News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

Getting Lit in a Gorgeous Hotel

Posted by Stephanie Dockery
0 Comments

Pen Parentis, a nonprofit literary organization, aims to build a community for writers who have children. Founded by author Milda M. DeVoe, the organization inspires and motivates parent-authors to stay creative after beginning a family. Outreach is conducted through a series of monthly literary salons, hosting notable authors (such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan) and spirited discussions, which have built a loyal audience of published writers, readers, editors, and agents.

When the organization first hosted events in a boutique hotel, the fit wasn’t quite right. That hotel seemed mostly concerned that the organization boosted food and drink sales; meanwhile they continued to market the group as a “book club” rather than using the organization’s preferred term, “salon.” During this first, troubled, partnership, Toni Hinterstoisser, then general manager of the Andaz Wall Street hotel, courted Milda, encouraging her to host Pen Parentis salons at Andaz Wall Street. Toni and Milda frequently ran into one another while attending marketing and networking events held downtown. “When are you going to dump that other hotel chain and come over to us?” he would wheedle. “We love salons. We know what you are and what you need.” As fortune would have it, the first hotel underwent renovations, making it impossible to continue hosting Pen Parentis events. Milda walked straight into the lobby of the Andaz Wall Street, requested the general manager’s attention, and accepted his offer to host Pen Parentis events. With three authors already lined up to present, Toni and Milda formed an alliance based on a handshake agreement.

Andaz Wall Street, a Hyatt brand hotel, saw the sponsorship as a very practical exchange of needs and resources when they first partnered. The hotel aims to “bring the neighborhood to the guests and enrich the guest experience.” Pen Parentis' programs help fulfill that mission, and that's why current general manager Jeffrey Miller continues to support the organization. Pen Parentis attracts a multitude of downtown writers and Wall Street locals, which Andaz loves. Andaz Director of Communications Megan Montenaro believes “brands can go right or wrong when attempting something inorganic to their mission.” Because Pen Parentis’ programs align with Andaz’s brand, the hotel is happy to allocate resources for their events. As a result of this brand harmony, Pen Parentis programs have been able to expand, and in return, Milda has introduced Megan to downtown cultural councils and cultural leaders, allowing Andaz to expand its marketing outreach.

Because Pen Parentis has regularly scheduled monthly salons, the hotel is incentivized to market the events to their guests and “friends of the hotel.” The general manager sends emails to patrons inviting them to Pen Parentis events. To further encourage attendance, Andaz markets Pen Parentis on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and Andaz staff have live-tweeted salon discussions.The casual but intimate atmosphere of both the hotel and the salsons encourages guests to build a relationship with Andaz, enhancing the hotel’s brand.

November’s salon focused on food writing, so Andaz prepared to host 45 Pen Parentis attendees at the Chef’s Table, where the chef cooked select recipes from a featured book, The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat, co-edited by Caroline M. Grant, who conducted readings. With food at the centerpiece of the event, Andaz found a perfect way to further feature their business: guests enjoyed the creations of the hotel’s talented chef, and the food enhanced the literary discussion. Megan Montenaro emphasizes, “When you partner with the right people, it’s not hard to do the right events.”

 

In return, Pen Parentis requests that visiting authors stay at the Andaz, as the hotel is much more than just a corporate sponsor of the salons. Milda states, “They are our heroes, and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”

Pen Parentis believes the partnership’s best outcome has been adding businesspeople who work on Wall Street to their audience. In part because of Andaz’s upscale location, culturally-savvy locals who are looking to upgrade their date night or post-work drink experience are attracted to the salons. One of these individuals happened to be a young lawyer from a law firm looking for a nonprofit to incubate. As a result of the partnership with Andaz, Pen Parentis developed a relationship with and received pro bono aid from that law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

 

Pen Parentis and Andaz Wall Street are now entering the third year of their partnership, and they plan to continue it. Milda describes the hotel as “the most gracious, enthusiastic hosts imaginable, often providing unexpected treats for salon guests and panelists. Last May’s authors and guests were treated to a four-course dinner at the Chef’s Table. The more enthusiastic our hosts are, the more our audiences surge to the events. They are terrific because they understand and support what we do.”

Related
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

Nominate the Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts
Dec 11, 2017 0 Comments
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2018 BCA 10 AWARDS Every year, Americans for the Arts through its Business Committee for the Arts, honors the 10 best businesses partnering with the arts in America. Submissions close January 19. ...
Go to full post
Award-Winning Examples of Companies Supporting the Arts
Nov 21, 2017 0 Comments
The arts are an economic driver. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity study, released by Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015, which...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: AC Entertainment in Knoxville, Tennessee
Nov 14, 2017 0 Comments
Known as one of the foremost concert promoters and festival producers in the United States, AC Entertainment celebrates the arts by bringing first-class live entertainment experiences to music lovers from around the world. Founded...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Scholastic Inc., New York City
Nov 09, 2017 0 Comments
“Creative, innovative thinking, the hallmark of artists and writers, is fundamental to building economic strength, and new and better ways of seeing the world. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards validates the creativity of students...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Duke Energy in Charlotte, North Carolina
Nov 07, 2017 0 Comments
“Duke Energy is committed to supporting the vitality of the communities we serve. That includes introducing our young people to the arts at an early age—study after study shows that children benefit immensely from exposure to...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri
Nov 02, 2017 0 Comments
At Hallmark Cards, art is an essential component of the company’s DNA. From its founding in the early 20th century, Hallmark has fostered creative environments both inside and outside the workplace, and has been particularly...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Bacardi in Coral Gables, Florida
Oct 31, 2017 0 Comments
“Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi. This sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 151...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Microsoft in Redmond, Washington
Oct 26, 2017 0 Comments
“Microsoft is honored to support arts and culture organizations across the U.S. and around the world, which provide so much richness to all of our communities.” -Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Yum! Brands in Louisville, Kentucky
Oct 24, 2017 0 Comments
“At Yum! Brands, we believe in the power of the arts to educate, inspire and empower all students, especially those who are classified as ‘at-risk’.  Working with our local Fund for Arts organization we created the Yum! Family...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: Turner Broadcasting System in Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 20, 2017 0 Comments
“Turner Voices, our company’s signature corporate philanthropy program, marries our deep ties to our Atlanta hometown with our commitment to next-generation storytellers and their power to impact our community in profoundly positive...
Go to full post
It’s a Celebration! The 2017 BCA 10 Gala: Best Businesses That Partner with the Arts
Oct 19, 2017 0 Comments
On October 11th, business and arts leaders gathered at the iconic Central Park Boathouse in New York City to honor the best businesses partnering with the arts in America at the annual BCA 10 Awards. Now in its 13th year, this...
Go to full post
BCA 10 Spotlight: AutoZone, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee
Oct 18, 2017 0 Comments
"Even as AutoZone has evolved over the last 36 years, we’ve maintained a steadfast commitment to our hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Leadership and active participation in our region’s arts and culture are essential to community...
Go to full post
The Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts are Featured in Forbes
Oct 11, 2017 0 Comments
This year's BCA 10 honorees are using the arts to meet business goals in moving ways. We are proud to recognize them with an ad in the 100th Anniversay Issue of Forbes, "100 Greatest Business Minds" (page 169, September 28)...
Go to full post
Hear from the Business Leaders of the 2017 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts
Oct 02, 2017 0 Comments
Now that you have read about this year’s BCA 10 honorees, let’s take the time to meet the leaders. These business executives, representing a range of industries from hotels to healthcare to retail, are inspiring. Support them...
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.