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From Technology to Art and Performance, Apple Stores Offering Arts Experiences

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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We love seeing hugely successful corporations display thoughtful consideration on integrating the arts into their business in a way that reflects so many ideals of the pARTnership Movement.

 

And Apple is no exception.

 

It’s only fitting that a company with such global industry dominance on technology products and a keen eye for enhancing all areas of life, including arts and creativity, would look to merge those elements into its retail spaces.

 

Trial programs in Apple stores are including presentations from community artists and photographers, as well as concerts and talks from bigger names, such as when hip-hop producer RZA led an “Art of Beatmaking” session at the company’s Brooklyn store last fall. The company plans to release a fuller slate of events around the country starting this month called “Today at Apple” and here’s what to expect:

 

Signature Programs in the retail locations lead by performers, makers, creators, illustrators and more.

Live Art - Experience art come to life as talented artists create with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Hear their stories and go deeper into the craft. Explore new techniques with hands-on sessions. Or just enjoy a music performance as artists illustrate live.

 

Sketch Walks - Go on a fun walk to new locations and learn how to sketch, paint, and draw with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

 

Perspectives- Go behind the story of two influencers on one subject. Hear their stories of creative process, inspiration, and more.

 

Music Lab- Discover how to create beats and make music taught by our favorite musicians, producers, and DJs.

 

Photo Lab- Go deeper into the craft of photography and experiment with new techniques and styles taught by talented photographers.

 

Creative Sessions in the retail locations including courses in Digital Art, Photo Walks – Telling a Story in Your Photos, How To Make Music on the iPad and iPhone, How To Sketch, Draw, and Paint with iPad, Studio Hours: Art & Design Projects, and more.

 

  

Additionally, as Apple moves to turn its stores into experiences, in Washington, D.C., the company has set its sights on the Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square. One of thousands of libraries built nationwide with funds donated by steel tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, it opened in 1903 as the first desegregated public building in the city. The goal is to continue Apple’s practice of filling historic buildings with new experiences including technology products, while respecting the building’s history and significant legacy.

 

Photo: A rendering of Apple’s vision for a restored Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square via Apple

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When businesses partner for social impact, everyone wins

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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When businesses partner for social impact, everyone wins

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 crafted mattress while appreciating artwork created by undiscovered artists seeking to change their lives through their art – no pushy salespeople allowed.

 

The gallery is a partnership between Leesa®,the high-end, direct-to-consumer online mattress company, and ArtLifting, an online art marketplace for homeless, disabled, and other disadvantaged artists to sell their artwork. 

 

This collaboration of two forward-thinking companies can be attributed to Leesa and ArtLifting’s unique shared sentiment of ‘create opportunity and change lives’. “Having successfully introduced a new mattress and a new way to shop online in our first year, The Leesa Dream Gallery is the next frontier. Combining with ArtLifting to create a new kind of retail experience while giving homeless and disabled artists a platform to show and sell their art is a dream come true,” said Leesa Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer David Wolfe. “People in need don’t want a handout, they want the ability to change their lives,” said Liz Powers, ArtLifting co-founder and chief happiness spreader. 

 

As the two joined to build this first mattress retail/gallery of its kind, they imprinted a path for social enterprise and business to use art as a means for storytelling, customer engagement, and enhanced quality of life. Where else will you see a business focused on bringing a premium memory foam mattress that looks better, feels better, and costs less coupled with a for-profit enterprise dedicated to providing a platform for artists to empower themselves through the celebration and sale of their artwork?

 

And, what are the wins for each business? Leesa’s product became rated higher than all of its direct-to-consumer competitors and they became the number one fastest growing e-retailer according to Internet Retailer’s 2016 Top 500 Guide. Leesa also released a stunning limited edition mattress cover inspired by a formerly homeless artist discovered by ArtLifting. And ArtLifting’s artist received a percentage of every sale. And by securing income and connecting with a larger audience, their artists garner positivity that permeates every aspect of their lives.

 

 

Photo courtesy of ArtLifting.

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Vans and Americans for the Arts are Halo Award Finalists!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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We are excited to share that Vans and Americans for the Arts have been named a finalist for the 2016 Halo Awards for the annual Vans Custom Culture arts education competition!

 

The Cause Marketing Halo Awards are North American cause marketing's highest honor and the subject of a special section in Adweek. Winners will be announced and awarded at the annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago on June 2, 2016.

 

Created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets, Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition through which art classes design blank Vans shoes around specific themes. The class submissions are narrowed down to the top 50 and the top 5, and the grand prize winning submission secures $50,000 for their school's art program. Since 2012, Americans for the Arts has worked alongside Vans as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner.

 

Registration for the 2016 Custom Culture competition closes February 12, 2016. Register your school here.

 

According to Americans for the Arts' Ready to Innovate report, 85 percent of business leaders say they cannot find the creative candidates they’re looking for. By cultivating the abililty to think creatively in the workplace, arts education is a pathway to career success. Vans also believes that arts education will help future proof their “Off the Wall” brand. By inspiring and perpetuating youth culture, Vans maintains a stable customer base and will be able to find talented designers to lead the brand into the future.

 

Learn more about how art education cultivates the ability to think creatively in the workplace.

 

Read about other businesses supporting arts education.

 

Does your business run an arts education program for youth? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or by emailing partnership@artsusa.org.

 

 

Facts from the Custom Culture website.

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Creative Kicks: Vans’ Custom Culture Competition for Teens

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Creative Kicks: Vans’ Custom Culture Competition for Teens

If you’re passionate about the arts, why not show it on your feet? Vans’ Custom Culture Competition encourages high school art classes to lend their creative designs to four blank pairs of shoes for the chance to win $50,000 for their schools’ art program and have their shoes manufactured and sold nationwide.

 

According to the Custom Culture website, the contest was created to, “inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design, and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets.” In addition to providing $50,000 for the winning school, Vans will also donate proceeds from the sale of the shoes to Americans for the Arts and will provide $4,000 to each of the four runner-up schools.

 

In an article about Custom Culture in the Los Angeles Times, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch said, “Programs like Custom Culture play an important part in helping to bring more attention to the importance of the arts in high school curriculums. Together with key partners like Vans, we are working to raise awareness of the need for arts education in all of our nation’s schools; encourage high school students to embrace their creativity and the opportunities it can leverage; and inspire a new generation of innovative, forward focused youth.”

 

Photograph shows the shoe designs from 2014 Custom Culture winners Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Vans Custom Culture.

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Female Power Hits the Racks at Nordstrom

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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http://c.nordstromimage.com/Assets/Web-Ready-Slices/02-23-15-p01-cid0309152726-7-adam-33d744a4-cda5-4a4a-b667-a4480154e4f0-fil-file.jpg?Version=1Nordstrom has recently announced a partnership with Piece & Co., a nonprofit dedicated to providing sustainable employment for female artisans in the developing world.

 

She Makes It is a 32 piece collection featuring products from Alice + Olivia, Current/Elliott, DVF, Joie, Rebecca Mickoff, Theory, The Honest Company, and Tory Burch, all from sourced materials from female artisans in developing countries.

 

Designer Rebecca Minkoff, in an interview with Piece & Co., noted, “This partnership was the best of both worlds because we were able to support and embrace one-of-a-kind artistry in a modern culture and share it in a huge way through Nordstrom, opening it up to a broadened consumer market.”

 

“It's been inspiring to see how much all of the brands have enjoyed creating their items with these beautiful fabrics, and how they've now been incorporated into their spring collections.” said Tricia Smith, executive vice president, general merchandise manager, Women's Apparel at Nordstrom. Continued Smith, “We think Nordstrom customers will really embrace Piece & Co.'s vision of connecting fashion and empowering the women who help create it and we can't wait to see how they make it their own."

 

See the full collection here.

 

Photo: courtesy of Nordstrom.

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Homeless Children are Designers for a Day with UNIQLO and Free Arts NYC

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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On January 31, Free Arts NYC teamed up with clothing retailer UNIQLO to host a unique arts workshop for dozens of children from homeless shelters in Brooklyn and Queens. Inspired by UNIQLO’s graphic t-shirt collection, the children were given a chance to design and keep t-shirts of their own, courtesy of UNIQLO.

 

Free Arts NYC and UNIQLO host four of these workshops a year, each featuring a specific artist from which the children can draw inspiration. For this workshop, the children were introduced to the work of famous artist Keith Haring, whose signature technique uses simple lines and bold colors.  

 

“The goal of Free Arts is to use the arts as a tool to inspire kids, give them self confidence and use buddies and mentors to build their self-esteem,” said Liz Hopfan, Executive Director of Free Arts NYC.

 

UNIQLO employees that participated utilized creative and artistic outlets to provide low-income children with one-on-one attention while reinforcing the idea of positive adult role models in their lives. This initiative also provided an opportunity for UNIQLO employees to get in touch with their own creative sides – one of the most highly sought applied skills by employers today according to the pARTnership Movement’s 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts.

 

Arts and business partnerships like these continue to make an positive impact across New York City – in this case, not only through art-making with underserved communities, but also with the UNIQLO employees who made the effort to participate!

 

Watch the following video on the Free Arts-UNIQLO partnership at Pix11.com.

 

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BucketFeet Shoes: Step into the Arts

Posted by Kellyn Lope
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Chicago based shoe retailer, BucketFeet, launched in 2011 with the mission “to connect people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world.” Different artists around the world, including illustrators, painters, tattoo artists, writers, and graffiti artists, design each shoe and print the company produces.

 

The startup recently raised $7.5 million, and is extending its sales to retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor, in addition to its own studios and pop-up shops.

 

BucketFeet accepts design submissions from artists around the world and handles all of the manufacturing and distribution of shoes. Artists receive a minimum of $250 down payment and an additional $1 per shoe sold, with the average artist making at least $1,250 on a single design.

 

Cultivating an environment that blends backgrounds and celebrates cultural diversity is a priority of BucketFeet, as the company utilizes the power of the arts to connect people and to foster cultural exchange. The company notes, “Art is universal. It speaks every language, cuts through cultural differences, and outlives creators.”

 

Cofounder Raaja Nemani was inspired to create the company after traveling through Argentina wearing a pair of customized shoes that an artist friend of his had designed. Nemani said, “It wasn’t really about the brand name, it was about the story.”

 

Learn more about BucketFeet shoes at Bucketfeet.com.

 

Photo: Jana Cruder, courtesy of BucketFeet.

Starbucks' Little Big Show Benefits the Arts

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Starbucks' Little Big Show Benefits the Arts

It’s the little show with a big impact! Starbucks, in tandem with KEXP and the Seattle Theatre Group (STG), presents Little Big Show, a concert series that benefits Seattle-area arts organizations. Little Big Show performances are presented several times throughout the year at Seattle’s historic Neptune Theatre, with 100% of ticket proceeds donated to local arts nonprofits. To date, Little Big Show has raised over $100,000.

 

Little Big Show #10 will be presented on November 15, with Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard as the headliner. 100% of each ticket purchased for Little Big Show will go directly to ArtsFund, a member of Americans for the Arts’ private sector network. The proceeds will serve as matching funds for power2give.org/PugetSound, supporting projects benefiting local youth such as artist classroom visits and residencies, scholarships for professional arts training, or free youth tickets to a variety of local arts events.

 

Rodney Hines, director of Community Investments for Starbucks, says, “We look forward to bringing the community together in support of local arts education programs, while celebrating Seattle's musical heritage. And I cannot think of a better way to commemorate our 10th Little Big Show than with ArtsFund whose work truly is to make arts accessible to all and valued as central and critical the health of our community.”

 

"We are grateful to Starbucks, KEXP and STG for their dedication to arts education and for partnering with us," said Mari Horita, President and CEO, ArtsFund and member of Americans for the Arts’ Private Sector Council. "Each ticket purchased for Little Big Show will go directly toward matching funds for power2give.org/PugetSound projects focused on youth programs such as artist classroom visits and residencies, scholarships for low-income youth to professional arts training, and free tickets to a variety of local music, theater and arts events."

 

Check out footage from previous concerts and learn more about Little Big Show concerts at starbucks.com/seattle.

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Under Armour Recognizes the Brand-Enhancing Power of Dance

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Athleticwear brand Under Armour has partnered with American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland on a new commercial. The ad was released in conjunction with the brand's new website, I Will What I Want, which "celebrates the will to find inner strength and to follow no one."

 

The 60-second spot begins with Copeland balancing on pointe while her voice is heard reading a rejection letter. As the camera pans over her physique, the letter lists all of the reasons why the applicant didn't make the cut, including the sentence, "You have the wrong body for ballet." Copeland swiftly disproves this statement by dancing a powerhouse solo across a stage.

 

The ad is significant in that Under Armour, whose brand image has traditionally been associated with sport, has chosen to highlight the atheleticism of dance. Utilizing dance as a marketing strategy, the brand recognizes the potential the arts have to reach new audiences and share the brand message in a new and engaging way.

 

Check out the inspiring video below.

 

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Wearing MoMA, By UNIQLO

Posted by Caleb Way
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If you have found yourself on Fifth Avenue recently, you may have noticed a large “SPRZ NY” advertisement accenting the window of UNIQLO’s flagship store on the corner of 53rd Street. You may have also turned that corner and continued on to the Museum of Modern Art. This close proximity is just the start of a dynamic partnership between the two. SPRZ NY, UNIQLO’s latest collaboration with MoMA, its midtown neighbor, merges the worlds of visual art and fashion. The now global project, unveiled this past spring, celebrates innovative artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. The result is a line of clothing and accessories featuring art work from MoMA-approved artists originally and exclusively produced and sold in New York.

 

The SPRZ NY items are displayed in glass on UNIQLO’s newly remodeled second floor. Shoppers are exposed to an experience not surprisingly far from what they may have at MoMA just down the street. The works are not merely items to be purchased, but art to be admired as patrons pass through the space.

 

This partnership not only enhances the MoMA and UNIQLO brands and fuels traffic across 53rd Street – but also creates an innovative and personalized experience for shoppers and museum visitors alike. For UNIQLO, the partnership brings vibrancy to their workplace and helps them communicate marketing messages in engaging ways. Larry Meyer, CEO of UNIQLO USA said, “Manhattan attracts people from all over the world, and New York is associated with art and culture. Even though UNIQLO and MoMA both operate in different fields, we both aim to promote art as widely as possible. It’s a great match”. For MoMA, this match brings mobility to their brand as countless UNIQLO customers leave the store with not only a new t-shirt but with the message of what inspired it.

 

The partnership between UNIQLO and MoMA might just be one that sets the tone as arts organizations and businesses across the city develop strategies to expand and engage their audiences.

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