News

Arts and business news from around the country.

RSS

BCA 10 Spotlight: Microsoft in Redmond, Washington

Posted by Mariama Holman
0 Comments
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.

Related

2011 BCA 10 Winner, Booz Allen, Supports the Arts in Education with Norman Rockwell Exhibit

Posted by Mariama Holman
0 Comments
2011 BCA 10 Winner, Booz Allen, Supports the Arts in Education with Norman Rockwell Exhibit

For the past 90 years, Booz Allen Hamilton  has donated millions of dollars to and volunteered thousands of hours for arts nonprofits and programs.

 

Committed to the promotion of a quality education, many of Booz Allen Hamilton’s arts-related sponsorships contain a component for students.

 

Major funding examples include the Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2010, the Edward Hopper exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in 2007, Imagination Stage, National Ballet, Inc., National Museum of Natural History, Evidence Dance Company, and the Studio Museum located in Harlem—just to name a few. In addition, the firm has provided thousands of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America special opportunities to visit museums in order to instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts in America’s youth.

 

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Norman Rockwell exhibition, “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg,” was the first to ever explore the connection between the iconic artist and film. For the Rockwell exhibition, the firm’s funding allowed the museum to implement a new format for their teachers’ kits in order to reach more schools.

 

In fact, 4,500 teachers accessed the Rockwell materials and more than 6,000 students toured the exhibition.

 

“In Norman Rockwell’s art, we see ourselves, our families and our neighbors—the heart and spirit of America,” said Ralph W. Shrader, former CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton. “We are delighted to support the Smithsonian American Art Museum on this major project, including an exciting series of public programs.”

 

The company is actively involved in the goals of arts nonprofits by providing financial contributions as well as pro bono consulting and ad and marketing support. For the Rockwell exhibit, members of the firm’s communications team worked tirelessly with the museum staff to develop a full-scale, Booz Allen Hamilton funded advertising campaign.

 

Booz Allen Hamilton employees shared their intellectual resources to enhance the museum’s advertising reach and media placement. The Smithsonian American Art Museum reported that, thanks to Booz Allen Hamilton’s support, 706,000 people visited the museum during the exhibition period, a 52 percent increase in attendance during the same period from the previous year.

 

 

The firm develops an audience within Booz Allen Hamilton, fostering an appreciation for the arts and supporting employees who volunteer their personal time to arts nonprofits. The firmholds Friends & Family Day at the museums they partner with, allowing employees to visit the exhibitions before the museum opens to the general public. Booz Allen Hamilton also purchases annual seasons of corporate seats at Wolf Trap, Warner Theater, National Theater, Strathmore, and the Kennedy Center and provides free tickets for employees via lottery every month so that, on an ongoing basis, employees enjoy and support the arts. To recognize the volunteer efforts of its employees at arts organizations, the company provides an unlimited number of cash contributions in the form of Volunteer Service Grants.

 

Photo: Norman Rockwell’s “Shadow Artist.” A shadow artist entertains, entrances and inspires young children.  Image sourced from artdaily.com

Related

And the Minority Business Leader Award Goes To…

Posted by Jessica Gaines
0 Comments

Washington Business Journal recently celebrated their 10th Annual Minority Business Leader Awards. The awards celebrate the region's top minority business owners and executives, and honors the entrepreneurial drive, creativity and success of the honorees.

 

What may stand out is that of the 25 business leaders receiving the honor, one award went to the president of a dance, step, and performance company. C. Brian Williams, Founder and President of Step Afrika, a performance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping by blending percussive dance styles from African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance, and influences from other forms, joined the list of this year’s honorees.

 

With Williams’ company spanning over two decades, his advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on building out the concept before venturing into branding and marketing.

 

In the video, hear from Williams, sharing how he used his leadership and love of the arts to not only bring cultures together but also place culture in the foreground (much like this pARTnership essay).

 

You can read his full winner profile here.

 

Photo: Washington Business Journal

Related

Starbucks' Little Big Show Benefits the Arts

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
0 Comments
Starbucks' Little Big Show Benefits the Arts

It’s the little show with a big impact! Starbucks, in tandem with KEXP and the Seattle Theatre Group (STG), presents Little Big Show, a concert series that benefits Seattle-area arts organizations. Little Big Show performances are presented several times throughout the year at Seattle’s historic Neptune Theatre, with 100% of ticket proceeds donated to local arts nonprofits. To date, Little Big Show has raised over $100,000.

 

Little Big Show #10 will be presented on November 15, with Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard as the headliner. 100% of each ticket purchased for Little Big Show will go directly to ArtsFund, a member of Americans for the Arts’ private sector network. The proceeds will serve as matching funds for power2give.org/PugetSound, supporting projects benefiting local youth such as artist classroom visits and residencies, scholarships for professional arts training, or free youth tickets to a variety of local arts events.

 

Rodney Hines, director of Community Investments for Starbucks, says, “We look forward to bringing the community together in support of local arts education programs, while celebrating Seattle's musical heritage. And I cannot think of a better way to commemorate our 10th Little Big Show than with ArtsFund whose work truly is to make arts accessible to all and valued as central and critical the health of our community.”

 

"We are grateful to Starbucks, KEXP and STG for their dedication to arts education and for partnering with us," said Mari Horita, President and CEO, ArtsFund and member of Americans for the Arts’ Private Sector Council. "Each ticket purchased for Little Big Show will go directly toward matching funds for power2give.org/PugetSound projects focused on youth programs such as artist classroom visits and residencies, scholarships for low-income youth to professional arts training, and free tickets to a variety of local music, theater and arts events."

 

Check out footage from previous concerts and learn more about Little Big Show concerts at starbucks.com/seattle.

Related

Inside Microsoft's New Artist-in-Residency Program

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
0 Comments

Microsoft, a 2013 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree, has joined the cadre of businesses that are recognizing the benefits of hosting an artist-in-residency program. Recently, digital protraitist James George was invited to become Microsoft Research’s first ever artist-in-residence.

 

Using little more than a Microsoft Kinect and a stock dSLR camera, George created three pieces: Grip, a two-column video display capturing a pair of people in various 3-D poses, choreographed by Alice Gosti; Wall Queries, which takes the images that Bing search engine produces in response to a query and turns them into a massive, 9’x30’ mural; and and third project, again using images generated in Bing, making a composite of people who’ve had companies like Microsoft, Dell, or Intel tattooed on their body.

 

Microsoft senior research designer Asta Roseway says that she was thrilled with James’s interaction with Charles and the Bing team, according to an interview with Fast Company. "He’s revealed a way for them to look at their work through a new lens. We were using James as our guinea pig because we wanted to understand how someone like him functions in an environment like this. But I think we’re really really open to bringing in different types. We could bring a fashion designer in and look at the question of wearables, or a poet to come in and look at the question of language analysis.”

 

Microsoft says it is now toying with expanding its artist-in-residency program following this successful first run.

 

View the following video, which captures James George's work as Microsoft's first ever artist-in-residence.

 

Microsoft Research Visiting Artist 2013 from James George on Vimeo.

 

 

Related

Pro sports could be your arts organization’s next power play

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
0 Comments

Banks, industrial manufacturers, energy and technology giants—these often become the “usual suspects” when arts organizations seek to build partnerships with businesses. But for some arts organizations, a major opportunity may lie the unlikeliest of industries—professional sports.

 

According to a recent Forbes article, professional sports, as a North American industry, generated a whopping $53.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to rise to $67.7 billion by 2017. This provides terrific potential for arts organizations to look within their own backyards at their local professional sports teams as possible strategic partners. In the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII, let’s examine this idea through the lens of the National Football League (NFL) and rival Super Bowl rival teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, who have each integrated the arts into the investments they are making within their respective communities.

 

The mission of the NFL Foundation is to support the health and safety of today’s youth and improvement of the communities in which its players and fans live. The arts play a key role. The Foundation recently announced a $1 million grant to the New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee’s Snowflake Youth Foundation, which funds charitable projects throughout New York and New Jersey, many of which provide visual art, dance and drama programs for youth. Additionally, for nearly 20 years, the NFL has supported the Youth Education Town (YET) program. Similar to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YET Centers provide after-school activities for school-age children, many of which are heavily arts-focused. YET Centers are launched with a $1 million Super Bowl Legacy Grant from NFL Charities that is matched by the Super Bowl Host community.

 

CenturyLink Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks, began its Stadium Art Project in 1998. 12 artists and projects were selected from hundreds of submissions. The artworks, now on display, have turned the stadium into a veritable gallery space featuring $2 million worth of art. Works include Bob Haozous’ installation on the stadium’s North Tower, assembled from four 24-foot-diameter painted steel discs, intended as a constant reminder of our deep connection to the earth. Additionally, the Seahawks support the Experience Music Project (EMP), a Seattle museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. (Photo courtesy of CenturyLink Field.)

 

Mike Flood, director of community relations for the Seattle Seahawks, describes the team’s partnership with InvestEd, an organization that provides funding to support the efforts of secondary schools throughout Washington state: “We donate auction items to causes supporting the arts. Our primary focus is on the healthy development of youth through athletic and academic programs. 100% of proceeds from Seahawks license plate sales (after state of WA costs) go to InvestED.  They give money to students in 660 schools statewide to pay for extracurricular activities such as art, music and sports.”

The Denver Broncos have invested in the arts by building and supporting organizations and programs that serve the greater Denver community. For example, in 2003, the Broncos opened the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, which, among its many services, provides art programming intended to develop creativity and cultural awareness in young people through knowledge and appreciation of visual arts and crafts, performing arts, and creative writing. The Club has a dedicated cultural arts room, offering classes in music, drama, fine arts, crafts, photography, woodworking and more.

 

According to the 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, 66% percent of companies surveyed admit to never having been asked to support the arts, which means there are still resources yet to be tapped by arts organizations. Look beyond the “usual suspects” and consider a partnership with your local professional sports team. No matter who you are rooting for in Sunday’s game, recognize that the professional sports industry and the support it provides, particularly through partnerships with the arts, can be the best play your team can make to improving the vibrancy and vitality of your community.

Related

Bank of America Conserving our Cultural Treasures

Posted by Emily Peck
0 Comments

BCA 10 winner, Bank of America, is partnering with the Seattle Art Museum to restore Jackson Pollock's 1947 work "Sea Change". Since 2010, twenty-two museums around the world have received funding from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

 

Bank of America believes that a thriving arts and culture sector benefits societies and economies throughout the world. According to CEO Brian T. Moynihan, "The arts help create deeper respect and understanding in the communities we serve. We take pride in our support for institutions and programs that help people around the world experience the arts and global heritage we share."

 

Click here to watch a video of the conservation process of the Seattle Art Museum's painting and read more about the partnership.

Volunteering for the Arts: Good for Business

Posted by Emily Peck
0 Comments
Volunteering for the Arts: Good for Business

AARP guest blogger, Heather Taylor understand the value of volunteering for the arts for herself, her business and the arts organization.  As a Business Volunteer for the Arts (BVA) with the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, Reed sees the benefits as two-fold, “One, it makes me feel good.  It makes me feel good to know that I’m giving back, as a citizen of this community.  But the other thing is [that] this is a very clear business strategy that I have used successfully over the last almost 25 years now.  I feel like you have to get out of your little shell.  I need to get to know people.  I need to know people outside of the world of video and TV.   So it’s a two-prong thing.  But mostly it makes me feel good.”

 

*This is an excerpt from a blog that was originally posted on AARP Blog

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.