News

Up to the minute news on arts and business partnerships.

RSS

Arts: The Mother of Invention

Posted by Janet Langsam
0 Comments
Arts: The Mother of Invention

Every morning, I turn on the treadmill, tune into the Today Show and run until I bank 150 calories to earn a glass of Chardonnay at the end of the day.

 

Matt Lauer and the NBC crew are usually just eye candy and background chatter, but [April 25] they hit a nerve talking about college degrees that may be “useless” like “fine arts, drama, philosophy, religious studies,” when it comes to getting a job. Lauer quoted a recent poll that said that one out of two recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed.

 

Donny Deutsch, one of the Today panelists said, “I never looked at a (college) major in my life in hiring people.”

 

And a good thing too since the National Arts Index published by the advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, indicates that interest in the arts as a college major is growing. It says that from 1996–2010 more than 1.5 million degrees were awarded in visual and performing arts, with annual graduations growing steadily from 75,000 to 129,000—an increase of 73 percent.

 

Could all these college bound kids be wasting their time?

 

Fortunately, according to the Americans for the Arts website, there are a growing number of jobs out there in creative industries that range from museums, symphonies, and theaters to small for-profit film, video, music, architecture, digital games, and advertising companies. So one doesn’t necessarily need to land a leading role on Broadway to use their arts degree.

 

“Nationally, there are 904,581 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 3.34 million people. Representing 4.25 percent of all businesses and 2.15 percent of all employees, respectively,quotes the site. In case one is tempted to quibble with these figures, they come from the most trusted of sources, Dun & Bradstreet.

 

Like any other subject, there are at least two or maybe a hundred schools of thought, and we Neanderthals in the arts believe that “creativity” is a good enough reason to study the arts.

 

According to Newsweek in a 2010 article entitled “Creativity Crisis”: “A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’ of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care.”

The fact is that our businesses are crying out for creative employees…and…perhaps some of them learned to think creatively through the arts. The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful says Newsweek.

 

Steve Jobs said that this wouldn't have had different type faces without the arts.

While the arts don’t have a monopoly on left brain thinking or creative problem solving, they do have a remarkable track record.

 

So why is Lauer posing the question, “are (college) degrees in things like fine arts, drama, etc…useless when it comes to getting a job?”

 

Years ago (defined as when I went to college) a liberal arts education was thought to be the smartest and most comprehensive degree to pursue in preparation for a career in any field. Now, in this age of specialization, there is a college degree to be had in every narrow silo that fits a job description that may be “useless” in years to come.

 

I somehow doubt that such myopia will bring an entrepreneurial spirit back to American business.

 

Steve Jobs for one gave credit to a single calligraphy course in college, without which he says “the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

Who knows where inspiration will come from next, so don’t sell the arts short. It is the mother of invention.

 

(Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Janet Langsam’s blog on April 25, 2012.)

 

*Photo courtesy of Jessi Jacobson.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

A Work of Art that Fits in Your Wallet
Feb 25, 2015 0 Comments
Wells Fargo, a 2005 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree, has built a collaboration with The Kinsey Collection, offering customizable credit and debit cards featuring images from the esteemed private...
Go to full post
This Partnership is a Glass Act!
Feb 23, 2015 0 Comments
Celebrity Cruises partners with the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) to present Hot Glass Shows at Sea—a live, narrated glassblowing demonstration. The Hot Glass Show, which has been a tremendous success, is now a regular part...
Go to full post
Fashion Label Rag & Bone Features its Fall Collection through Dance
Feb 19, 2015 0 Comments
Ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jookin pioneer Lil Buck are the stars of Rag & Bone’s newest ad campaign. Designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright chose to showcase their fall 2015 collection with this short dance...
Go to full post
Kaiser Permanente Employee Shows her Creative Outlet
Feb 17, 2015 0 Comments
Meet Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government, external relations and research for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. In her spare time, she’s a fabric artist and has completed more than 100 beautiful pieces—some of which...
Go to full post
A Company that Holds Art Near and 'Deere'
Feb 13, 2015 0 Comments
(Photo credit: Bill Becker, Director, Brand Center of Excellence at John Deere accepts the company's BCA Hall of Fame induction at the 2014 BCA 10 Awards with Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch, courtesy of Glen...
Go to full post
ArtsWestchester Celebrates 50 Businesses that Support the Arts
Feb 11, 2015 0 Comments
(From left: Mark Alexander, principal, Alexander Development Group; Mara Walker, COO, Americans for the Arts; Janet T. Langsam, CEO, ArtsWestchester; Jean Marie Connolly, senior director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Potoula...
Go to full post
Homeless Children are Designers for a Day with UNIQLO and Free Arts NYC
Feb 09, 2015 0 Comments
On January 31, Free Arts NYC teamed up with clothing retailer UNIQLO to host a unique arts workshop for dozens of children from homeless shelters in Brooklyn and Queens. Inspired by UNIQLO’s graphic t-shirt collection, the children...
Go to full post
BucketFeet Shoes: Step into the Arts
Feb 05, 2015 0 Comments
Chicago based shoe retailer, BucketFeet, launched in 2011 with the mission “to connect people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world.” Different artists around the world, including illustrators...
Go to full post
A Simple Way to Improve Business Efficacy
Jan 29, 2015 0 Comments
[View the story "Business leaders, what keeps you up at night? We've got the answer!" on Storify]...
Go to full post
Board Member Floyd Green Makes the Case for STEAM
Jan 28, 2015 0 Comments
On Martin Luther King Day, Floyd Green, Vice President and Head of Community Relations & Urban Marketing at Aetna and member of Americans for the Arts' Board of Directors, received the National Action Network’s Merit Award for...
Go to full post
Diagnosing Art
Jan 22, 2015 0 Comments
(Photo credit: In Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens,’ Heraclitus’s swollen knee triggered a search for a diagnosis. Universal History Archive/Getty Images, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.)   Diagnosing art? The following...
Go to full post
The Marketing Power of Music
Jan 13, 2015 0 Comments
The 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts teach us that the arts can put your business in the spotlight, building market share, enhancing brand, and reaching new customers. Think about the branding power of music—the Olympics...
Go to full post
Looking to Refocus Your Corporate Citizenship in 2015? 5 Questions to Help
Jan 08, 2015 0 Comments
As we embark on a new year, many companies are reflecting on what they can do to improve their business operations. Many are looking to begin or improve their corporate citizenship and sustainability practices. In the article...
Go to full post
Top pARTnerships in 2014
Jan 05, 2015 0 Comments
2014 saw an exceptional array of arts and business partnerships across the country. The following is a list of the pARTnership Movement's most viewed, liked and shared news stories, plus a few staff favorites for good measure...
Go to full post

Get our Business Newsletter

your email

We protect your info. See our privacy statement.

Arts Tweets

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn some 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 see how you can use them.

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.