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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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360 Degrees of Dance, Design, and Technology

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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360 Degrees of Dance, Design, and Technology

Last week, Barney’s New York, Samsung Electronics America, and Martha Graham Dance Company unveiled the new Window on Madison Ave. Combining fashion, tech, and art, the display offers passersby, shoppers, and art enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company in a piece choreographed by Cynthia Stanley. Stanley’s Husband Theo Stanley of Harbor Picture Company directed “Mantle.”

 

The piece features eight current and former Martha Graham Dancers, wearing exclusive pieces by noted designers Craig Green, Lowe, Prabal Gurung, Rick Owens, and the Row. In addition to showcases the dancers, choreographers, and the fashion, “Mantle” is also providing people the opportunity to experience something through Virtual Reality. Using Oculus VR headsets, audiences can explore the dancers and the designs from a new perspective.

 

Together, these businesses and the arts are proving that the intersection between industries helps reach new customers and admirers.

 

Photo credit: Current and former Martha Graham Dancers in "Mantle," photo by Theo Stanley

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Microsoft in Redmond, Washington

Posted by Mariama Holman
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BCA 10 Spotlight: Microsoft in Redmond, Washington

Microsoft is honored to support arts and culture organizations across the U.S. and around the world, which provide so much richness to all of our communities.

-Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft

 

Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to support arts and culture includes donations totaling $353 million in cash and software to arts organizations since 1995. Through direct grants, in-kind donations, employee giving, matching programs, and volunteerism, Microsoft contributed $44 million to the arts in 2012 alone. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 award, nominated by ArtsFund.

 

In Washington State, Microsoft works to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for current and future citizens—including its 40,000 employees there—by making the arts one of the company’s top four priority areas of investment. The company believes that excellent, diverse, and accessible programming in the visual and performing arts, and high-quality public television and radio programming are essential for vibrant communities.

 

Giving and volunteerism is an integral part of Microsoft’s culture, thanks in part to an employee giving program that provides a dollar for dollar company match for contributions and a $17 per hour match for volunteer work to eligible organizations. Through this program, U.S. Microsoft employees gave more than $105 million and volunteered more than 480,000 hours in 2012, $7.5 million of which were in volunteer matching funds distributed to U.S. nonprofits.

 

In 1987, Microsoft began a workplace art collection whose mission was to create an inspiring work environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Today, this collection supports the mission through employee programming and collection stewardship practices designed to reflect and advance Microsoft’s culture, values, and corporate citizenship. Housed in 180 buildings around the world, the collection has expanded to include almost 5,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, studio glass, and multimedia works.   

 

Microsoft is helping to increase access to arts education around the world through the company-wide initiative Microsoft YouthSpark, which creates opportunities for hundreds of millions of young people around the world to further their education, including arts education, gain employment, or start a business. In addition, arts and culture is one of the key project themes supported and promoted on Microsoft’s micro-giving portal, Give for Youth, focused solely on supporting youth globally via giving for youth causes. 

 

Photo: Spock, Kirk, and McCoy Beaming-In (In-Between), 2007-2008, by artist Devorah Sperber, acquired by Microsoft in 2009.

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2011 BCA 10 winner, 3M, Honors Artistry and Innovation with 3M Art and Technology Award

Posted by Mariama Holman
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2011 BCA 10 winner, 3M, Honors Artistry and Innovation with 3M Art and Technology Award

In 2015 3M partnered with the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) to recognize creative thinking, imagination and innovation in the field of technology with the 3M Art and Technology Award, which offers winners a $25,000 prize and additional $25,000 in development support, connections to industry expertise and resources. Winners have the opportunity to work with MIA staff and companies involved in the judging to implement their ideas and engage museum audiences with concepts that improve their arts experience.

 

Entrees are judged based on their level of engagement with the user experience, meaningful connection to the community, accessibility for many audiences (especially the historically under-served), opportunities to expand beyond museum walls and feasibility.

 

89 contestants entered the 2016 competition from all across the United States. The winners, Molly Reichert and Ben Arcand from the Twin Cities, won the competition with an invention under the title of “Divining Rods” – a technology-based reimagining of the ancient tools used to find tangible resources of historical value, such as precious gems and fresh water.

 

Divining Rods is geared towards guiding visitors to discovering new artworks in the Minneapolis Institute of Art based on their responses to other artworks, functioning almost like a miniature curator.

 

The runner up, Katherine Stalker, created the Art Conversation Starters app, which connects museum visitors with art work while they get to know one another.

 

3M strives to promote creative expression and artistic cultural diversity by supporting arts organizations that enrich society through educational and community outreach.

 

With 3M’s support, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts presented an unprecedented exhibit that displayed 60 exceptional pieces from the Louvre’s collection in Paris, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Vermeer. The MIA’s educational outreach provided teacher workshops, online resources, free guided tours for 7,000 K–12 students, and Parent Ambassador Training Program, reaching 6,300 additional students.

 

3M has been a strong supporter of other museums as well, in 2010 donating $1.1 million in cash, products, and grants to institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, SC, and the Museum of African Art.


Outside of the museum sector, a 3M Foundation capital grant helped create the City of Columbia's Center for the Arts in Missouri, an artistic hub of local and national performing arts groups, visual artists, and a new generation of audiences. The primary home of the Missouri Symphony, the new center includes the Youth Orchestra, Children's Choir, and the Columbia Art League, offering group classes in all aspects of visual arts for young and old alike.


3M also supported History Theatre in St. Paul, MN, one of the few organizations in the country that develops and produces original plays on its main stage. The education program helps students connect the history they learn about in the classroom to the plays they see at History Theatre that bring history to life. The theater provides study guides, lesson plans, and group activities for students, encouraging them to explore and understand history.

 

Photo: Prototypes of Molly Reichert and Ben Arcand’s award winning concept, “Divining Rods” for the 2016 3M Art and Technology Award.

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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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#ArtsandBiz Practitioners Speak!

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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With voices representing many industries, these three business sector leaders echo the key messages in the pARTnership Movement’s 8 Reasons to Partner with the Arts.

 

1. Google

“Art for art’s sake and art for technology’s sake. We want to empower STEM and art work with students.”

 

Eric Schmidt

Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet

and former CEO of Google

 

 

At the unveiling of a new Google Data Center mural in Council Bluffs, IA, Google announced a partnership between Google and the Council Bluffs Community School District on a virtual technology art program.

 

With these data center murals and pARTnerships, Google is showing they care about the company’s impact in the community, beyond the business technology, but also in a way that boosts the community’s quality of life.

 

 

2. Viacom

Does Art at Viacom affect the creative productivity of staffers?


“It’s inspirational. Art inspires from the 

outside in. We want to keep the installations alive even after they’ve come down, so we’ve created a poster and postcard series for people to put their favorites on display in their workspace.”

 

Art at Viacom Project leaders Susan Claxton and Cheryl Family

 

 

 

 

 

Viacom, already known for multifaceted creativity, has their Viacom Lab, a state-of-the art endeavor that utilizes virtual reality, GIFs, live streaming and immersive experiences to up engagement and the fan experience. Their Art at Viacom project has made a name for itself by redefining the aesthetics of the workplace.

 

Viacom is doing something that is always proof-positive: emphasizing creative activities and including them back into the actual work culture.

 

 

3. Accenture Strategy

 

“We were turning words into notes and notes into the symphony. [We wanted to] evoke the emotion that a lot of the work we do with clients [brings] an emotional connection.”

 

Mark Knickrehm

Group Chief Executive at Accenture Strategy

 

 

Accenture Strategy created "Symphonologie: the Music of Business", a symphonic experience, to combine human insight and artificial intelligence. The work debuted inside the Louvre Pyramid where it was performed by a 50-piece orchestra and relays a musical message about technology and business. This isn’t a surprise as Accenture Strategy is known for combining deep business insight with the understanding of how technology will impact industry and business models.

 

By using the arts to translate their business message Accenture Strategy is showing how arts, technology, and strategy can unlock a new point of view.

 

 

Photos: Google Data Center Mural in Council Bluffs, Art at Viacom Tumblr, Accenture Strategy

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Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

2017 Philly Tech Week (PTW), a week-long celebration of technology and innovation happening throughout the Philadelphia Region, presented by Comcast and organized by Technical.ly, kicks off on April 28. Organized into seven tracks (Creative, Access, Dev, Civic, Business, Media and Sciences), some tracks have conference sessions to delve deeper into the content areas. The Creative Track “where art and technology collide,” encompasses projects ranging from video games, digital art, community initiatives, and more.

 

In an effort to involve more artists and creatives in the Creative Track and the overall event, PTW has launched a microgrant competition for artists to apply for funds to develop a creative display to showcase at the PTW Signature Closing Event. A few immersive, interactive or innovative creations will be selected and more information about the microgrant opportunity can be found here.

 

2016 PTW grants went to mission-minded community groups.

 

Photo: Aidan Un

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Panasonic’s Exciting New Museum Technology

Posted by Melyssa Muro
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The average museum-goer likely doesn’t spend much time wondering about the production of each exhibit or, by extension, the meticulous work of the curating team to create the experience. Yet, the staging of an exhibition—specifically the technologies utilized for each display—remains at the forefront of Panasonic, worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies. To showcase their cutting edge visual systems, Panasonic curated a virtual museum consisting of four “rooms,” each with brief video overviews, and interactive links to more information on each product creating the display, including case studies of past successes.

 

‘Experiential projection’ showcases large scale, high brightness, high resolution panorama projections using edge blending, laser projection, and ultra-short throw lenses. ‘Informative displays’ aims at optimizing the visitor experience through digital signage, light ID transmission, large scale screens for a video wall, and interactive maps and displays. Through the ‘4k experience,’ 4k broadcast, display, and projectors are used to zoom in and/or provide a rotated view of any given exhibit or piece to recreate the details with incredibly high resolution. Lastly, the ‘control room’ provides a glimpse of how security cameras can both protect and help in summarizing audience demographics.

             

Through these advanced visual systems, Panasonic hopes to alleviate the increasing financial pressures on the museum and heritage sector to bring culture to life. “Technology can assist… to create immersive and engaging environments to widen access to collections that had previously been never been seen or to provide new commercial opportunities for additional revenue streams,” states European Marketing Director Stephen Yeoin the virtual museum’s introductory segment. With the desires of the visitors, curators,  and funders in mind, Panasonic’s forward-thinking has led to the fruition of engaging, immersive, and cost-effective exhibitions—allowing heritage sites increased opportunity as well as expanding their own market and putting their own name in the spotlight.

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Times New Roman, Adapted from Olden Times

Posted by Kate Reese
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Times New Roman, Adapted from Olden Times

CEOs often credit artistic experiences in youth with inspiration for innovative ideas that later launch their career; Apple founder, Steve Jobs is no exception. After dropping out of school, Jobs got by living on couches, collecting cents for recycled plastic, and oddly enough, practicing his calligraphy. This ancient art form, which he “stumbled upon by following [his] curiosity and ambition," sparked a desire to learn more about typography and different alphabets.

 

At Reed College, while taking classes from priest Father Robert Palladino, Jobs began to investigate the historical beauty of this art form and the ways that calligraphic writing had been a part of technological innovations in the past (Johannes Gutenberg based the Gothic lettering for his printing press on the calligraphy of the Trappist monks). Palladino’s first-hand exposure to this tradition helped to shape Job’s experience with typeface, setting the stage for what would later become Apple’s distinctively appealing user interface.

 

While the connection between the calligraphy of Trappist monks and the iPhone may seem tenuous, Jobs said that if it weren’t for dropping in on these classes, the Mac, and potentially personal computers to follow, would never have featured the decorative embellishments and proportionally spaced fonts that make these devices so appealing to consumers. Steve Jobs' reputation as an innovator is underscored by the thematic connections he was able to draw between his bohemian days as a college drop-out and his tenure as CEO at Apple. While Apple’s many products have certainly increased consumer usage of digital typefaces on screens, it is worth remembering that the creative impetus for such technologies lies in a centuries-old art form, written on scrolls of paper. Read the full story.

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Humana's App-etite for the Arts

Posted by Kate Reese
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Humana's App-etite for the Arts

Louisville-based Fund for the Arts is one of the nation’s largest United Arts Funds (UAFs), and thanks to Humana’s Digital Experience Lab (DEC) now has its very own mobile platform. Currently, more than 200 local businesses participate in workplace giving campaigns, generating nearly 45% for the united arts fund's campaign each year. Recently, however, Fund for the Arts began looking to reach potential supporters in new ways.

 

Humana is committed to giving every employee eight hours of paid “volunteer time," during which they can give back to their community in a variety of ways. A team at DEC decided their volunteer time would be spent developing a mobile app for Fund for the Arts.

The organization had a very clear idea of what added value the app could provide – “awareness of and attendance at arts events in the city.” Additionally, Fund for the Arts hoped that an app could increase donations, so the team at DEC analyzed what makes people donate by surveying current donors. 

 

The final product involves an easy-to-use arts calendar, communicates the benefits of becoming a donor, and even includes donor benefit cards (discount on local arts events and performances), so that donors can use their mobile device to get savings at the box office. When asked about the choice to develop this app, members of the DEC team said “Though none of us are professional artists, we all believe in the importance of the arts and wanted to do something to help further that cause in our community.”

 

Read the full case study at Humana's Digital Experience Center.

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