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Arts & Business Partnerships in Delaware

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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In an op-ed in the Delaware News Journal on December 3, 2015, John Shipman, executive director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA), discusses the value of breaking the old partnership model, which he claims, "abstractly rewards the business partner while concretely rewarding the arts partner." In October, Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network and our own Private Sector staff held an event at the museum to discuss arts and business partnerships. Reflecting on some of the topics discussed at that event, Shipman discusses some of the benefits that businesses can derive from partnering with the arts, including a more vibrant community, engaged and creative employees, and more.

 

"What is most important, perhaps, is an understanding that a strategic partnership between institutions from the business and arts sectors provide valuable combinations of resources that enable each partner to gain new levels of success unable to be obtained on their own. A solid partnership creates new, innovative and exciting elements useable in the computation of each partner’s continued success," he says.

 

This understanding can have a real impact on both businesses and arts organizations. For example, it has driven the organization to change its mission to become an organization focused on the “exploration of new ideas at the intersection of art, design, and technology.” According to Shipman, this has "broadened the DCCA’s ability to discuss creativity in a more inclusive, and perhaps a contemporarily more relevant, way."

 

“The arts represent a powerful management tool for developing workforce and organizational infrastructure to improve Delaware’s competitive advantage,” said Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez, executive director of the Delaware Arts Alliance and chair of the State Arts Action Network Council, at the October event. “This is a departure from simply asking organizations for a check. We believe that the conversations on this front should continue so that arts and business partnerships can be developed across the state that successfully integrate the arts into corporate practices while providing new ways for Delaware’s arts organizations to succeed in their mission.”

 

Photo: Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez addresses event attendees at the museum.

 

Read more about the DCCA's transformation, the October event, and other creative partnerships in Shipman's op-ed.

 

Learn more ways that businesses can benefit from partnering with the arts.

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CEO Shares 6 Ways Dance Helps Him Lead

Posted by Kate Reese
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Mathew Heggem is a dancer turned CEO of SUM Innovation, a 15 person company that assesses, designs, implements, and manages accounting solutions. After working in the nonprofit world for many years, Matthew changed his career to seek out new experiences. Though one may not think that “choreographer” and “accounting consultant” share many characteristics, Matthew says building a business is creative work.


“I saw building a business as an opportunity to continue my exploration as a creative person. A new business is a blank canvas, and it’s all a matter of leveraging your creativity to create something worthwhile within the context of your resources,” Matthew says in an article on Simply Hired's blog.

 

Creativity enables innovative thinking, and an exposure to art can equip future employees with qualifications that translate across fields. “Discovering the overlap between the outputs of dance and accounting paved the way for me to effectively take on a CEO role.... Instead of seeing myself as only a skilled dance artist, I looked at what made me a choreographer and found that my talents applied to more than just the stage.”
 

Read 6 ways that this CEO’s dance training helps him as a leader in business.

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"3 Reasons Your Business Should Support the Arts" from NV Energy's Community Relations Manager

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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This year, NV Energy was named Nevada's first BCA 10 honoree for its support of the arts. In an op-ed in the Reno Gazette-Journal, the company's Community Relations Manager, Karen Ross, spotlights three reasons that businesses should support the arts.

 

  1. A thriving arts community helps recruit talent.
  2. The arts contribute to the economy and quality of life.
  3. Arts drive tourism.

 

A thriving arts community helps recruit talent.

"Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy," says Ross.

 

Learn more about how the arts can help a community recruit talent.

 

The arts contribute to the economy and quality of life.

Americans for the Arts' Arts & Economic Prosperity study discusses the important financial impact of arts and cultural organizations and their audiences.

 

Learn more about how the arts contribute to the economy and quality of life.

 

Arts drive tourism.

Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown steadily since 2003 (18 to 28 percent). The share attending concerts and theater performances has grown from 14 to 18 percent since 2003.

 

Learn more about how the arts impacts tourism.

 

"Support for the arts contributes to communities that thrive and grow," Ross says. "Although the return on investment for a business may at first seem intangible, the long-term results speak for themselves in terms of economic diversification, tourism and educational performance."

 

Read the full op-ed here.

 

Photo: Sculpture at the annual Artown festival in Reno, which is supported by NV Energy.

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"The Arts Help Drive Utah’s Economic Success & Quality of Life"

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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"The Arts Help Drive Utah’s Economic Success & Quality of Life"

Art's ability to help businesses "build market share, enhance their brand, and reach new customers" is discussed in a Salt Lake City Tribune op-ed by Karen Krieger, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council, and Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

 

The op-ed ran during Americans for the Arts' annual National Arts Marketing Project Conference, held in Salt Lake City November 6-9, 2015, and featured 2008 BCA 10 honoree Zions Bank as an example of how business and arts partnerships can be mutually beneficial for both partners, as well as the local community. The bank recently partnered with Ballet West to showcase the ballet's stunning costumes in bank branches throughout Utah."This kind of business support of the arts is a vital piece of Salt Lake City's arts funding ecosystem," said Krieger and Lynch. "A strong arts scene and a culturally vibrant community is a significant economic driver that shouldn't be overlooked by the city's businesses."

 

Read the full op-ed here.

 

Learn more about Zions' Bank's ballet costume tour.

 

Read about how art can help put businesses in the spotlight.

 

Photo: Ballet West costumes and dancers at Zions Bank in Utah.

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Arts and Business Partnerships: Enriching Workplaces and Communities Nationwide

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Arts and Business Partnerships: Enriching Workplaces and Communities Nationwide

On The Huffington Post, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch discusses successful arts and business partnerships, including his experience touring the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and visiting the Kohler manufacturing facilities and showroom in Sheboygan and Kohler, Wisconsin. Read an excerpt here:

 

Imagine that you are arriving to a job interview at a tech company. As you wait, you take a look around you, and notice beautiful, thought-provoking works of art displayed on the walls, plus sculptures in the public and outdoor spaces. Imagine working for a manufacturing firm, when one day you receive an announcement of an exciting new art contest for employees. Or, attending your national insurance firm's annual meeting, knowing that you'll soon be able to take the stage for a company-wide battle of the bands and sing and perform your heart out. In these three examples, you would actually be at Microsoft, Ford, or Aetna, respectively, but in reality it could be any one of thousands of businesses that are harnessing the power of the arts...because it is good for business.

 

You may be more likely to seek out companies like this for employment, or stay with a company for years because of various employee development opportunities through the arts. Or as a consumer you may just notice these companies first over competitors. This is a win-win for all--both companies and employees benefit from arts partnerships.

 

Last year I had the pleasure of touring the magnificent John Michael Kohler Arts Center, as well as visiting the Kohler manufacturing facilities and showroom in Sheboygan and Kohler, Wisconsin. During my visit, I learned directly from Herb Kohler of the impressive Arts/Industry program, a partnership between the Arts Center and Kohler Company, which makes the facilities and technologies of the Kohler Company's Pottery, Iron and Brass foundries, and Enamel Shop available to artists from around the world. In residencies of 2 to 6 months, artists are able to explore new ways of thinking and working and to create bodies of work that are not possible in their own studios. More than 500 artists have been involved over the last forty years since 1974.

 

The Arts/Industry program is having a remarkable effect on Kohler and the region. The artists' involvement in the factory and the community energizes the associates, and a creative synergy develops not only with the designers but also with engineers, slip casters, and enameling specialists. The cross-pollination has led to innovative ideas regarding products. Kohler is a name synonymous with bathroom and kitchen fixtures. But its internationally acclaimed arts partnership is getting plenty of attention too, not only for artist opportunities, but also for helping the company to stay at the forefront of its industry.

 

Continue reading on The Huffington Post.

 

Photo: Joseph C. Dilg, Managing Director and Vice Chairman at Greenhill & Co., Inc. (left) and Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts President and CEO (right) present the 2011 BCA Hall of Fame Award to Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Kohler Co.

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The Arts Mean Business in Iowa

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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On Wednesday, August 12, the Des Moines Register published an op-ed by entrepreneur John Pappajohn titled "The Arts Mean Business in Iowa."


“Ask an outsider what they know about Iowa, and they may say one of three things, CORN ...HOGS ... and FARMLAND.” But, “what may come as a surprise is that in Iowa, the arts serve as an economic driver that attracts companies, creates jobs and grows local and state revenue. Without a doubt, the arts mean business in Iowa,” Pappajohn says.


As Chairman of Equity Dynamics Inc. and owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources in Des Moines, and as a member of Americans for the Arts’ BCA Executive Board, Pappajohn has witnessed first-hand how the arts has helped recruit and retain businesses and talented employees in Iowa. For example, according to a recent Americans for the Arts study:

 

  • Nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences within Iowa’s Cultural Corridor of 11 counties alone generate $80 million annually and support more than 2,500 full-time equivalent jobs.

 

  • These jobs and related audience expenditures return $3.3 million in local tax revenue and an additional $4.1 million in state tax revenue.

 

  • There are 5,834 creative industry businesses in Iowa — which include everything from art museums to graphic art studios — with more than 22,000 employees.


Pappajohn mentions two Des Moines-based corporations that have directly profited from partnering with the arts–The Principal Financial Group, whose art-filled campus helps recruit and retain employees, and EMC Insurance Companies, who runs a visual arts competition for current and former Iowa residents. You can read more about how by partnering with the arts, these companies were able to recruit and retain talent in Iowa in the first essay in our pARTnership Movement Essay series, "Recruit and Retain Talent."

 

Thanks to the arts, Des Moines’ population is growing, unemployment rates are falling, and the number of young people engaged in civic life is increasing. A strong arts scene and a culturally vibrant community is a significant economic driver that shouldn’t be overlooked by businesses or its elected leaders.


Americans for the Arts will reinforce these messages this week at Des Moines’ Iowa Arts Advocacy Caucus. The statewide training event will educate arts advocates and messengers at the Iowa Presidential Caucuses, as well as invite presidential candidates to speak on their arts policy position. More information is here, as well as a press release on the caucus here. Twitter users can follow the event via #ArtsVote2016.

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Creative Conversations: art of the partnership

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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JOE MAHONEY/TIMES-DISPATCH

 

On November 27, 2012, Americans for the Arts and The Conference Board convened business leaders and artists for a discussion about how the business and arts sectors can leverage their respective resources to achieve vital industry objectives. The gathering, the first of a series of Creative Conversations, was hosted by Dominion Energy and Altria with significant support from CultureWorks, and took place at Altria and at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Click the following link to read an op-ed article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch written by Americans for the Arts CEO Bob Lynch and The Conference Board CEO Jon Spector regarding the first of these Creative Conversations and the future of the relationship between arts and business.

 

Creative Conversations: art of the partnership

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Support for the arts is good business for Arizona

Posted by Emily Peck
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In an op-ed in the Phoenix Business Journal, Michael Seiden writes about the value of the arts to the Phoenix business community.  Here is an excerpt.

 

It has been said that Arizona often attracts businesses because their CEOs come to vacation here and like the golf courses so much, they decide to relocate their businesses here. However, CEOs and their families want an environment rich in culture and the arts. Attracting high-paying jobs means attracting professionals with undergraduate and graduate degrees, many of whom view the arts and cultural environment as a great form of intellectual recreation that supplements their hiking, biking, golfing, hunting and other recreational activities.

 

The arts help form an individual’s creative thinking, supplementing the disciplines of mathematics, science and engineering. Arts organizations are working with businesses to train executives and employees in how to perform more effectively. Theaters are developing courses covering such topics as how to use acting techniques to develop better relationships with customers, and how to view yourself as others view you in the workplace.

 

Communities that provide support for their arts and cultural organizations tend to have the most vibrant business and technology sectors, with well-educated populations and high-paying jobs. Arizona needs to do more to support this key segment of our community.

 

Read the entire op-ed in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Iowa View: Fine arts nurture growth of cities

Posted by Robert Lynch and Suku Radia
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By Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts and Suku Radia, President and CEO, Bankers Trust Company

 

Creative placemaking — leveraging the arts to help shape and revitalize the physical, social, and economic character of neighborhoods, cities and towns — is a hot topic across the country right now, in light of the National Endowment for the Arts’ ArtsPlace America initiative. And utilizing the arts to effect a transformative impact on community vibrancy is something the greater Des Moines area has been doing, and doing successfully, for many years now.

 

Dating back more than a century with the “City Beautiful” program — which inspired the construction of some of Des Moines most beautiful Beaux Arts public buildings, including the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, the Polk County Administrative Building and the City Hall — Des Moines and its residents knew that the best way to attract people and businesses was to ensure their city was a place where residents could not just work but truly live. And they knew a thriving arts community was the best way to ensure Greater Des Moines would always be an attractive and energetic place.

 

The drive for and successes of quality creative placemaking in Greater Des Moines are still going strong today. The Greater Des Moines region has a range of diverse arts, cultural and heritage offerings. The city boasts numerous museums, and performing and visual arts options are plentiful.

 

In addition, the city’s architectural heritage is significant. What’s more, Des Moines’ commitment to arts and culture, as part of its very fabric, is evident from the moment you arrive in town and see both the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and the soon-to-be-completed Principal Riverwalk.

 

Without the arts, Greater Des Moines would not be the culturally vibrant place it is today. But it takes a team to create and sustain an arts sector as rich and diverse as Greater Des Moines’. And one of the key players in the city’s arts funding ecosystem is its business sector.

 

Greater Des Moines’ dynamic arts community exists in part because many local business leaders have ensured their companies have engaged in deep partnerships with Greater Des Moines’ arts sector throughout the years. These leaders have a clear understanding that arts and culture are essential to the health and vitality of the community. But they also know that when their company’s partnership with the arts goes deeper than mere sponsorship, they will see the positive impact that partnership rewards to the company’s own bottom line.

 

And in this current economic environment, businesses are continually seeking new ways to build their competitive advantage. To help them reach this goal, in January, Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, launched The pARTnership Movement, a new initiative designed to create mutually beneficial partnerships between arts and business institutions.

 

Read the entire op-ed in The Des Moines Register.

 

Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955)

Nomade, 2007

Painted stainless steel

324 x 204 x 216 inches

Promised gift from John and Mary Pappajohn to the Des Moines Art Center

Photography © Cameron Campbell

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A Drama Graduate and a Philosopher Start a Business...

Posted by Emily Peck
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A Drama Graduate and a Philosopher Start a Business...

Rebecca Lewis Smith, co-founder of Fountain Partnership explains why employers should not give up on the arts.

 

"Between a drama graduate and a philosopher, you wouldn’t necessarily expect enterprise and job creation – and yet here we are, running a successful and growing company.

 

So what it is about arts, humanities and social science degrees that create the type of graduates that are interesting to employers? One of the key aspects is to do with a passion for learning. If you have spent three years immersed in American Studies, English Lit or History, you’re likely to have been following a passion.

 

When Marcus chose philosophy or I chose drama, it wasn’t about saying ‘I don’t want a career from this’ – it was about taking higher education as just that; a higher level of investigation, critical thinking and learning, rather than a direct path to a job.

 

Any new team member in our business needs to be someone who is ‘lit up’ by learning – an absolutely crucial element of our fast-paced industry.

 

This might include learning core principals of business, but it will also be about finding out about our clients, researching and writing about their industries and helping us to gain an understanding of the target audiences we are reaching out to.

 

We also want someone who enjoys the challenge of creative problem solving. We don’t need someone to simply apply a theory to our business – we need people who will engage with the problem at hand, investigate different ways of solving it and, where necessary, push boundaries in order to find a resolution."

 

Read the entire article at the Eastern Daily Press.

 

 

*Photo courtesy of Brian Hillegas

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