News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

Q and A: Using Art to Connect with Diverse Audiences at Wells Fargo

Posted by Stacy Lasner
0 Comments

An interview with Lisa Frison,

Vice President, African American segment strategy leader at Wells Fargo

 

Americans for the Arts is proud to present an interview with Lisa Frison, Vice President, African American segment strategy leader for Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo was named a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree in 2005.

 

Lisa Frison is responsible for developing and leading the enterprise strategy for driving engagement among African American consumers and communities. Her personal passions align with Wells Fargo’s vision to help all customers succeed financially. As segment lead, Lisa focuses on providing African Americans with the tools, resources, and product solutions necessary to help them make informed financial decisions. She is a thought leader, delivering data, cultural insights and strategic consultation to business and product groups across the company to help advance their business objectives through segment engagement. Lisa has held positions at Xerox and The Walt Disney Company. She is based in Charlotte, NC.

________________________________________________________________________

 

Wells Fargo diversity and inclusion statement (excerpt)

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is key to being one of the world’s great companies. It’s a business imperative that lets us take advantage of the creativity and innovation that come from multiple perspectives. It also allows us to respond quickly and effectively to customer needs wherever they arise. And it helps us understand our customers more fully, see business opportunities in new ways, and succeed in serving the needs of all customers. Read more.

________________________________________________________________________

 

Q) How and why does Wells Fargo incorporate the arts in its diversity initiatives?

Support of the arts aligns with Wells Fargo’s ongoing strategy to cultivate a deeper appreciation of the African American experience. Through The Untold Stories Collection platform — which includes a national celebratory tour featuring The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect and #MyUntold— Wells Fargo is working to promote meaningful dialogue around the contributions of African Americans to American history and culture.

 

In 2013, Well Fargo sponsored a national tour featuring The Kinsey Collection-Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. The traveling exhibition (featuring art and artifacts chronicling African American history and culture from the 1600s to present day) created an opportunity for individuals in five major cities to develop a deeper understanding of the role of African Americans in the making of America. Even more, four of the five museum hosts were African American museums. In each case, we were able to increase visitation, membership, volunteer support, and funding for the museums. In some cities, we developed special programing and offered free admission for local students. We also offered free weekends to Wells Fargo customers, and hosted special lectures open to the community featuring the Kinsey family, historians, and community leaders.

 

While the #MyUntold campaign initially focused on stories shared on social media —and expressed through video, photos, and writing— we thought it would be exciting to take some of those stories and bring them to life through art in a “surprise and delight” effort where we presented the original pieces to the individual storytellers. We commissioned Atlanta-based artist Keith Rosemond II to create multiple illustrations reflecting experiences from several inspiring stories. Additionally, he designed three illustrations highlighting certain key aspects of African American culture (faith, family, and music) for Wells Fargo’s Card Design Studio® (for debit/credit card holders)

 

Q) How are programs like Untold Stories administered?

Campaigns like #MyUntold are led by Diverse Segment Marketing, and supported as part of a cross-functional integrated marketing strategy. This includes engagement with key enterprise partners responsible for delivering messaging to internal and external audiences, like: Corporate Communications, Enterprise Social Media, Virtual/Digital Channels, CSR, and Team Member Resource Groups. Equally important, a large number of the team members who develop and drive our multicultural campaigns are ethnically diverse.   

 

Q) Wells Fargo previously featured art on your cards supporting your diversity commitment, and now you’ve commissioned new art in connection with Untold Stories. Tell us a little about the history of Wells Fargo’s card-art.

In working with our planning team and creative agencies, we are always challenging ourselves to be as innovative and relevant as possible. Art is such an integral part of African American history and culture. Visual art in particular has always been a means for the community to express pride in its culture. With both the Kinsey campaign and #MyUntold, we wanted to extend the opportunity to the masses to “own a piece of art” – which we accomplished through Wells Fargo’s Card Design Studio®.

 

For #MyUntold, we worked with an agency to identify a local artist. We identified Keith as part of in-depth research into local area artists that might be a good fit for the program. We looked at things including artist style, storytelling ability through the artwork, connection to the African American community, and previous experience as part of our research. We did broad research looking through local art shows/exhibits, news stories/coverage and personal connections in the community. Keith was one of many identified as possible partners, but his profile rose to the top given that his art style and storytelling ability fit MyUntold so well already. Rosemond has formal training as an illustrator and graphic designer from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and has an appreciation for both traditional and contemporary art. 

 

We initially worked with Rosemond on the “surprise and delight” art pieces so it was a great opportunity to continue the collaboration and bring broader visibility to his work as an artist. For the Card Design Studio®, we worked closely with Rosemond to provide overall direction on the sentiment we wanted to convey, as well as our brand story. It was important that we worked with someone who understood the campaign and could connect with our vision to bring awareness to the diversity within African American culture. We did not dictate what he could create. Rosemond presented multiple concepts to us based on stories and themes that resonated with him, and as a team we selected the concepts with most cultural and emotional resonance. 

 

Q) Are your senior leaders and other employees involved in your arts programs?

We are intentional about engaging leaders and team members in our programs. Our leaders often participate in programs by acting as executive sponsors, spokespeople, and attending events that allow them to connect directly with the community. We always work with our team member resource groups to engage them in our programming by building awareness and developing unique programs to expound on diverse campaigns.

 

Often times our team members are on the ground volunteering to increase customer and community engagement around our events. During our Kinsey Collection tour, team members across the country partnered with the local host museums to execute programs, including some being trained as docents. Wells Fargo also hosted special events where team members could tour the exhibition at no cost. Many leaders also used the exhibition to conduct team building and diversity activities, taking groups of team members to tour the collection and have discussions around the content.

 

For #MyUntold, we identified multiple senior leaders to share their personal stories of success and triumph. These videos were later published to the #MyUntold platform; shared with team members across the company via internal channels; and on Wells Fargo’s #MyUntold YouTube channel.

 

For the Card Design Studio® opportunity, we leveraged multiple internal communications channels to ensure team members were aware of the effort. We immediately received positive feedback from team members who expressed interest in ordering the art. It was exciting to see team members of all cultures show enthusiasm and support. 

 

Q) Do you have any plans for the future of your arts-related diversity programming that you can share?

Wells Fargo is proud to be a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When the museum opens in September, artifacts from our own Wells Fargo history museum collection will be featured as part of an exhibition on Grafton Tyler Brown. Brown was an American painter, lithographer and cartographer who owned and operated his lithography company in San Francisco from 1867 to 1879. He was the first African American artist to create works depicting the Pacific Northwest and California. During this time, he created lithographs for stock certificates and letterheads for numerous companies in the area –of which Wells Fargo held several in its archives.

 

Wells Fargo has also provided programmatic and financial support to numerous African American museums across the country, including, the Museum of the African Diaspora; Harvey B. Gantt Center; Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture and Houston Museum of African American History and Culture.    

Beyond this, we will continue to look for opportunities to integrate art in our diverse programming because it has been a successful tool in celebrating history and culture. 

 

Q) Do you have any advice for arts organizations seeking to approach businesses with partnership ideas?

Take time to learn about the company and their priorities. Lead with questions to determine mutual interests and benefits, and be willing to co-create to deliver unique experiences. It’s also important to demonstrate how you will measure impact. As much as organizations want to contribute to communities, more and more they are being required to show metrics that also demonstrate how the relationship is valuable to both the organization and the community. 

 

Q) What do you love about using the arts to celebrate diversity?

Wells Fargo embraces the arts as a voice for history and culture. Programs like #MyUntold and The Kinsey Collection allowed us to share important stories involving the rich history of African Americans – a history of identity and struggle for equality that is both unique and shared by other diverse segments of our society.

 

Art also creates an opportunity for individuals to engage in meaningful conversations about culture. Through our programs we have been able to help dispel myths and promote dialogue around the role of African-Americans in the making of America.  

 

Art is universal. It provides an opportunity to teach others about diversity and inclusion through creative expression, which for some can be more “palatable” or relatable than other vehicles that aim to educate on diversity.

 

Learn more about the #MyUntold collection.

 

Learn more about Wells Fargo’s diversity framework on The Conference Board blog.

 

Want to know more? Share your questions on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email pARTnership@artsusa.org.

Related
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

Paint the World You Want to See
Aug 23, 2016 0 Comments
Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions.  In addition to their contribution to humanity...
Go to full post
When businesses partner for social impact, everyone wins
Aug 18, 2016 0 Comments
“The Leesa Dream Gallery™”,the world’s first combined mattress store and art gallery is a solid illustration of art breathing life into communities. In this high-end retail concept, you can naturally experience a beautifully...
Go to full post
Participate in the National Survey of Business Support for the Arts
Aug 16, 2016 0 Comments
The 2016 National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, is now open for submissions. The survey is open to companies of all sizes who participate in corporate philanthropy, employee engagement, volunteer programs, or sponsorship...
Go to full post
In the Business of Volunteering for the Arts
Aug 12, 2016 0 Comments
Business professionals have a lot to offer arts nonprofits, and volunteering time to the arts ensures a healthier and more vibrant community overall. Sometimes, it can be challenging to establish the first connections necessary...
Go to full post
Americans for the Arts Releases Seventh pARTnership Movement Essay: Embrace Diversity & Team Building
Aug 04, 2016 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is proud to announce the seventh installment in the pARTnership movement essay titled Embrace Diversity & Team Building.   Each essay in the series, started in June 2015, illustrates one of The pARTnership...
Go to full post
Arts Volunteering Paints a Better Business
Jul 29, 2016 0 Comments
Long-term growth in business is only possible if there is a thriving future in which that growth can occur. Businesses that realize this almost certainly have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan or department, a company’s...
Go to full post
Water Conservation is Music to Our Ears
Jul 26, 2016 0 Comments
The arts and business can easily flow together, even when it comes to water conservation. Just ask Kohler Co., a global leader in manufacturing kitchen products, engines and power systems, premier furniture, and the operator...
Go to full post
The Arts are Alive in Broward County
Jul 22, 2016 0 Comments
The arts breathe life into communities. The PNC Foundation, principally funded by the PNC Financial Services Group, has recognized this through its program, PNC Arts Alive! Since its debut in 2009, the program has awarded approximately...
Go to full post
Arts Educators Win Gold with Golden Artist Colors
Jul 19, 2016 0 Comments
It’s an adage that always rings true–behind every great artist is a great teacher. Americans for the Arts would like to congratulate educators Isaac AlaridPease, Jessica Clark, and Bryan Wilson on their selection as the 2016...
Go to full post
Curating Your Corporate Art Collection
Jul 15, 2016 0 Comments
When you look around your office, you probably have all of the necessities of a work environment- a desk, computer, phone, pens, paper. But something just as necessary might be missing on the white walls around you: a work of...
Go to full post
Announcing the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame Award and BCA Leadership Award Honorees
Jul 12, 2016 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce the BCA Hall of Fame and BCA Leadership Award honorees for 2016.  The awards are presented annually by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts...
Go to full post
Americans for the Arts Releases Sixth pARTnership Movement Essay: Saying Thanks
Jul 11, 2016 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts is proud to announce the sixth installment in The pARTnership Movement essay series: Say Thanks. The new release contains hard data, two notable case studies, and many reasons why the arts are a great way...
Go to full post
Volkswagen Drives Arts Education
Jul 05, 2016 0 Comments
Volkswagen is distinguished for its success in auto engineering, but the German car manufacturer should also be celebrated for its engineering of arts education programming. In a five year partnership with MoMA and MoMA PS1...
Go to full post
At Zappos, Creativity is a Shoe-In
Jun 28, 2016 0 Comments
Zappos knows that building a successful business means starting off on the right foot. With consistent support of the arts, especially in its home community of Las Vegas, Nevada, the online shoe and apparel retailer is widely...
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.