News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

Support Local: Finding the Dramatist Beneath the Suit

Posted by Kara Robbins
0 Comments

I work in Newton, a moderately affluent suburb outside of Boston. Newton is blessed with a community of smart, talented, hard-working, and well-rounded individuals and families. Essentially, it’s the target audience for the arts—except these folks are busy!

 

When the Newton Cultural Alliance (NCA), an umbrella organization for participating arts and culture nonprofits, incorporated in 2009, Newton had 2 orchestras, 2 large music schools, 4 choruses, 3 visual arts organizations, 2 community theaters, 2 high school theaters, 1 nationally recognized ballet school, a museum, 3 colleges, and more.

 

On the business side, while Newton is one city, it is divided into 13 villages so there is no distinct city center, but rather many village centers. In theory, this is a very endearing idea but in practice, it is somewhat divisive and, until some recent efforts, no merchant association has succeeded in uniting the businesses or the community.

 

That being said, our local businesses are extremely supportive of area nonprofits and are always willing to donate to auctions, hang flyers, and participate in special events. In and of itself, this is a very helpful stance but it doesn’t build long-lasting or thriving relationships that will truly make a change in the community. That’s where NCA has picked up the ball. 

 

We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we are doing our very best to engage in mutually beneficial programs. One major goal is to create and host high-quality, fun events that increase the awareness of local dining, shopping and arts. To do this, we’re working with business owners on an individual level, the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Newton on specialized projects. Some of our current arts and business programs include:

 

1. Culture ‘n Cuisine: a discounted dining program for NCA members’ audiences. Local restaurants offer diners a 10% discount and receive free, expanded marketing in return. Our audiences feel well taken care of and discover new dining destinations!

 

2. Arts Stroll & Shop: This annual holiday event encourages Newton residents to “Shop Local. Eat Local. Art Local.” The 2013 Stroll included participation by 40 local businesses and 150+ artists and musicians! Attendees are able to stroll through the village center and take advantage of the diverse shopping and dining while being entertained by performing and visual arts. Empty storefronts are turned into temporary art galleries, young musicians play in their favorite shops, and it all culminates with a collaborative holiday performance.

 

Shoppers enjoyed live music at National Jean Company during the Arts Stroll & Shop.

Shoppers enjoyed live music at National Jean Company during the Arts Stroll & Shop.

 

3. Chamber of Commerce Events: With the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce, NCA hosted its first arts and business gathering in Fall 2012. What began as a networking opportunity has turned into a developed relationship, where NCA is invited to attend Chamber committees and the Young Professionals Group is even hosting an event to benefit NCA.

 

When our focus changed from “how will blank project affect the arts?” to “how will blank project develop our local economy and community?” the opportunities for partnerships were many. It is extremely satisfying to be viewed as a business partner amongst our for-profit friends and rewarding to take on a leadership role in the nonprofit community.

There is still a long way to go before we achieve our goals but at this point the hardest part is slowing down to refine our current projects while turning down others. We want to do it all!

 

Starting these partnerships is all about who you know—it’s all about building relationships! Become friends with your local merchants! If you walk by the same set of shops every day, pop in when you’re not asking to hang a flyer or for an auction item. Learn who is new in town and get in there and introduce yourself.

Remember, we’re in the arts partly because it is so much fun and, undoubtedly, everyone has a story they’d love to share about playing the recorder in elementary school or how they’d really love to sink their hands into some clay. Find the dramatist beneath the suit and connections will bloom!

 

(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 originally posted on ARTSblog.

Related
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

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
2012 BCA 10 Winning Tampa Bay Times Spreads Joy of Literature with Times Festival of Reading
Sep 28, 2017 0 Comments
Every fall, the Tampa Bay Times marketing department produces a celebration of the literary arts known as the Times Festival of Reading. This one day event draws thousands of book lovers, as well as famous authors from across...
Go to full post
2011 BCA Winning Law Firm, Baker Botts L.L.P., Says the Arts Are Essential
Sep 26, 2017 0 Comments
A major supporter of the arts since the 19th century, Baker Botts, an international law firm, strives to be a good corporate citizen, helping arts organizations thrive and providing opportunities for its employees and clients...
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.