News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

A Utility Player Comes Through

Posted by Tim Yergeau
0 Comments
A Utility Player Comes Through

Mayor Pedro Segarra and the Northeast Utilities video team getting ready to film.

 

The arts and corporate communities have an interesting, long-standing relationship—especially here in Hartford. In fact, the Greater Hartford Arts Council owes its very existence to the corporate community.

 

Back in 1971, businesses got together and encouraged the creation of one fundraising and grantmaking entity to support the arts and cultural organizations in Hartford that were growing at an astonishing pace—and, understandably, had increased their need for donations and institutional support. Since then, a somewhat amusing relationship has formed between the arts and business: companies like strong arts organizations—they attract workers, give the neighborhood a rich, vibrant flavor and provide opportunities for positive stewardship.

 

The arts, too, rely on business for more than just philanthropy: the wealth of resources in the corporate world, from providing pro bono services and building connections with local leaders and everyday employees, businesses have much to offer the arts.

Yet we all seem to get hung up on the almighty dollar.

 

Trust me, it’s something we talk about every day. Probably multiple times a day. How much is this company willing to give? Who can we get to sponsor this event? How many employees do they have—and, how successful will the employee giving drive turn out to be?

 

The unfortunate reality of an unforgiving fundraising climate is that we sometimes miss the forest beyond the trees.

 

Businesses have a lot more to offer than financial support, so we need to make sure we take advantage of every resource. As marketing, fundraising, and community outreach professionals, we must always be looking for new opportunities to help the arts—even if there’s no dollar sign attached.

 

A lesson beyond the bottom line.

I learned (well, re-learned) this lesson the good way the other day. We’ve been having conversations with Northeast Utilities (NU) about their annual workplace giving campaign, and suddenly they struck upon an ingenious idea: wouldn’t it be great if the arts council had a compelling, well-produced video appeal to use for the 2012 United Arts Campaign? And, what if it featured Mayor Pedro Segarra, this year’s campaign chair? Is that something NU could offer?

 

The answer was yes to all of the above.

 

Obviously I loved the idea. The professional video and editing services at Northeast Utilities go way, way (way, way, way) beyond what I could afford to pay. So sure, they’re not cutting us a check. But, their pro bono, in-kind support will give us a valuable fundraising and community relations tool that we wouldn’t have been able to create on our own. Plus, it reminds the community of all of the good work our corporate partners do for nonprofits—a win-win for both of us.

 

Meaghan, one of our workplace giving associates, joined me at City Hall to meet the team from NU to film the Mayor’s address. While we don’t have the final cut yet, I can tell you from seeing the first edit that this is going to be a great video. What I can do is post a few of my (in)famous blurry cell phone picks for a ‘behind the scenes’ video set-up of the Mayor and the NU tech team in action (see above).

 

This was a great, eye-opening (or eye-re-opening) experience about what businesses can contribute beyond the bottom line.

 

I was talking to another staff member today—Laura, also from the workplace giving team—about Americans for the Arts’ pARTnership movement, an evolving campaign that aims to build better, mutually beneficial relationships between arts organizations and the business community.

 

This story would be right up their alley…

 

Special thanks to Laura, Jon and Mark from Northeast Utilities, and everyone in the Mayor’s office for making this project a reality.

 

(Editor’s Note: This post original appeared on the Greater Hartford Arts Council Blog on May 10, 2012 and was re-posted on ARTSblog.)

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

BCA 10 Nominations Now Open!
Dec 10, 2018 0 Comments
Every year, Americans for the Arts through its Business Committee for the Arts, honors the 10 best businesses partnering with the arts in America.   As today’s business landscape continues to shift, companies need talent that...
Go to full post
A Theatre Company in Good Company
Nov 29, 2018 0 Comments
Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company   The Tony Award-winning director founded the eponymous organization in 2002 with a mission “to celebrate the rich tradition of black storytelling while giving voice to bold new artists...
Go to full post
Private Sector Takes a Stand
Nov 15, 2018 0 Comments
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99;...
Go to full post
2018 BCA 10 Honorees in Forbes Magazine
Nov 02, 2018 0 Comments
This year's BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees were in the September 30 issues of Forbes Magazine.   Read more about this year's honorees: Churchill Downs Fifth Third Bank Fosun International...
Go to full post
What's so important about creativity?
Oct 30, 2018 0 Comments
We might work in the arts field, but our day-to-day work looks like any other business. We stare at Excel charts, spend hours on conference calls, write reports, and try to find the bottom of our never-ending email inboxes. Like...
Go to full post
Business Contributions to the Arts Survey 2018
Oct 10, 2018 0 Comments
Business Contributions to the Arts: 2018 Edition is the second edition published by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts of the annual study. Conducted in the summer of 2018, the survey garnered 132 responses from...
Go to full post
David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project
Oct 01, 2018 0 Comments
Square and Cheyenne River Youth Project will receive the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.   "Our hope with the project, “Lakota...
Go to full post
BCA Leadership Award: Chandrika Tandon
Sep 27, 2018 0 Comments
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99;...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO)
Sep 24, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor UMB at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “It is an honor to be recognized among this group of distinguished and innovative...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)
Sep 20, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor West Bend Mutual Insurance at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “The arts can have a profound impact on people of all...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)
Sep 17, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fifth Third Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.   “Fifth Third Bank is committed to building thriving and vibrant...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)
Sep 13, 2018 0 Comments
“As a company committed to improving lives, Phillips 66 is proud to support the arts. Our communities are enriched by the arts, precisely because art touches and changes lives in ways that are positive and profound. It’s one...
Go to full post
Quaver Music Supports Arts Education
Sep 11, 2018 0 Comments
September 9-15 is National Arts in Education Week!   Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)
Sep 10, 2018 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is excited to honor The Standard at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.   “Fostering an appreciation for the arts helps build a foundation for...
Go to full post

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

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

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

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

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.