Employee resource groups, which bring together coworkers who share common interests and identities, hold many benefits for businesses. For example, they can help with recruitment efforts and public relations messaging, and they can inspire critical thinking, teamwork, and a feeling of inclusiveness among employees.
As employee resource groups have become more common in the workplace, particularly at larger companies, they have also begun to step outside of the office and offer community service opportunities to their members. However, many arts organizations are unaware of the existence of these groups or how to engage with them.
As part of our efforts to foster collaborations between the business world and the art world, Americans for the Arts has created a new tool-kit to help arts organizations connect with employee resource groups. The tool-kit outlines the basic tenets of employee resource groups and provides tips and examples for collaborative programming. For example:
- Work with an LGBT group to showcase an exhibition of employee artwork that celebrates LGBT History Month.
- Provide an opportunity for members of ERGs to bring potential or existing clients to an opening night performance of a theater production or a behind-the-scenes look at a community art studio, or offer your arts space as a location to hold a networking event.
- Work with the company and an artist to develop an arts-based curriculum that teaches employees how to work together and appreciate one another’s skills.