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IKEA Partners with Artisan Refugees for New Line

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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IKEA Partners with Artisan Refugees for New Line

IKEA announced that its Brooklyn store will have a new, exclusive line, created by Jordanian women and Syrian refugee artisans. In partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, it created the line TILLTALANDE, which features handmade products. The cushion covers and rugs weave together traditional techniques and modern styles.  

 

Jordan River Foundation was founded in 1995 to promote child safety and community empowerment. IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings giant, has been partnering with social entrepreneurs since 2012. With the founding of the IKEA Social Entrepreneur Initiative, the company has been collaborating with artisans and designers across the globe to promote economic empowerment, particularly for women. Together, IKEA and the Foundation have created jobs for more than 100 women, while also creating a unique line.

 

Check out this video on the process.

 

Photo: TILLTALANDE page, via IKEA

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eBay, Public Art Fund, and Ai Weiwei Come Together to Support Refugees

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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eBay, Public Art Fund, and Ai Weiwei Come Together to Support Refugees

On June 20, World Refugee Day, eBay will release a series of exclusive works through a partnership with Public Art Fund and artist/activist Ai Weiwei. 500 editions of six banners bearing portraits of refugees will go on sale for $750 each. These pieces come from his exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors in NYC, a multi-faceted, 300+ pieces installation that included portraits from the nineteenth century to today. In partnership with Public Art Fund, the display ran for five months throughout all five boroughs of New York City.

 

The artist said: “The work is directly related to the history of human migration and aims to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis happening today. It is a reminder of the artist's responsibility to defend the understanding that all humans share the same meaning of life. I have always believed that to be the foundation of our aesthetic practice."

 

Sam Bright, Senior Director of Art & Collectibles at eBay stated, "we're thrilled to continue our partnership with the Public Art Fund and Ai Weiwei to exclusively give our 171 million active buyers a chance to own limited artworks for an important cause. This special sale furthers our mission to use the power of our platform to impact significant causes, benefiting two essential organizations supporting refugees." Through the company’s platform eBay for Charity, all proceeds from the sales will go to Public Art Fund, which will make a donation to USA for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Regufees) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

 

In addition to his compelling work, Ai Weiwei is known for his human rights and social justice activism. He will be honored for his Outstanding Contributions to the Arts at Americans for the Art’s 2018 National Arts Awards in October.

 

Photo: Artist Ai Weiwei with artworks: Banner 51, Banner 2, Banner 13, Banner 200, Banner 90, Banner 50; CNC laser cut vinyl 17” x 48.” Courtesy, Public Art Fund, NY.

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Arts Deliver Prime Cities for Amazon Headquarters

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Arts Deliver Prime Cities for Amazon Headquarters

 

The arts can play a remarkable role in the vibrancy of a community and in the strength of the economy. It’s no surprise, then, that Amazon thinks the same thing.

 

In their search for a new headquarters that spanned 238 cities, all of the finalists have strong cultural sectors. As noted in Sebastian Smee’s Washington Post article, many future employees will be relocating their families to the chosen city. What better way to entice them than a strong arts and culture scene? Each of the 24 finalists boasts art museums, sculpture centers, or close proximity to metropolitan centers that are abundant in cultural institutions.

 

Smee breaks it down:

-          Toronto: The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum

-          Dallas: The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center; Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, and the Kimball Art Center

-          Austin: Blanton Museum of Art

-          Nashville: Parthenon and the Frist Center for Visual Arts

-          Northern Virginia: all of the museums and institutions in DC

-          Montgomery County: likewise, DC

-          Newark: Newark Museum, Liberty Science Center, the offerings of NYC

-          Columbus: The Wexner Center for the Arts and the Columbus Museum of Art

-          Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Musem

-          Indianapolis: Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)

-          Atlanta: the High Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art

-          Denver: Denver Art Musem, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

-          Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art and Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art

-          Miami: Art Basel and the Perez Art Museum Miami

-          Chicago: The Art Institute and MCA Chicago

-          Boston: Museum of Fine Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and ICA Boston

-          Los Angeles: The Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

-          Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art and ICA Philadelphia

 

Amazon’s search is proof enough that the cities in which companies want to invest are also cities with thriving arts scenes. Imagine the possibilities if more businesses partnered with the arts.

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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Skechers Partners with Manhattan Beach Beach Planning Committee

On April 11, Skechers unveiled new murals on the side of it’s flagship store in Manhattan Beach. It is exciting to see the sneaker company engage with public art through thie project. The murals were designed by Rachel Rodi, and completed by a team of 14.

 

On the side of the building, a sting ray, a shark, and an octopus swim in an homage to the Roundhouse Aquarium, while the other depicts Manhattan Beach Pier at sunset.  

 

CEO Michael Greenberg spoke about the gift of public art, standing alongside the Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission, the artwork was a condition of Skechers renovating the store. Howorth and Rodi both had front spots as Greenberg cut the ribbon to officially open the newly remodeled store.

 

 

Photo by Kevin Cody, easyreadernews.com

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Pretzels, Art, and the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Pretzels, Art, and the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

It may seem like pretzels, art, and the fight against childhood cancer may not be closely related, but thanks to Auntie Anne's, all three will come together for a national holiday. While April 26 marks one the most exciting days of the year for pretzel-lovers around the country, this business is using National Pretzel Day to promote artists and help children and families.

 

In honor of the holiday, Auntie Anne’s—one of the largest soft pretzel chains—is teaming up with artists to create custom designs for apparel and accessories and donating proceeds from the items to their charitable partner Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

 

The special line of products, “For the Love of Pretzels,” is available for purchase on Threadless, an e-store platform for creatives. Shirts, waterbotles, mugs, and even shoes were created by Huebucket, Rick Crane, Daniel Allen Stevens, Luis Romero, and Shawnimals. A hand-painted “Auntie Pack” (fanny pack) by Mike Perry Studio is also up for grabs on social media.

 

Profits from the collection are going to ALSF, whose “misssion is to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.”

 

Photo: PRNewsfoto

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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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