News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project

Posted by Danielle Iwata
0 Comments
David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project

Square and Cheyenne River Youth Project will receive the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

"Our hope with the project, “Lakota in America,” is to shed some light on an organization that is providing young people access to fundamental tools that create opportunity for a vibrant and more secure future. Access is not purely a means of generating financial wealth. The program places strong emphasis on the value of cultural wealth through art in an apprenticeship model. By honoring heritage, CRYP is empowering the next generation of Lakota and fostering a collective sense of self-worth among the youth."

– Kevin Burke, CMO, Square

 

“We’re deeply grateful to Square for commissioning the ‘Lakota in America’ film project, and for working so closely with us to help raise awareness and generate support for Cheyenne River’s young people. They showed us so much respect, and they honored us by giving us the opportunity to tell our own story.”

– Julie Garreau, Executive Director, Cheyenne River Youth Project

 

Square, Inc., the payment and financial services company led by CEO Jack Dorsey, has changed the way businesses process transactions. Square products have become commonplace in many American businesses as point of sale hardware and software help businesses grow through managing inventory, locations, and employees—as well as providing access to financing, invoicing, appointments, and more.

 

Armed with an essential understanding of corporate responsibility and funding to make a difference, Square has been partnering with various organizations that aim to empower the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, Square launched a film series, “For Every Kind of Dream,” which highlighted the stories of small businesses that are working towards success. Thus far, the company has shared four stories: “Yassin Falafel,” “Made in Iowa,” “Sister Hearts,” and “Lakota in America.” The latter focuses on Genevieve Iron Lighting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and her participation in the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), a nonprofit on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation that provide youth and family services to its community.

 

 

Courtesy of Square

 

After years of discrimination and prejudiced policies against American Indians, Cheyenne River community members continue to be greatly impacted by poverty and unemployment.CRYP, founded by Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member Julie Garreau, intends to empower the next generation of community members while instilling a sense of pride in Lakota culture. Through its innovative teen internships in social enterprise, native food sovereignty, indigenous cooking, wellness and the arts, Cheyenne River teens learn critical job and life skills while also embracing Lakota culture and values. According to Garreau, “[The more] viable economic skills to go along with an appreciation for their powerful heritage [young people have], the better the odds are that this generation of young people will be able to pull the whole tribe up.”

 

Through economic and cultural empowerment, these teens are prepared to make a difference in both their own lives and in their community.  Due to her participation in CRYP’s teen internship program, Genevieve Iron Lighting was hired for her first job in the organization’s Keya Cafe (where they use Square) and continues to perform traditional Lakota dance. “I just feel like when I dance I can help keep my culture alive; I feel like I’m in touch with my ancestors and the past generations,” she explained.

 

In 2016, CRYP announced the opening of its Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. The Eagle Butte campus offers dance and art studios, regular classes and workshops with guest and local artists, and the public Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, which features an outdoor stage. CRYP also hosts the annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam, a celebration of both graffiti and Lakota culture. This groundbreaking event has received the Robert E. Gard Award, which is presented by Americans for the Arts to programs that are working at the intersection of arts and community life.

 

By collaborating with organizations such as CRYP, Square is able to share meaningful stories of the dreams of business owners across America. Square is using its platform to to spread awareness for the arts and to foster economic empowerment.

Related

For Artists, By Artists: Supporting Each Other Through Business

Posted by Fransini Alberto Vasquez
0 Comments
For Artists, By Artists: Supporting Each Other Through Business

As an artist, Craig “KR” Costello saw a need for efficient graffiti mediums. As a businessperson, he solved the hole in the market.

 

Graffiti artists in New York were all about mobility, painting subway cars through the City with their signatures sprayed on them; then, turning to walls, tunnels, and objects as their canvases. KR explains that during the 80s graffiti was ‘‘an attitude’’ and the culture revolved around DIY materials. Paint was stolen, markers were made, and unconventional tools were used due to the lack of economic resources, making the ‘’sharing and stealing [of tools] necessary for the creative process’’. Artists were faced with the challenge of messy homemade markers, and homemade inks that faded under the sun.

 

In the early 90s, KR moved to San Francisco, California where he studied its booming graffiti scene and experimented with various tools and mediums on the streets. Water bottles, white out pens, and shoe polish markers were re-purposed for the sake of “looking to your environment and finding your tools’’. Eventually, he began making his own ink (KR’s ink, hence Krink) and shared his product with the community of artists around him.

 

Eventually, KR’s ink could be found everywhere in the City, on any door, wall, or mailbox. Alife, an art supply store asked KR to bottle up Krink to be sold, turning his “creative project’’ into a business plan.

 

In an interview for Vice Magazine in 2012, KR discussed the interest of business owners in public art, in which they collaborated with artists from around the globe to do walls in their communities. Tiffany Tanaka, founder of the Honolulu-based gallery, Loft in Space, discussed the importance of KR’s contribution to the artist community in Hawaii, and the way she perceived art as a motor for social change, and its impact on Hawaii’s economy. As KR had helped to expand the artistic community as there was a lack of art galleries and exhibitions during that time.

 

KR transitioned from a struggling artist in New York City to the face behind a brand that aims to improve artistry, maintain affordability, ‘’pay fair wages, and support local economy’’. His scrappy attitude and holistic thinking has worked for him; he has been sought for major arts and business collaborations with Marc Jacobs, Nike, Casio, Absolut Vodka, Modernica Furniture, and many more. He is a prime example of someone who has bridged the gap between the interests of artists and the success of a business. Through his consideration and understanding of the best ways to create useful and affordable tools to make art, he has built a thriving business, drawn the attention of other business owners, and enhanced artists and local communities.

 

In January 2018, Krink announced the reissue of the original 8oz. silver ink, hand-filled and labelled in a glass bottle. 

 

Photo: Craig ''KR'' Costello in His Studio for Refinery29 by Atisha Paulson

Related

Cultural Districts Opens Doors to Economic Opportunity

Posted by Mariama Holman
0 Comments
Cultural Districts Opens Doors to Economic Opportunity

What exactly is a cultural district, and why does it matter to businesses and communities?

 

Cultural districts leverage a unique resource or talent available within the community (a sustainable competitive advantage) to serve as a focal point for branding a city’s unique cultural identity and historical significance. 

 

Better branding leads to stronger differentiation from the surrounding community, which assists and supports the marketing of local businesses and nonprofit cultural organizations.

 

When contentiously utilized, a community’s culture and history does not just gather cobwebs in a textbook, but impacts future cash flow for city coffers and local business owners.

 

Per the National Cultural Districts Exchange Toolkit, cultural districts have a significant economic impact on cities, especially growing small businesses. As demonstrated by the  2017 Business Contributions to the Arts Survey, this could be why small businesses contribute a larger percentage of their philanthropy budgets to the arts.


The impacts of cultural districts on the business community are well documented in The Arts as a Strategy for Revitalizing Our Cities.

 

Take for instance, the example of The Warehouse Arts District in Tucson, Arizona and the Pittsburgh Cultural District. Three years after the establishment of the Tucson Arts District, there was a 23 percent increase in new businesses. Furthermore, 54 percent of businesses in the district increased their sales volume.

 

The Pittsburgh Cultural District generated $115 million in commercial activity via $33 million in public investment and $63 million in private and philanthropic funds within the first decade of operation.

 

The Oakland Black Arts and Movement Business District is now in the running to be recognized as a cultural and historical site in the State of California, an opportunity that could repeat the economic successes of earlier cultural districts across America. The state council recently selected the area as one of 22 semifinalists to be considered for the “California Cultural District” designation.

 

Oakland’s cultural district contains more than 20 small businesses and cultural spaces that have been serving the community for decades, including the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Joyce Gordon Gallery and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle Club, a community music venue operating since the 1970s known for hosting music legends such as Wynton Marsalis and Phyllis Hyman. The district also features the Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland Cultural Center.

 

Economic and community development initiatives in the East Bay area are especially important as the San Francisco affordable housing crisis continues, leaving many residents in search of  a better quality of life in the suburbs. Oakland suffered a 25 percent decline in African-American residents in the past decade, losing approximately 33,000 residents per the U.S. Census.  

 

Marvin X, one of the Oakland Black Arts Movement Business District founders, says “the district can add a whole lot of equity and tourism to the city.”

 

As seen by prior cultural district examples, through fostering the arts and culture sector the “California Cultural District” designation could create a stronger economic future for Oakland’s residents. 

Related

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.