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Milliken & Company Puts Full STEAM into the Arts

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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Milliken & Company has a secret weapon. The chemical, floor covering and textile manufacturer, headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, knows that the arts encourage innovation and creative solutions—something that has been engrained in the company culture for more than a century, which is why the company was selected as a 2014 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree. (Photo credit: Fountain by artist Harold Krisel, located at the Roger Milliken Center, courtesy of Milliken & Company.)

 

Milliken actively supports STEAM education—a movement that works to integrate the arts into a curriculum comprised of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Several of the design employees and scientists at Milliken serve as advisors for the STEAM Teacher’s Institute, hosted by the Chapman Cultural Center, and many partake in panel discussions about the importance of innovation in art and design in schools and in workplaces.

 

With the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg (TAP), Milliken helps to provide over 40 week-long professional artist residencies each year that align with core curriculum, and sponsors performances of music, dance, theatre and opera in schools throughout Spartanburg County. The company’s desire to connect more students to creative problem solving and strategic thinking has led Milliken to explore replicating the artist residency model with its scientists, furthering the integration of creativity and scientific learning. 

 

Since 1992, Milliken has partnered with Spartanburg School District One to display the winners of its annual district-wide art competition. Milliken has the artwork professionally framed and prominently featured on easels throughout its corporate headquarters. To recognize Milliken’s commitment to student art, School District One created the Milliken Art Gallery in its District Office, placed prominently along the corridor leading to the District Board Room. Cindy Riddle, District One Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, states, “The placement of the Milliken Art Gallery is strategic as an indication of the importance of the Arts in District One and the artistic expression that is encouraged in our student-centered district.”

 

In addition, Milliken & Company curates an “Innovation Gallery” in its Customer Service Center at its company headquarters—a creative visual storyboard of the company’s history, values, and legacy. A virtual gallery is available here. In-person tours of the galleries in Spartanburg and Shanghai are often made available to local students.

 

“Innovation, art, and design are the heart of our corporation, and are inherent in our training… Communities with thriving arts programs are proven to exude stronger and more vibrant cultures—and dare to ‘do good’ for the world,” said Joe Salley, president and CEO of Milliken & Company. “The arts open our minds to the seemingly impossible and help us think with fresh perspectives, which is what our nearly 7,000 associates worldwide do every day to bring the Milliken spirit of innovation to life.”

 

For more information on 2014 BCA 10 honoree Milliken & Company, visit Milliken.com.

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South Carolina bank completes significant endowment pledge to local art museum

Posted by Nicole Glotzer
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South Carolina bank completes significant endowment pledge to local art museum

The Palmetto Bank of South Carolina has completed a $250,000 endowment pledge, initially made in 2008, to the Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM) in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The funds will support the museum’s permanent art collection, which contains close to 800 works.

 

The Bank's pledge was made to honor prominent South Carolina arts patrons Les and Betty McMillan. Les, a retired architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith, served on the Board of Trustees for the Spartanburg Arts Council for many years, as well as the SAM Board of Trustees. He also served on the local Palmetto Bank Advisory Board. It was through McMillan’s service that the endowment was secured.

Les McMillan is a respected and honored patron of arts in Spartanburg, having served on the Board of Trustees for Spartanburg Art’s Council for many years and the Spartanburg Art Museum Board of Trustees. Also, he was on the local Palmetto Bank Advisory Board for many years. He is a retired architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith. It was through McMillan’s service that the endowment was secured. - See more at: http://www.chapmanculturalcenter.org/news-press-releases.php?news_id=639#sthash.C5fSKbGA.dpuf

 

The Palmetto Bank is a recognized supporter of the arts in the greater Spartanburg community and throughout South Carolina. As Rob Hrubala, Senior Vice President at The Palmetto Bank in Spartanburg, explains, “The Palmetto Bank has a solid history of supporting the arts throughout South Carolina. We believe the arts add value to a community and the return on investment can be measured in both dollars and quality of life. Spartanburg Art Museum’s permanent collection is a fine example of building a worthy and notable program that ensures the visual arts’ importance in the fabric of life for Spartanburg’s citizens.”

 

The collection, now aptly named The Palmetto Bank Endowed Permanent Collection, is a key element of the Museum. SAM also exhibits pieces from the collection at the Chapman Cultural Center, also in Spartanburg, including works by Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell, as well as artists based in South Carolina.

 

In regard to its arts support, The Palmetto Bank has also invested in a corporate collection at its Greenville headquarters, which recognizes many of the state’s most talented artists. Additionally, the Bank supports other arts institutions in South Carolina, including the Greenville Symphony, the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, Greenville County Museum of Art, Anderson County Arts Center, and the Arts Council of Greenwood County-Emerald Triangle Project.

 

For more information on The Palmetto Bank’s continued community investments through the arts, visit PalmettoBank.com.

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