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But How Do I pARTner? A Primer in Arts and Business Partnerships

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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You’ve done it. You’ve decided as a business or arts professional that you are fully ready to take the plunge and immerse yourself in The pARTnership Movement. Kudos—we welcome you into our pool of resources! (No splashing, please.)

 

At the same time, you’re wondering, “But how do I pARTner…?” It’s ok. Don’t get overstressed like this guy:

 

Take a deep breath and count to 10. The pARTnership Movement is here to help! (photo by ALAMY, The Telegraph)

 

The first question to ask yourself is, “Arts and business? Huh? But why? Whyyyyy?!” It’s true. Arts to business seems as unlikely as jelly to burgers, as knives to soup, as ketchup to ice cream. That’s why our clever pack of pARTnership Movement ninjas have created the 8 Reasons to Partner with the Arts—a veritable credo to live by. Print them off and carry them in your purse or wallet. Hug them. Kiss them. Love them. They are here to enlighten you.

 

The next question to ask yourself is, “Who am I?” Well, if you are waxing philosophical, we can’t help you there, but we can help you forge lasting arts and business partnerships. Are you a business leader looking to engage your workforce in creative and innovative ways? Are you an artist or arts organization looking to partner with a business professional who can offer his/her insight and skills? We can offer assistance to both! 

 

Business professionals—Are you ready to partner but don’t know who to contact? In the “find a partner” section of The pARTnership Movement website, we can connect you with Americans for the Arts member organizations in your area, facilitating a dialogue about the type of partnership that is right for you.

 

Arts professionals—Are you unsure how to begin the conversation with your local businesses? In the “for arts groups” section of the site, our downloadable tool-kits will teach you how to talk the talk and walk the walk with business professionals on topics such as skills-based volunteering, employee engagement, and bringing the arts into the workplace. We are constantly creating new tool-kits, so check back often!

 

Both—Do you need inspiration? Check out the “success stories” section, which offers replicable models of arts and business partnerships happening around the country, and the “news” section, a forum for arts and business partnerships that are happening here and now. We are always looking for new stories, so when you have one to tell, contact us and we will be happy to share!

 

Now that you’ve established who you are and how you aim to partner, where do you go from here?

 

  • Use our existing pARTnership campaign in your areaOur ads will help you get the word out about your partnership and encourage other business and arts professionals to join the movement along with you! We’ve put together this “read me first” guide, which not only explains how to use the ads, but also how to leverage the campaign with op-ed ideas and social media extensions.
  • Stay informed—Our monthly newsletter, BCA Noteworthy, includes stories, links, and facts and figures for both businesses and arts professionals.
  • Get rewardedThe BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America is an award administered each year to ten businesses—both small and large—making great strides in arts partnerships that enrich the workplace and local communities. Recent winners include Aetna, Bank of America, and Macy’s. Get inspired by the stories of last year’s winners in the 2012 BCA 10 publication!

 

Congrats—you’ve done it! You are now a full-fledged pARTner! But it doesn’t end there. The pARTnership Movement is just that—a continuous movement to reach business leaders and arts professionals with the message that partnering with the arts can build a competitive advantage. As the arts evolve in our country, so does its stewardship. Keep sharing your pARTnership with others in your community, and look to us as your guiding light. After all, when arts and businesses partner, everyone profits.

 

(This post is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage.)

 

*This article was posted on ARTSblog.

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