When Merrill Shugoll was selling candy at the Kennedy Center in her youth, would she have thought that she would become a research leader for arts organizations? As President of Shugoll Research in Bethesda, MD, Merrill and her team provide market research services to corporate and nonprofit clients including theatre companies, all over the country. In this interview from Broadwayworld.com, hear from the company’s CEO Mark Shugoll and President Merrill Shugoll – a husband and wife duo with a mutual love for research, theatre, and arts.
In the interview, Mark and Merrill talk about the importance of business and community leaders joining Boards of arts and theatre organizations. They also share how their business came to adopt the arts as its corporate and philanthropic cause, and came to identify the arts sector as having the same [research] needs as the private sector.
Merrill also shares how theatre can open up one’s mind to other groups of people and that just one show, South Pacific, helped expose her to prejudice.
In January 2017, Shugoll Research was named by Chief Executive magazine a winner of its First Annual (2017) Corporate Citizenship Award for Culture and Arts. Shugoll Research was honored for its commitment to supporting arts organizations and helping to build future audiences for the arts among young people with its 20-year old initiative ArtSpeak!, which brings theater artists into public schools. These artists excite and educate young people about the arts by performing, participating in talk-backs, and talking about their careers. Coverage of the awards will appear in the March/April issue of Chief Executive magazine.
During his speech, he recognized the arts for injecting courage, confidence, and creativity into leaders. He also acknowledged that leading an art supply company, he understands how imperative it is for the arts to survive and flourish, especially for youth.
Watch Robert Buchsbaum’s acceptance speech below, and learn about how you can nominate a business that partners with the arts for the 2017 BCA 10. If you are a business leader or community leader who wants to share or learn more about partnerships that benefit both the business and arts community, please contact us. We want to hear from you.
On October 5, 2016, Aetna Inc., leading health care company, received the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame award. Aetna’s Vice President of Community Relations and Urban Marketing, Floyd Green, accepted the award on the company’s behalf at the BCA 10 gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
Floyd’s dynamic speech (video below) attributed the arts to so many necessaries of how we “live, work, and play”. Touching on areas connected to mindfulness and creativity, Floyd acknowledged the artistic weave that arises in work, development, and production to spark innovation.
As a 2011 BCA 10 honoree, it was very fitting that Floyd welcomed the other honorees in the room to the “family”. Watch Floyd Green’s acceptance speech below, and learn about how you can nominate a business that partners with the arts for the 2017 BCA 10. If you are a business leader or community leader who wants to share or learn more about partnerships that benefit both the business and arts community, please contact us. We want to hear from you.
On October 5, 2016, Badger Meter, manufacturer of flow measurement and control technology products received a BCA 10 award. Badger Meter’s Chairman, President, and CEO, Richard Meeusen, accepted the award on the company’s behalf at the BCA 10 gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
During his exciting speech, he talked about how the arts and creativity have positively affected a majority of his staff, no matter what department they represent. He acknowledged the arts as a large part of the inspiration needed to run businesses successfully and stimulate critical thinking among his staff.
Nominations are now open for the 2017 BCA 10. If you are a business leader or community leader who wants to share or learn more about partnerships that benefit both the business and arts community, please contact us. We want to hear from you.
“We wanted to celebrate not only the generosity of businesses who support the arts but also the vital role arts and artists play in making Portland a wonderful place to do business, visit, give voice to our diversity, educate our young people and live in a thriving creative environment,” said Eloise Damrosch, RACC’s Executive Director, about the event.
“Support for the arts has many benefits for artists and audiences, such as providing exposure to cultural diversity, promoting self-expression, initiating creative problem solving, building economic prosperity, and enhancing quality of life,” U.S. Bank’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis said upon being named a BCA 10 recipient in 2015. “The numerous partnerships between businesses and arts organizations serve to foster civic pride and create sustainable cultural institutions, making our communities better places for everyone to live, work, and play.” Watch a video of Richard Davis’s acceptance speech at the BCA 10 here.
The Arts Breakfast of Champions also saluted US Representative from Oregon Suzanne Bonamici, who helped to start the Congressional STEAM Caucus and most recently was able to amend the new Every Student Succeeds Act (replacing No Child Left Behind) to add the arts as a part of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
The Arts Breakfast of Champions was established in 1995 by Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts (NWBCA) as an annual celebration of corporate philanthropy. RACC has established a new Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) that is continuing the breakfast event to recognize top corporate donors to the arts, and to provide motivating examples of how businesses are using the arts to inspire employees, stimulate innovation and foster creative collaboration.
The ceremony celebrated the success of We Connect the Dots, its partnership with Microsoft, and their collective work to close the opportunity divide in technology, education and STEAM education. We Connect the Dots was founded by former Microsoft employee Laurie Carey.
The event signaled to business leaders worldwide the value of arts education in creating tomorrow's leaders in the business world and beyond.
"In addition to being one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, Microsoft is dedicated to addressing the opportunity divide that too many young people face. Working with nonprofits like We Connect the Dots, Microsoft is working to close the gap between those that have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not." --Michael Sokoll, CFA, Senior Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk
o ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City. - See more at: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/art-in-the-news/steam-program-rings-nasdaq-opening-bell?utm_source=MagnetMailfirstname.lastname@example.org&utm_content=creativity%5Fconnection%5F2%5F4%5F16&utm_campaign=Creativity%20Connection%3A%20February%202016#sthash.HQJtWDz5.dpuf
Where do you find inspiration? In December, AARP posted a video interview with shoe designer Chris Donovan. After working as a telephone repairman for 25 years, Donovan quit his job to follow his dream: designing women’s shoes.
Donovan "derives his inspiration from Theology, current events and his life experiences as a technician also living and working in a fishing port," his website claims. He has even created shoes featuring sutures for seams and hip replacements for heels.
After retiring from the telephone business, Donovan spent two years in Italy at Polimoda Fashion Institute. "The teacher comes over and she's like 'that's awful. What are you doing?' She goes 'What were you?' and I go 'I was a technician, I was like a phone repair guy kind of guy.' And she goes, 'So you're crude. Do crude.' And it started clicking. All of a sudden my designs started changing, my ideas started changing, and all of a sudden they fell in love with my stuff," he explains.
Regardless of the industry, employers can encourage innovation in employees by challenging them to draw inspiration from the world around them and engage in activities that foster creativity. Many businesses, like 2015 BCA 10 honorees Corning Incorporated and GE's FirstBuild, are now implementing artists-in-residence programs to help employees think differently about their day to day work. Other businesses offer wall space for employees to doodle ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Some, like Griffin Technology, feature their own employee art gallery. Hallmark features Hallmarket, a showcase of over 100 employees’ personal artwork such as sculptures, jewelry, paintings, and textiles, all of which are created outside of the employees’ work at Hallmark.
"From now on... if we haven't got exactly what the customer wants, we'll send him where he can get it. No high pressuring and forcing a customer to take something he doesn't really want. We'll be known as the helpful store..the friendly store...the store with a heart...the store that places public service ahead of profits. And, consequently, we'll make more profits than ever before." --Mr. Macy, Miracle on 34th Street.
Throughout 2015, we featured the results of many research studies and case studies in our newsletter and on this site that show the increasingly powerful impact of the arts on a business's bottom line and recruitment efforts. Now, as the year comes to a close, we bring you a great example of how Microsoft, a 2013 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America recipient, broke through the cluttered holiday marketing-sphere through song this year to send a message to customers and employees that the holiday season means more than just sales.
According to the company's YouTube page, "to celebrate the holidays, Microsoft employees, who were selected from across the country, gathered together, meeting each other for the first time, at the new Microsoft 5th Ave Store to spread some holiday wishes. Joined by a local NYC children's youth choir, they share a message of peace and harmony with their neighbor down the street." Microsoft's caroling session took place in front of Apple's iconic flagship store.
Microsoft videotaped its employees, and posted the video on YouTube, where it received over 207,900 views and media coverage, including an article which stated, "Yes, Apple and Microsoft are rivals, but at the end of the day, it's the people that matter. It's a message that gets lost this time of year during the holiday sales...Whatever the true intent, whether it's the kindest form of trolling imaginable or truly a message of cheer for a respected rival, you have to tip your hat to Microsoft on this one."
Apple, in turn, has been running a television commercial featuring Stevie Wonder using Apple products to record a Christmas song with R&B singer Andra Day and his children. The YouTube video featuring the commercial has received over 3,203,767 views.
On October 6, 2015, Jorge Pérez, founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Related Group, a leading development company in South Florida, accepted Americans for the Arts' 2015 BCA Leadership Award at the BCA 10 gala at the Central Park Boathouse in NYC.
During his inspring speech, he claimed that the arts can change kids’ lives, revitalize neighborhoods, and provide every one of us with deeper ways to experience the world.
Are you a business leader engaging with the arts or interested in learning more about how the arts can help your business? We want to hear from you!
Transcript: Thank you very much for those generous words. First I want to congratulate all of the extraordinary businesses being recognized tonight. It is truly an honor to be here among the best companies in America for support of the arts. I believe that the arts change lives. I am certain of this because of my own life. Each day is more wondrous and rewarding because I experience it through the arts. I am able to experience the world through the eyes of a sculptor, the images of a painter, the words of a playwright and the rhythm of musicians. This is why I support the arts. So that generations of Americans can have these same advantages. If you’re lucky, you can leave some kind of legacy during your time on this planet. I am very proud of the buildings my company has built and the museum that bears my name, but I say with all humility that I hope that my legacy is more than this. My aspiration is to create traditions that introduce people to living with the arts and that open new ways for children and adults to achieve… to dream about their destiny. At the risk of sounding mystical, there’s an energy within each one of us that if found and cultivated, helps us to achieve great things. Some people understand this through spirituality, and others by discovering the power of love and relationships with their family and friends. Artists tap into the power of creativity, and if we are open to it, this force of the imagination can be contagious. It can change kids’ lives. It can revitalize neighborhoods, it can provide every one of us with deeper ways to experience the world. That is why I support the arts and why we as business leaders, parents, and citizens must continue to advocate for the arts. For better lives, for more vibrant communities, for a stronger nation, and for a more compassionate world. And that is why I am so proud to be here with all of you, and especially with my family and friends, to be recognized for doing something that is undeniably the right thing to do. Americans for the Arts and the Business Committee for the Arts, I thank you so much for this wonderful honor.
Are you a business leader engaging with the arts or interested in learning more about how the arts can help your business? We want to hear from you!
Watch Richard Davis's acceptance speech:
Transcript: Thank you Julie and congratulations to everyone here tonight. So here’s the deal, we are very stoked to have this award because it’s a very special recognition of something we don’t talk enough about in America, which is the fine arts.
So tonight we’re really celebrating goosebumps. Right? Goosebumps. Think about it. The downbeat of the conductor’s baton and the beginning of the timpani roll at the orchestra. That perfect pirouette at the ballet, where you can’t believe that he or she could do it so perfectly. That amazing moment when in the confines of a beautiful building some reveals a piece of art… that breathtaking moment. And think about all these wonderful points in time that are brought to us by the fine arts. You know we celebrate the musicians, the theaters, the thespians, the performers, but they need support. So tonight we’re celebrating the goosebumps they bring to us, and business intersecting with the arts.
Now, there’s wonderful good news for you. I’m part of the Business Council of America, which is the top 150 companies in the country, and we gather three times a year, the CEOs, to talk about relevant events. Somehow I got stuck with the job of doing the survey. That’s my job, I’m survey guy. And in doing this last survey we asked the 150 CEOs of the largest institutions, “what is the most important attribute of a future C-Suite senior leader in your company?” and for the first time in history, by far, creativity came to the top of the list. [Applause.] So think of this, finally the right brain takes over! All of us are left brainers, at least at the bank we are, and this right brain, this creativity, this innovation, this thought provoking way of changing lives is what’s now in the offing. And so the greatest news of all is now is the time to get involved and be excited about what we can do intersecting business and the fine arts.
I’ll close with this very last thought. You see what we have here is storytelling. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the ballet or at the opera, if you’re listening to music or if you’re pondering a piece of art. It’s to your soul, not to your mind. And what we need to do today is celebrate the idea that business has found its moment in storytelling. So all of you here tonight, all nine of the great companies receiving this wonderful award, and those that fall before us from 2005 to today, we need to create this core of advocates, vocal, visceral advocates, to express that now business is reliant on the arts. Because the arts wouldn’t make it as far as they do without business, but the world wouldn’t make it at all without the arts. [Applause.] And so let the story be told that tonight we’ve got something to celebrate! And so here’s to more goosebumps, and Deborah Jordy, thank you for the nomination. We’re indeed honored to receive it on your behalf. Thanks everybody. Congratulations.
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