises Over $12 Million in Support of the Arts

Posted by Jordan Shue
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ArtsWave, one of the nation’s oldest united arts funds based in Cincinnati, announced that their recently completed 2014 campaign has been the most successful to date. The campaign saw community contributions of more than $12 million, surpassing the organization’s goal for the year. This campaign marks the final year with CEO Mary McCullough-Hudson at the helm, as she plans to retire in August. During her twenty years of leadership, McCullough-Hudson doubled the campaign from $6 million to $12 million.

 

This year, ArtsWave added 8,208 new donors to the campaign, which received over 50% of its contributions from workplace giving campaigns at banks, insurance companies, restaurants, and other businesses in the region.

 

“We want to thank all of our donors and volunteers who took action for ArtsWave and our community,” said McCullough-Hudson. “The millions of dollars that this campaign invests every year in our local arts organizations create benefits for our entire region.”

 

In addition to traditional workplace giving campaigns and individual leadership support, ArtsWave expanded on the CincySings program to tie it to the overall campaign. In previous years, CincySings brought P&G and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center employees together to participate in “sing-off” events timed with their workplace giving campaigns. This year, ArtsWave expanded CincySings to include ten regional companies, which each sent a choir to participate in an evening performance that raised over $20,000. (Photo credit: The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati took the stage at CincySings, photo courtesy of J. Sheldon.)

 

Congratulations to ArtsWave and Mary McCullough-Hudson for a fantastic 2014 campaign. Click here for more information about ArtsWave.

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Buying Local is the Tipping Point in Small Towns

Posted by Tracy Graziani
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Buying Local is the Tipping Point in Small Towns

At the recent Americans for the Arts Annual Convention the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV research was released to the public and the media. One of the trends noted in the presentation is the increasing urbanization of America. More and more people are moving to cities. This reality is posing unique challenges for small and medium-sized cities and towns.

 

In the 90s the big box stores descended upon Middle America with pervasive force, edging out “mom and pop shops” left and right. Some bemoaned the change, others viewed it as progress, and ultimately the “boxes” took over.

 

In the recent economic downturn many of those big box stores have left small towns, or significantly reduced their inventory. Now the residents can’t buy what they need at the big box or the “mom and pop,” so they turn to the internet or drive to a larger town. Of course the problem with this is that the commerce is then benefiting another community either where the online business resides or simply a bigger city in another county nearby.

The decreased tax revenue as well as the loss of commerce has a direct negative impact on the livability of these communities. Either the taxes have to go up or public services like nonprofits, schools, police, fire, and roads suffer. At least in our small town, the latter is what we have faced.

 

This leads us back to where we started—the research. When the livability of a community is subpar, educated and affluent people are more likely to leave, hence the migration to larger cities and towns. Some people even refer to this migration as “brain drain.”

 

Mansfield, OH, is a town that typifies this scenario. The arts organizations, nonprofits, and public services are all struggling to find their way in an economy that is increasingly unfriendly to small towns. The people of Mansfield, like the people in countless small towns across America, love their community and have high hopes for reviving their hometown. They have come together in some interesting ways as we adapt to the tougher times.

 

Our community development group, Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) has very active sector groups including the “Be Focal Buy Local” action team.  This group in particular has been pivotal in helping my organization, the Mansfield Art Center, develop business partnerships in creative ways.

 

A key theme at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention was the value of creating corporate partnerships. In the traditional sense, that is nearly impossible in small cities and towns. Nearly all corporate presence in Mansfield is at best tertiary to the main office of a given corporation and none of the decision makers who affect philanthropy are in our town. As you can imagine, that means very little corporate sponsorship is available for the arts and other nonprofits.

 

One notable exception is the model used at Aetna. They have a long tradition of corporate philanthropy that is very friendly to the arts, in fact last year Americans for the Arts awarded them a spot on their BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America.

This company utilizes a large work-from-home employee base. These employees can volunteer at local nonprofits while being paid their regular Aetna wage. In fact, Aetna has even taken an active role in leveraging some of that work from home staff at the Mansfield Art Center. That’s a really great contribution they’re making. It’s not a check, but I need volunteers as well.

 

Another trend, also discussed at length during the convention is the local movement. There is increasing focus on shopping, dining, and sourcing locally. Whether through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or a simple focus on shopping at local and independent merchants, the local trend is becoming popular in big cities like Detroit, where they just celebrated “8 weeks under 8 Mile”, or small towns like Mansfield, with our active “Be Focal Buy Local” group. At least for my organization, this is our tipping point where we are seeing the greatest impact on sponsorships and corporate membership.

 

Our active involvement in the “Be Focal Buy Local” action team has led to some less traditional sponsorships. A local auto dealership, Mansfield Motor Group, like many businesses, places philanthropy in the hands of their marketing department. They were interested in supporting the arts, in large part because our patrons are a key demographic they hope to reach for their business. The dealership’s owner and I created a customized sponsorship that met his marketing needs and provided us with the sponsorship we needed for our summer arts festival, Mansfield Art Explosion. He wanted to do something that would show off his cars, and an outdoor arts festival is a great location.

 

The resulting idea is fun and fits the needs of both organizations. We will have five white cars on our lawn that day, which will be painted with water-soluble paints by local artists. Thanks to their financial support we have the money to more aggressively market the festival with billboards and radio ads, something we couldn’t afford to do in the past. Of course Mansfield Motor Group will receive credit in all of our marketing.

 

Another interesting opportunity that has emerged as a result of our involvement in the business community is our new text marketing campaign and sweepstakes. Another member of the “Be Focal Buy Local” group owns a text marketing business, MOcoopinz.com. He offered the Mansfield Art Center a special reduced rate on his services since we are a nonprofit and he wishes to support the arts.

 

Text marketing could help us better reach that coveted 24–35 demographic that we hope to expand within our membership, so we were excited to start the campaign. One of the best ways to build up a good cache of “opt-ins” for text marketing is to offer a sweepstakes.  This is where another interesting sponsorship opportunity emerged.  It is even more impactful to offer a small reward for every opt-in in addition to the grand prize.  We really couldn’t afford to buy prizes to pass out for the opt-ins, but a local wine shop and wine bar, The Happy Grape, made a very generous offer. Not only would they give a $50 gift certificate toward the grand prize, they would also give a free piece of chocolate cake to every person who opted in. Let’s face it that is a pretty sweet deal, who doesn’t like cake?

 

In Middle America’s small towns we have much to be concerned about. There is a fear that our way of life may be fading away in the shift toward all things urban and corporate, but there are glimmers of hope that a new future will emerge for towns like Mansfield.

 

The Mansfield Art Center has experienced over 30 percent growth in memberships this year and things just keep getting better. All of this is thanks to our willingness to adapt to our changing economy. Are times tough? Absolutely, but the staff at the Mansfield Art Center is innovating in exceedingly creative ways as we find our place in a shifting economy.

 

*This post was originally posted on ARTSblog.

 

*Photo courtesy of vitorhirota.

Planning that Gets You New Partners

Posted by Robb Hankins
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Most community leaders don’t think about the arts much and most don’t really believe there is a link between arts and economic development.

 

I try to change that by hosting my own arts and economic development planning process, but I do it on a shoe string—quick, dirty, and cheap. It’s exhausting, but totally worth it.

Last year we started 20/20 Vision—the ten year plan for arts and economic development. On March 20, 2012 we unveiled our ten strategies: five community strategies and five county-wide.

 

20/20 Vision has already dramatically changed the landscape for the arts in Stark County (Ohio). We have new partners (and new dollars) available for the arts from places we’d never touched before.

 

Business leaders like Robert Timkin, managing director of Cormony Development, are leading the effort by planning to increase creativity and innovation in business through arts-based workshops, and increase cultural tourism by creating a marketing partnership between five major nonprofit tourism attractions in downtown Canton.

 

This strategic marketing partnership hopes to dramatically increase the number of visitors and increase overnight stays, as well as create day trip opportunities for arts destinations throughout the rest of the county.

 

Hear the quick story of how they did it on ARTSblog.

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Creative Partnerships Make Miracles Happen

Posted by Robb Hankins
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Creative Partnerships Make Miracles Happen

In downtown Canton, OH, through an ongoing partnership with the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (and its Special Improvement District), we’ve spent the last five years creating the Canton Arts District.

 

The results have been totally amazing and changed everyone’s thinking about this downtown coming back.

 

In 2005, we started with three strategies: live music, galleries/artist studios, and public art. We had only one art gallery—-and not a single artist studio.

 

Today, the Canton Arts District has 26 galleries and studios.

 

The first art studios opened when local developer Mike King bought an old building down on 4th Street NW, deciding to convert it into Studio 5. It would have five artist studios downstairs and five independent artist apartments upstairs. ArtsinStark partnered with King on spreading the word and providing a small rent subsidy for the first year...

 

… In total, more than 100,000 square feet of vacant space has or is being transformed to new uses in downtown Canton because of the partnership that was created between the chamber, the arts council—-and, yes, 40-50 pretty incredible local visual artists.

 

Read the full post on ARTSblog.

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