News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

Demonstrating the Arts as a Key Component to the Local Economy

Posted by Chad Barger
0 Comments

Just like most small to medium-sized metro areas around the country, Harrisburg, PA has not always fully capitalized on the power of its local arts scene. About eighteen months ago the Cultural Enrichment Fund (CEF), the region’s united arts fund, sought to change this.
 
When looking for a community partner, the organization first thought of the local chamber of commerce. As its name states, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corporation is a blended organization—part chamber of commerce and part economic development corporation. Knowing this fact, CEF had high hopes that they would understand the power of the arts—especially regarding its workforce development benefits.
 
After an initial meeting it was clear that the chamber leadership did understand the value of the arts, but it was not from local advocacy efforts. They knew about the value of the arts from national conferences where topics such as Richard Florida’s book, The Rise of the Creative Class, had been discussed. From these sessions they fully understood that attracting and retaining high-quality talent, versus a singular focus on infrastructure projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, is a better use of a city’s resources to spur long-term prosperity.
 
From this starting point it was easy for the Cultural Enrichment Fund staff to explain how the arts fit into that picture. Showing how the arts make Central Pennsylvania a better place in which to live, work, and play and explaining that a strong arts community is a key workforce development tool is something that they do every day.
 
The chamber executives were on board, but it was pretty clear that there was a disconnect. While it seemed that most business executives knew about the region’s thriving arts scene, it was not always being used as a tool for employee recruitment and retention by corporate human resources directors. So, CEF proposed partnering with the chamber to co-sponsor an Arts Impact Committee aimed at addressing this disconnect and the chamber quickly signed on.

The Arts Impact Committee assists the chamber in their economic development efforts by working to raise the level of awareness regarding the local impact of the arts on economic development. The committee creates educational offerings and messaging for the chamber’s use regarding the economic impact of the arts as well as key tools to assist member companies with recruiting and retaining talent. Finally, the committee partners with Americans for the Arts and other key groups to ensure that the necessary data is available to show the impact of the arts and cultural sector on our region’s local economy.
 
Since its inception, the committee has launched two key initiatives: the Capital Region Arts Census and ArtsLink.
 
The Capital Region Arts Census was conducted in response to feedback from local human resources professionals that while they knew the region had a strong arts scene, they didn’t have a tool to prove it. The Census was the first comprehensive survey of nonprofit arts organizations and arts related businesses (e.g. galleries) in over 15 years. The end result is an attractive one page listing of arts organizations and a spreadsheet directory—both of which are free community resources now available on the chamber’s website.
 
ArtsLink is a quarterly email newsletter that is a co-publication of the Central Penn Arts Guide and the Harrisburg Regional Chamber. It is dedicated to bringing Central Pennsylvania’s arts and business communities closer together. Each issue contains an informative Q&A with one of the region’s art or business leaders, a travel piece showcasing the beauty of both local and far-flung destinations, and timely position articles on arts happenings within the region.
 
Leading the Arts Impact Committee has also allowed the Cultural Enrichment Fund to strengthen its relationship with the local business journal. This recently allowed them to expand an existing in-kind advertising relationship to including ad placements for Americans for the Arts’ pARTnership Movement. This has further helped to raise the awareness of the arts in the local business community and to bridge the gap between business and the arts.
 
The end lesson has been that business folks really do understand that the arts are a key component to the local economy—they just need a little help to figure out how to leverage them and make the connections. Thankfully thinking creatively and making connections are both items at which arts executives excel!
 
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. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!

 

*Originally posted on ARTSblog.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

On the "Streets of Bakersfield," Buses are Works of Art
Aug 16, 2018 0 Comments
Golden Empire Transit (GET), based in Bakersfield, CA, has been serving city for over forty years. As the mass transit operator in town, they play an integral role in the city’s infrastructure and economy, and have used this...
Go to full post
Oath Foundation and Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Aug 08, 2018 0 Comments
Oath Foundation, funded by Oath, is partnering with Tribeca Film Institute to support documentaries focused on social issues. In collaboration with the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, they provide documentaries in post-production...
Go to full post
PNC Keeping Arts Alive in its Communities
Aug 03, 2018 0 Comments
BCA 10 Honoree PNC continues to use the arts to bring its communities together. Through PNC Arts Alive, the company’s foundation is supporting access to arts experiences through affordable pricing, mobile studios, sensory friendly...
Go to full post
Seattle Boasts Shepard Fairey Mural at 9th and Thomas
Jul 30, 2018 0 Comments
When Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction, was in the process of developing his first building, of the many the company has built, he wanted the arts to play an integral role. In an interview with The Seattle Times, he said...
Go to full post
Serena Williams x Allstate Foundation Purple Purse
Jul 26, 2018 0 Comments
Tennis all-star Serena Williams teamed up with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse and artists, including Isabel Castillo Guijarro to raise awareness about domestic violence. Together, they unveiled a street art campaign that will...
Go to full post
The Art of Ending Stigma
Jul 19, 2018 0 Comments
2016 BCA Honoree Johnson & Johnson is continuing to use the arts for health with the new campaign Art of Ending Stigma. Their company Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. Is partnering with Mental Health America, OneMind, PeaceLove, and...
Go to full post
Seeing High Seas: Art + Tech in Times Square
Jul 13, 2018 0 Comments
For tech giant Microsoft, partnering with the arts is nothing new. Since their BCA 10 honor in 2013, they have continued to collaborate with artists, including Mel Chin. The Queens Museum and No Longer Empty are hosting his exhibit...
Go to full post
Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer
Jul 12, 2018 0 Comments
Since 2006, Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, an offshoot of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative, has placed globes around the world to combat climate change. Using public art, Cool Globes has brought messages...
Go to full post
Museum and Hospital Partner for Art and Medicine
Jul 06, 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
BOARDway Bound with ArtsWave
Jul 03, 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
United States Conference of Mayors Approves Arts-related Resolutions
Jun 21, 2018 0 Comments
From June 8-11, mayors from across the nation convened in Boston for the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). Among other resolutions related to Arts and Culture Funding and the recognition of Arts...
Go to full post
IKEA Partners with Artisan Refugees for New Line
Jun 20, 2018 0 Comments
IKEA announced that its Brooklyn store will have a new, exclusive line, created by Jordanian women and Syrian refugee artisans. In partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, it created the line TILLTALANDE, which features...
Go to full post
PurePoint Financial Offices Display Local Artists
Jun 19, 2018 0 Comments
PurePoint Financial is a hybrid digital bank that launched in February 2017. Although it has only been around for a year and a half, it is already into its second art exhibit at its flagship Park Avenue location. With the aim...
Go to full post
JetBlue Showing #NonstopPride
Jun 14, 2018 0 Comments
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline. With a strong New York representation amongst staff and with one of the leading resource groups for LGBT workplaces, JetPride, it was an easy connection for the airline to partner with...
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.