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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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Humana Employees Create Fund for the Arts App

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Louisville-based Fund for the Arts, the oldest United Arts Fund in the country, has launched a new app thanks to employee volunteers at Humana. Employees in the healthcare company's Digital Experience Center (an innovation lab) donated over 75 hours to help create the app, Louisville Arts Link, which launched on February 2, 2016. The app provides detailed listings of the various arts and cultural events in the area and enables users to donate to Fund for the Arts.

 

The Digital Experience Center team is proud to have volunteered to co-create the app with the Fund, its constituents and supporters,” said Antonio Melo, Director of the Humana Digital Experience Center. “It is a meaningful and tangible way for us to give back to the vibrant arts community in Louisville that we consider to be among the city’s great treasures.”

 

For its outstanding partnerships with the arts, Humana received induction into the BCA Hall of Fame in 2006, and Humana Chairman Michael B. McCallister received the 2013 BCA Leadership Award for his commitment to the arts.

 

According to the app also will digitize the Fund's ArtsCARD, which offers discounts for many of the 14 arts organizations that coordinate their fundraising through Fund for the Arts. Deals include special ticket packages, first option to purchase, free performances, and last-minute discount offers.

 

“Our goal for the app is to help promote local arts opportunities while increasing access, event attendance, engagement and awareness,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president and CEO. “The arts are everywhere in Louisville and Louisville Arts Link will make it so easy for our residents and visitors to discover and experience them.”

 

The app follows the release of Fund for the Arts' new branding, which was revealed in January 2016. “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history," the organization said.

In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf
In a video released on Twitter, Fund for the Arts released its new look, stating: “As a steward for the arts in our community, Fund for the Arts wanted to pay tribute to everything the arts have done for our city with a new brand that is energetic, vibrant, and modern yet a nod to six decades of rich cultural history.” - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/fund-for-the-arts-unveils-new-brand#sthash.EsNkkqgf.dpuf

 

Read the full press release here.

 

Does your business encourage skills-based volunteering to help arts organizations in your community? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us a partnership@artsusa.org.

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Americans for the Arts Honors 2015 BCA 10 Honoree AutoZone in Memphis

Posted by Jordan Shue
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Americans for the Arts Honors 2015 BCA 10 Honoree AutoZone in Memphis

Last week, Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives, Emily Peck, visited Memphis for an annual retreat with leaders of United Arts Funds around the country. Earlier this year, ArtsMemphis, the United Arts Fund hosting the retreat, nominated Memphis-based auto parts company AutoZone for the BCA 10 awards for its exceptional support of the arts. AutoZone was selected to receive the award and was recognized by Americans for the Arts at the BCA 10 gala in New York City on October 6.

 

On Thursday, November 12, the President & CEO of ArtsMemphis, Elizabeth Rouse, took the opportunity to honor AutoZone’s Jenny Turner Koltnow with the award locally. The presentation took place during a reception at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, and was attended by United Arts Fund leaders from around the country, AutoZone representatives, Americans for the Arts representatives, and members of the local Memphis arts community.

 

Before introducing Koltnow to the stage to accept the award on AutoZone’s behalf, Emily Peck said: “We’re always looking for companies that are partnering with the arts beyond sponsorships, that are really integrating them into everything that their business does…our BCA 10 judges were really taken by the great work of AutoZone…particularly their partnership with Opera Memphis to create the AutoZone Opera for their national sales meeting. Those are the sorts of stories that really resonate, and show how an auto parts company can really understand the arts and make them a part of its DNA.”

 

While accepting the award, Jenny Koltnow, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for AutoZone, said: “On AutoZone’s behalf, thank you. Having been the product of a great arts program in a small town in Wisconsin, I know how important the arts are, and how hard arts groups in Memphis work in order to bring that value to everyone each and every day…this is a huge honor.”

 

To learn more about AutoZone’s work in the arts, visit the 2015 BCA 10 program book on our website. If you know of a company in your community that supports the arts, please consider nominating it for a 2016 BCA 10 award. You can find information about nominating a company here.

 

Photo: AutoZone's Jenny Turner Koltnow (left) with ArtsMemphis' Elizabeth Rouse.

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ArtsWestchester Celebrates 50 Businesses that Support the Arts

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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ArtsWestchester Celebrates 50 Businesses that Support the Arts

Americans for the Arts Chief Operating Officer, Mara Walker, was one of many arts and business leaders in attendance at a recent breakfast hosted by ArtsWestchester, celebrating champions in business arts support. In honor of its 50th anniversary, ArtsWestchester has developed an initiative to create 50 new arts and business partnerships throughout Westchester county. Those in attendance at the breakfast spoke of why they support the arts, and how the arts are giving their businesses a competitive edge. Read the full article from Westchester Magazine at the link below.

 

Westchester County Business Buzz

 

Photo: from left: Mark Alexander, principal, Alexander Development Group; Mara Walker, COO, Americans for the Arts; Janet T. Langsam, CEO, ArtsWestchester; Jean Marie Connolly, senior director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Potoula Gjidija, manager Community Relations, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Joseph Oates, senior vice president, Business Services, Con Edison, at ArtsWestchester’s recent partnership breakfast. Photo courtesy of Westchester Magazine.

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WEBINAR: Sports and the Arts – pARTnerships Where You Don’t Expect It

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (ET)

The arts have always had the power to excite people, but how can we tap into the arena of avid sports spectators to increase that energy even more? Partnerships can happen in places where we least expect it, and collaborations with the sports world are ones that might not come to mind right away, but they can also produce excellent rewards. Join us on July 23 at 3:00 p.m. (ET) to learn from two examples of how the arts world has merged with sports. Margy Waller of Art on the Streets will join artist Pam Kravetz in a discussion of how they incorporated art into Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon, and ArtsWave's Rebecca Bromels and Lisa Wolter will walk us through how they formed a great working relationship with a nationally franchised sports team–the Cincinnati Reds. For more information and to register, visit Americans for the Arts Webinars. (No cost to Americans for the Arts members—join now and save!)
 

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Ameren Employees Raise Over $109,000 for the Arts in St. Louis

Posted by Samantha Sharon
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Employees of Ameren Corporation – a holding company for several power and energy companies in the St. Louis region – have raised an impressive sum of $109,000 for the Arts and Education (A&E) Council of St. Louis this year. Since 1986, Ameren has led an A&E Workplace Giving Campaign to support its region’s only United Arts Fund, whose mission is to build appreciation, participation and support for arts and arts education throughout the St. Louis community. With the success of this year’s campaign, Ameren’s total contributions to the A&E Council now total $2.7 million dollars, an amount that has allowed the council to bring priceless arts opportunities to St. Louis over the years. 

 

Since 1986, Ameren executives have striven to emphasize to their employees the benefits of living in a community with a thriving arts scene. As President and CEO of Ameren Warner L. Baxter told St. Louis Today, “The Arts and Education Council’s contribution to our region cannot be overstated, and that is why thousands of Ameren’s co-workers throughout our company support the A&E annual campaign on behalf of the arts so generously.”

 

Aside from the Workplace Giving Campaign, Ameren acts as a corporate partner to A&E, supporting and funding its various efforts throughout the year, including its signature annual event, the St. Louis Arts Awards.

 

Through its generous support of the A&E Council, Ameren has not only made an investment in the cultural sector of St. Louis, but has also made a significant impact on the city’s economy by helping to make it a more desirable and vibrant place to live, work and raise families. With this year’s outstanding donation of $109,000 to the A&E Council, Ameren hopes to inspire other companies to follow its lead and to realize how business and arts partnerships can foster the economic development, cultural growth and community engagement of any region.

 

For more information on Ameren's approach to sustainability, visit Ameren.com.

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Cincinnati's ArtsWave Raises Over $12 Million in Support of the Arts

Posted by Jordan Shue
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ArtsWave, one of the nation’s oldest united arts funds based in Cincinnati, announced that their recently completed 2014 campaign has been the most successful to date. The campaign saw community contributions of more than $12 million, surpassing the organization’s goal for the year. This campaign marks the final year with CEO Mary McCullough-Hudson at the helm, as she plans to retire in August. During her twenty years of leadership, McCullough-Hudson doubled the campaign from $6 million to $12 million.

 

This year, ArtsWave added 8,208 new donors to the campaign, which received over 50% of its contributions from workplace giving campaigns at banks, insurance companies, restaurants, and other businesses in the region.

 

“We want to thank all of our donors and volunteers who took action for ArtsWave and our community,” said McCullough-Hudson. “The millions of dollars that this campaign invests every year in our local arts organizations create benefits for our entire region.”

 

In addition to traditional workplace giving campaigns and individual leadership support, ArtsWave expanded on the CincySings program to tie it to the overall campaign. In previous years, CincySings brought P&G and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center employees together to participate in “sing-off” events timed with their workplace giving campaigns. This year, ArtsWave expanded CincySings to include ten regional companies, which each sent a choir to participate in an evening performance that raised over $20,000. (Photo credit: The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati took the stage at CincySings, photo courtesy of J. Sheldon.)

 

Congratulations to ArtsWave and Mary McCullough-Hudson for a fantastic 2014 campaign. Click here for more information about ArtsWave.

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Louisville's Fund for the Arts Announces New President & CEO

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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The Fund for the Arts, Louisville’s united arts fund, has announced that Christen Boone will replace Barbara Sexton Smith as President & CEO upon her August 31 retirement date.

 

Under Barbara Sexton Smith’s leadership, the Fund for the Arts has been repeatedly honored on a local, regional and national scale. Sexton Smith was nationally recognized with Americans for the Arts’ prestigious Michael Newton Award for Arts Leadership in 2013, bestowed for her excellence in fundraising. In addition, the Fund for the Arts partners Yum! Brands, Inc. and Humana Inc. were both honored with the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America Award on Sexton Smith’s nomination—a reflection of the strong partnerships she has built between the business and arts communities in Louisville.

 

Boone currently serves as Director of the Greater Louisville Project, which acts as a catalyst for action in the community by providing and analyzing research data centered on education, jobs and quality of life. Throughout her career, Boone has been no stranger to fundraising, driving the $120 million campaign to complete the 21st Century Parks development of the Parklands of Floyds Fork. As the Director of Development at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Boone generated $13.5 million for the organization’s capital/endowment campaign.

 

“[Christen] understands the relationships required to grow an organization,” said David Jones Sr., Humana co-founder in a press release issued by the Fund for the Arts. The Humana Foundation and Humana Associates are the Fund for the Arts’ largest annual donor, giving more than $1 million in the 2012 campaign and again in 2013.

 

“I began my career with Fund for the Arts and, in those years, I solidified my personal commitment to Louisville,” said Boone. “The work of the Fund aligns with my personal mission to create a stronger, more vibrant Louisville. I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of those who have helped make the arts a cultural anchor of our community.”

 

Hearty congratulations to Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts Designate President & CEO, and many thanks to Barbara Sexton Smith for her years of excellent leadership.

 

For more information on the Fund for the Arts, visit FundForTheArts.com.

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Lincoln Financial Group Leads 2014 United Arts Campaign in Hartford

Posted by Tim Yergeau
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The Greater Hartford Arts Council is proud to announce that Lincoln Financial Group will chair the 2014 United Arts Campaign, reflecting the company’s unwavering dedication to the arts and cultural community in Central Connecticut. Lincoln Financial has been a steadfast supporter of United Arts through generous foundation support, employee engagement and a strong example of local corporate citizenship.

 

Laura Dambier, site leader for Lincoln’s Hartford operations and Senior Vice President of Partner Solutions for Life, Claims & Distribution, will chair a Campaign Cabinet of community and business leaders to ensure the success of the 2014 campaign.

 

"Lincoln has a proud history of giving generously of our time and our resources to the communities in which we live and work,” said Dambier. “The arts enrich our lives in so many different ways, which is why it’s our honor and privilege to chair the 2014 Greater Hartford Arts Council Campaign. We are extremely excited to lead this year’s campaign and partner with other organizations so the arts can continue to thrive locally."

 

Running from February to June, the Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign is a community-wide fundraising effort that joins together corporate contributions, government and foundation funding and individual donations to support more than 150 local arts and heritage organizations across Greater Hartford.

 

United Arts is critical to the health and vitality of the region’s cultural assets. Each year the Arts Council invests more than $1.7 million in operating and project-specific grants, provides a range of programs and critical services to local arts organizations and artists, and promotes the power of art through community outreach, public art, advocacy and arts education.

 

“Lincoln Financial Group is a tremendous supporter of the arts,” said Cathy Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of the Arts Council. “We are extremely grateful for the company’s leadership—and the incredible commitment of Lincoln Financial employees—as we work to uphold a strong, vibrant cultural community today and into the future.

 

The United Arts Campaign Chair acts as an important link between business and the arts, encouraging corporate leaders to invest in the local cultural community. The 2013 United Arts Campaign, chaired by United Technologies, raised $2.6 million.

 

Lincoln Financial Group holds an exemplary record of supporting the arts in Connecticut’s Capital City. Each year, Lincoln’s Hartford office hosts a United Arts workplace giving campaign to encourage employees to share their individual artistic talents and exercise their creativity; last year’s employee effort raised more than $20,000. The Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk—a series of sculptures and installations along the Connecticut River that celebrate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln—was dedicated in 2008 and remains a key component of the city’s public art collection. Lincoln employees also proudly serve on the boards of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Wadsworth Atheneum, TheaterWorks and Riverfront Recapture, in addition to numerous other non-profit boards.

 

Arts and cultural funding is one of the significant priorities of the Lincoln Financial Foundation. As a portion of more than $800,000 in charitable funds awarded locally by Lincoln Financial Foundation in 2013, $182,000 in grants were provided to cultural programs at Artists Collective, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford Stage, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Riverfront Recapture and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Lincoln Financial Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Neighborhood Studios, the Arts Council’s nationally acclaimed summer apprenticeship program, which provides area teens with world-class arts instruction and career skills training suited to today’s workforce.

 

For more information on the United Arts Campaign, visit www.LetsGoArts.org/UnitedArts.

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Edward Jones Donates Over $766K to Support Arts and Arts Education in St. Louis

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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The Arts and Education Council (A&E), the St. Louis region’s United Arts Fund, recently announced that Edward Jones has donated more than $766,700 this year in support of arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state area. The majority of the funds were raised through Workplace Giving Campaigns at Edward Jones’ corporate headquarters and 371 branch locations.

 

“Giving back to the community where we live and work is important to our firm,” said Jim Weddle, Edward Jones managing partner. “Because we believe the arts are essential to the quality of life in our community, we are proud to have supported the Arts and Education Council for 20 years through our Workplace Giving Campaign, helping to ensure that our St. Louis arts organizations stay strong and vibrant.”

 

Edward Jones has consistently conducted A&E’s largest Workplace Giving Campaigns; this year’s effort resulted in a record high associate participation rate of 75 percent.  A long-time supporter of the St. Louis arts community, Edward Jones has donated more than $6 million to the Arts and Education Council since 1978 with nearly $4 million coming from its workplace giving efforts.  With this extraordinary philanthropic history, it’s fitting that Edward Jones partners and associates will be honored as “Corporate Champions of the Arts” at A&E’s 2014 St. Louis Arts Awards, Jan. 20, 2014.

 

“Edward Jones associates and principals recognize that arts and arts education enhance a region’s economic environment and greatly enrich lives,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. “By enthusiastically supporting the Arts and Education Council, our region’s United Arts Fund umbrella organization, Edward Jones helps ensure the area’s legacy of artistic excellence and provides greater opportunities for everyone in our community to experience art and culture.”

 

Since its founding in 1963, the Arts and Education Council  has raised and distributed more than $100 million in private funding to arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state St. Louis region.  A&E grants help provide millions of experiences in music, theater, dance, film, literary arts, visual arts and outreach programs for children and adults living in urban, suburban and rural areas. Many A&E-supported programs operate in underserved communities and serve at-risk youth. 

 

Revenue generated from Workplace Giving Campaigns accounts for one-third of A&E’s budget and annually supports nearly 70 arts organizations of all sizes, disciplines and demographics, including established institutions such as the St. Louis Symphony, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Sheldon Arts Foundation, as well as community-based groups such as Metro Theater Company, African Musical Arts and Springboard. The Arts and Education Council also partners with local corporations in named grant opportunities that provide specific funding.  These partnerships include the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers, the Boeing Arts and Education Collaborative Grant Program, the Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program and the PNC Foundation Project Grant Program.

 

*This article was originally posted at KeepArtHappening.org.

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