Success Stories

Real stories from successful partnerships.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. - Fostering a Creative Corporate Culture
Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Fostering a Creative Corporate Culture

Founded more than a century ago, Hallmark Cards is an iconic brand rooted in making meaningful connections with others in both the big and small moments of life. The $4 billion company remains based in Kansas City, MO., is privately held, and still led by members of the founding family. The culture of Hallmark is grounded in the spirit of creativity and drive for innovation. An active leader in the arts since the late 1930s, Hallmark Cards was honored at the 2014 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America

 

The company looks to the arts as a resource, training mechanism and reward system for its 6,600 employees in the U.S. Hallmark partners with the arts to nurture its creative talent. From corporate contributions and employee volunteerism to employee engagement initiatives and corporate art collections, Hallmark successfully integrates the arts into corporate practices.

 

Hallmark hosts a series of artistic initiatives to further challenge and inspire its employees. These include guest artist lectures and events devoted to cultural trends and creative development. In 2014, Hallmark celebrated its 5th year of “Hallmarket: A Hallmark Art Fair,” 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. The art fair is open and free to the public, with the option to purchase the art on display. In addition, the creative trend studio at Hallmark hosts a blog, “Think. Make. Share.,” to share their creative inspirations, new trends, and DIY tips directly from the Hallmark creative team.

 

The company also offers more intensive artistic studies for its staff. In 1998, a creative sabbatical was established, the Barbara Marshall Award, named in honor of Barbara Hall Marshall, daughter of founder J.C. Hall and member of Hallmark’s creative division. The program awards recipients of Hallmark’s creative staff up to six salaried months of independent artistic exploration for individual renewal. Sergio Moreno, a creative strategist at Hallmark, received the 2014 award and is currently on sabbatical, documenting his time and progress through a blog. Through the arts, Hallmark encourages employees to pursue and share their creative interests, which fosters a creative workforce and cultivates strong relationships with Hallmark’s many communities.

 

Rewarding its employees for their hard work and fueling the local artistic community is a priority of Hallmark. The 50/50 ticket program does both by partnering with local arts organizations to match ticket purchases for Hallmark employees. One ticket is paid for by the employee, the other is from Hallmark. Linda Odell, Corporate Media Relations Manager at Hallmark, describes the program as a win-win: “The arts groups welcome more people in the seats… plus, the Odells get to enjoy many more glorious performances than we otherwise would.”

 

Darren Abbott, Creative Group Vice President comments on the impact the arts have on Hallmark employees, saying, ”At the end of the day, Hallmark creates business value by nurturing our creative staff in ways that allow them to explore their creativity, express themselves individually, and engage in the broader creative community.”

Atlantic Salt - LUMEN-ating the Arts
Atlantic Salt

LUMEN-ating the Arts

Atlantic Salt, Inc. is a small, family-owned and operated marine terminal located in Staten Island, NY that unloads salt from vessels and distributes it for winter-time de-icing. The company has become known not only for providing refuge from the bitter cold New York winters, but as a presenter of arts for the Staten Island community, which led to the company being selected as a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree in 2013.

 

In 2005, Atlantic Salt assisted the Noble Maritime Collection in develop­ing an art exhibition on the salt industry of New York City. Over the course of one year, the company worked with the museum and artists to cultivate the exhi­bition, providing materials, imagery, dock access, interviews, and supported an artist to travel to a salt mine in Northern Ireland. These artworks are now on per­manent display in Atlantic Salt’s offices.

 

Since the exhibition, Atlantic Salt has continued to increase its involve­ment with the arts, organizing and supporting many arts events and instal­lations in Staten Island. The dock has become a frequent arts venue in the summer, hosting festivals and per­formances through partnerships with artists and organizations. The unique features of the venue allow artists to undertake proj­ects that would not be feasible in more conventional arts venues, the results of which challenge, intrigue, and excite guests, artists, and employees.

 

One such festival, the LUMEN Film and Performance Art Festival, began in partnership with Atlantic Salt and Staten Island Arts in 2010. The one-day, 6-hour festival features video and performance art by emerging artists and more established artists at the forefront of their media. LUMEN begins before the sun sets and continues until midnight. Videos, performances, and installations occur simultaneously. There is no “main stage” or center focus, instead visitors are invited to safely and organically discover art scattered throughout the site. Thousands of people gather for the event, which is presented every other year at Atlantic Salt’s waterside dock, and in off-years at other locations throughout Staten Island.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with Staten Island Arts again to help host the 2014 LUMEN film festival,” comments Shelagh Mahoney, President of Atlantic Salt, Inc. “We have been host to this event on our dock twice before, and the event continues to get better and better engaging more artists and transforming our dock in new ways. Every year the artists and curators come up with something unexpected, we are excited to see what they do this year.”

 

Committed to the local residents, Atlantic Salt also organizes a network of businesses that provide in-kind contributions, ensuring that the visiting public, which can range from 50 to 5,000 people, is not charged for any aspect of an event. Atlantic Salt’s artistic endeavors have generated a dialogue that has helped the community to better understand the company’s business, and helped the business understand broader community goals and how it can support them.

 

Atlantic Salt will host this year's LUMEN Festival in partnership with Staten Island Arts on June 28, 2014 from 7:00pm-midnight. Visit StatenIslandArts.org for more information.

Pfister Hotel - Turn Your Stay into a Work of Art
Pfister Hotel

Turn Your Stay into a Work of Art

Known for its extraordinary architecture and elegance, the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is much more than a place to rest your weary head. Since April 2009, the Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program has put the hotel on the map as a hospitality hotspot for those with a palate for the “palette.”

 

The Artist–in-Residence program transforms the hotel lobby and common spaces into a working art studio and gallery, open to hotel guests and visitors. The business center on the ground level has been renovated to accommodate both a workroom for artists as well as a space where art can be displayed. The community is encouraged to visit the hotel to witness the evolution of each piece first hand.

 

The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program is a member of the international Alliance of Artists Communities, an organization with more than 250 members that serves a diverse field of artist communities and residencies, supporting living artists in the creation of new work. Currently, the Pfister hosts artist Stephanie Barenz, a painter and architecture enthusiast from Milwaukee. Barenz was one of six finalists included in a 4-week public voting period. She was ultimately chosen by a selection committee consisting of leaders in the local art community as the fifth artist in the Pfister program. Her work focuses on travel and how journeys can transform perceptions of home, or other places visited.

 

“Each year, we are repeatedly impressed by the quality of artists who apply to our program,” said Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “We’re thrilled to be attracting such amazingly talented artists like Stephanie. Her proposal to bring a unique perspective by incorporating the memories and habits of the traveling public into her visual expressions will be an outstanding addition to the work of previous Pfister artists.”

 

“The Pfister is the perfect stage for my work, which deals with how travel affects one’s relationship to place,” comments Barenz. “The hotel carries thousands of stories from over a hundred years…Over the course of the year, I plan to create a body of work that will include 20 to 30 paintings. Images of these paintings will be turned into a book and I plan to collaborate with the Pfister Narrator, the hotel’s writer-in-residence. I am so looking forward to moving into the studio, starting my project, and getting to know more of the Milwaukee community through my platform at The Pfister.”

 

Building upon Charles Pfister’s vision of the “Grand Hotel of the West,” the Pfister hosts an expansive collection of Victorian art. In tandem with the contemporary works from the artist-in-residence, the artistic ambiance has made the Pfister Hotel a first-choice destination for memorable events such as galas and weddings.

 

“For decades, The Pfister has hosted the much acclaimed Victorian Art Collection, the largest of its kind in any hotel in the world,” comments Kurth. “We want to expand on our reputation as a destination hotel for art connoisseurs by offering our guests and the public a glimpse into the world of art as it is being created—in real time, by amazingly talented artists.”

 

For more information on the artistic initiatives at the Pfister Hotel, visit www.thepfisterhotel.com.

 

Inspired to start an art collection or residency program in your business? The pARTnership Movement can connect you with Americans for the Arts member organizations to advise you on pARTnerships that might work for you!

Arts Brookfield - Art as the Solution
Arts Brookfield

Art as the Solution

In 1988, when major companies were first deciding to move their headquarters to lower Manhattan at the World Financial Center, leadership at the global real estate company Olympia and York realized the need to create a lively and energetic downtown community. In 1996, Brookfield Office Properties acquired the Olympia and York USA along with the arts program.  Now 17 years later, Brookfield Office Properties has expanded the arts programming to over 25 buildings and launched Arts Brookfield as a global platform to present year-round, free to the public performances and exhibitions. Since its establishment, Arts Brookfield has animated Brookfield spaces with over 5,000 performances, films, and exhibitions, and serves more than 5 million people. (Photo credit: Third Rail Project performs "Roadside Attraction" on the campus of Brookfield Office Properties, courtesy of Arts Brookfield.)

 

Speaking to the success of the initiative, Debra Simon, Vice President of Arts and Events at Brookfield Properties, said, “There is an acknowledgement that a vibrant arts program is a key component of our expertise in place making.”

 

Today, Brookfield sees its properties as more than just office buildings, constantly working to animate the public spaces as destinations for arts and culture. Providing hundreds of  complimentary events each year, Arts Brookfield’s programs have now expanded to other major cities including Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Perth, Calgary, and Toronto. Overall, the company has found that its investment in the arts, in tandem with renovations and other tenant amenities, has paid off with a better class of tenants and higher rents.

 

Arts Brookfield is active in the River to River Festival, an annual performing arts festival with events held from June through July in Lower Manhattan. The festival was started after 9-11 with the intention of bringing people back into the area and recreating a sense of neighborhood. Arts Brookfield joined the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Downtown Alliance, Battery Park City Authority, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and South Street Seaport to create the River to River Festival with support from American Express. 

 

Using new and avant-garde music, dance, theatre, visual arts, interactive performances, and literature, and placing them in unexpected places around the neighborhood, the partner organizations worked to breathe life and celebration back into the area.

 

Twelve years later, River to River now takes place over the course of 30 days and consists of over 150 performances from 60 artists at 28 locations, including four Brookfield properties. The festival has succeeded in creating a sense of neighborhood where creative and interesting things happen that entertain the increasing area residents, employees, and visitors. (Photo credit: Third Rail Project performs "Roadside Attraction" on the campus of Brookfield Office Properties, courtesy of Arts Brookfield.)

 

Succeeding in its original mission, River to River, currently under the leadership of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, is now all about creating and curating new programming. For its involvement in the festival, Arts Brookfield hosts and commissions site-specific works that perform and rehearse in Brookfield public spaces, often catching employees and visitors that stumble upon the art by happenstance. 

 

Arts Brookfield has found the festival to be highly successful as a marketing umbrella, building market and brand recognition for Brookfield by attracting audiences to the area and people to Brookfield retailers and restaurants. 

 

Through its expertise in placemaking and culturally literate leadership, Brookfield is using art as the solution to advance company objectives, build brand awareness, and establish a sense of neighborhood in major cities around the world. Essentially, Brookfield has realized art can be the solution for community and business. 

DENY Designs - A Company that Can’t DENY Supporting the Arts
DENY Designs

A Company that Can’t DENY Supporting the Arts

Based in Denver, DENY Designs is a home furnishings company with a creative twist. DENY allows its customers to add a personal image or artwork from the DENY Art Gallery to its array of everyday household accessories. What makes the company especially unique is that with each purchase from the Gallery, the company’s cadre of talented artists earn part of the proceeds, enabling DENY to support artist communities all over the world.

 

DENY Designs was the brainchild of CEO Dustin Nyhus, an industrial designer by trade, and his wife Kim. Dustin grew up watching his father and grandfather build just about anything and everything, and developed a deep interest in furniture design. After college, he spent five years in wholesale manufacturing before he was inspired with the idea to combine his passion for design with e-commerce and the arts. This, in tandem with Kim’s background in advertising and event planning, led to a very unique concept for an online home furnishings store.

 

"DENY's business model is based around one very important concept—nurturing the success of artists by showcasing their work on our home decor products,” comments Dustin. “We turn your typical home accessories into the focal point of the room and enable our customers to support artists worldwide."

 

DENY receives submissions from about 200-300 artists across the globe per month, from which they hand select only 1 or 2 designers. The scrutiny of the selection process is done out of respect to the uniqueness of each artist, and with consideration to how the artwork will translate to DENY’s array of products. The DENY Art Gallery gives artists exposure to a global audience, and the artist receives a commission on each of their works sold.

 

"Supporting the art community is the most important thing we do here at DENY,” comments Kim. “We're helping artists reach a broader audience while also giving their work new life on a new type of canvas—home decor accessories."

 

In addition, the company is conscious of supporting the American economy. Most of the company’s soft goods are made in America and all of its hard goods are made locally in Denver.

 

The benefit of creating an e-commerce home furnishings company that gives back to the artist community is apparent in DENY's creative and engaged staff. According to the company's website, “We’re a small, passionate group of people whose right side of the brain dominates the left side. We want to inspire and be inspired. We want to create and be visionaries. And we want to share all of this inventive talent with the world, one customer at a time.”

 

Check out DENY’s endless array of products and designs that support artist communities worldwide at DENYdesigns.com.

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP - They Taught the Law and the Law Won
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

They Taught the Law and the Law Won

(Photo credit: Brandi Freitas)


How many lawyers does it take to put on a show? The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is putting that question to the test, teaching law professionals the importance of being a “performer” and how it translates back to the workplace.

 

The Guthrie Theater has been an active proponent of arts-based training—staff development programs delivered using the arts, such as painting, dance, or in The Guthrie’s case, theater. The Guthrie’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program is one such arts-based training program that the theater provides, combining resources from the actor’s toolbox with classes that touch widely into the fields of business and law.

 

For many lawyers, CLE is an annual obligation evoking long-winded days spent in uninspired classrooms. The Guthrie, however, seeks to deliver CLE to attorneys in innovative and engaging ways. With both live and online offerings in partnership with ShowCourse (headed by attorney and actor Chris Carlson), The Guthrie’s CLE courses address abstract legal issues through staged readings of scenes from plays and actual legal transcripts.

 

“More than 3,000 people in the legal profession have taken our courses,” comments Carlson. “We’ve received responses that they’ve been blown away in terms of interest and engagement in what is often considered compulsory education. The experience goes from negative or neutral to positive and energizing, which has a very positive impact on workplace culture and a range of skill sets moving forward.”

 

One particular Guthrie CLE offering, Taking Center Stage: Issues, Techniques and Ethical Pitfalls of Winning Legal ‘Performances’, is a course based on the fundamental premise that professionals from diverse disciplines—attorneys and actors, for example—spend their careers immersed in the art of storytelling. Through the use of training tools and viewpoints commonly thought to be exclusive to the theater arts, such as scene study and improvisation, attorneys are given concrete strategies for increased effectiveness in their particular area of law.

 

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, a general litigation and wealth management firm serving the greater Minneapolis area, is an active participant in The Guthrie’s CLE program. Partner John Gordon comments, “Guthrie’s Continuing Legal Education combines the art of theater with the profession of law in a way that is insightful, profound, and practical. Lawyers can learn about themselves, their clients, and their profession in a way they are unable to achieve with other providers of legal education.”

                               

Intersecting the arts and law offers opportunities for growth and mutual enhancement for those in both fields. From classes and symposiums to engaging in ongoing dialogue with business professionals, The Guthrie’s efforts continue to search for, and find, the best practices for executing arts-based learning in the Minneapolis community.             

 

For more information on CLE and other arts-based training programs at The Guthrie Theater, visit guthrietheater.org/education.

 

 

 

PNC Bank - Investment in St. Louis Arts Community Pays off through PNC Arts Alive
PNC Bank

Investment in St. Louis Arts Community Pays off through PNC Arts Alive

When PNC Bank’s acquisition of National City Corporation expanded its foothold in the Midwest nearly four years ago, the organization’s leaders knew they’d need to build authentic relationships to gain the trust of their new customers and communities. Taking cues from the company’s PNC Arts Alive successes in Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, the St. Louis franchise embraced their artistic community through the company’s unique arts development program. The Greater St. Louis two-year, $1 million initiative to support the arts was designed to empower artistic organizations to find creative ways to expand and engage their audiences.

 

“The PNC Foundation provides funding to Arts Alive to identify locally the arts organizations that would be the best fit for the funding,” explained Mike Labriola, executive director of the PNC Foundation. “The priorities are set on a national level, but the execution is kept local.”

 

With funding from the PNC Foundation, the St. Louis leadership relied on strategic service partnerships with Regional Arts Center (RAC) and the Arts and Education Council to gain a broader understanding of the wide-ranging and eclectic arts artistic landscape and needs of the community that serves it. These community resources, complemented by PNC’s financial expertise and highly-regarded business relationships, perfectly positioned the Arts Alive initiative to make a big impact on the St. Louis arts scene.

 

This year, 17 visual and performing arts groups, spanning all genres and art forms, were named grantees. From now until December 2013, they’ll help make the arts more accessible to the Greater St. Louis region’s diverse audiences by offering free and discounted arts programming, public events that introduce the arts in unexpected ways, ticket subsidy programs, and innovative programs that engage and build young audiences.

 

The PNC Arts Alive initiative demonstrates that there is an artistic outlet for everyone, regardless of age, economic background, skill level and taste. Preschoolers train as jugglers and gymnasts while learning the value of focus, persistence and teamwork with Circus Harmony, a 2012 grantee. Older students in the St. Louis area are connected with African students through African Musical Arts, Inc., another 2012 grantee which enables them to learn from and about each other through Skype, as well as through performances by the Songs of Africa Ensemble. Other grantees bring hands-on contemporary art experiences and education directly to the St. Louis community. The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’ CAM Arts Alive Bus serves as a mobile art studio, featuring surprise “pop-up” workshops with St. Louis-based artists as it visits schools, street fairs and festivals. These are just three of the 17 PNC Arts Alive 2012 grantees – imagine their impact in concert with 14 more arts groups dedicated to bring the arts to life in St. Louis.

 

Since its St. Louis launch in November 2010, Arts Alive has helped PNC Bank build not only brand awareness, but brilliant brand associations. In a recent survey, 85% of Greater St. Louis’ community and business leaders indicated that PNC Bank was known for its dedication to the early childhood programs, 70% named its commitment to the arts, and 30% felt that the bank was known for community development. The impact of the program has even caught the eyes and won the hearts of those outside the Greater St. Louis area. In February, PNC Bank was named a 2012 Missouri Arts Award recipient for its philanthropic efforts in the area with Arts Alive.

 

“We wanted people in the community to see that PNC is a bank that cares about the community, is authentic, and will come up with creative solutions,” said Rick Sems, PNC Bank regional president for Greater St. Louis. “Our program allows us to bring ideas to fruition and to promote them in the community to make it a better place.”

 

As the Arts Alive program continues, PNC hopes to help more arts organizations reach out to the community, expand their audiences, and make a lasting impact on the Greater St. Louis area. They already have. But, Sems points out, the bank and program leaders refuse to accept their recent successes as reasons to stop innovating. They are committed to continuously finding new ways to achieve success. After all, that’s the kind of spirit that Arts Alive embodies and encourages every day.

HM Electronics, Inc. - Top-of-the-line techs hook up with world-class theatre
HM Electronics, Inc.

Top-of-the-line techs hook up with world-class theatre

San Diego.   Known for its sun and beauty and its abundance of … radio frequencies. 

 

Which sets the stage to tell the story of The Old Globe… and the electronics company that came to the rescue.

 

You see, the famous Old Globe sits neatly amidst the area’s chaotic Radio Frequency zone, dodging signals from both the U.S. and Mexico. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that today’s theaters live and die on the high-tech wireless mics the performers use on stage. And the walkie-talkies that are found among the crew backstage.

 

For a theatre that puts on 16 unique shows and 600 performances each year, quality wireless communication is crucial to the company’s success. And with the added pressure of historic visits from Queen Elizabeth II, recognition as one of the nation’s top regional theatres by the Tony Awards, and record-setting subscription ticket sales, the Old Globe understandably had some performance anxiety.

 

Enter (stage right) HM Electronics, Inc.  As providence would have it, this industry-leading communications provider was also headed by theater and opera nuts.   So in 2003 they offered to better manage communications between crew members, performers and their audiences. HME hooked them up – literally – with the donation of a state-of-the-art wireless system that would have cost the theatre more than $40,000. The system easily adapts to RF competition in the area and provides a wider wireless communications range for stagehands, making it perfect for the Old Globe.

 

So was it just the love of theater that prompted such a great gift?  Well, yes and no.  You see, in the Old Globe, HME had the perfect guinea pig – a professional theater right in the area where they could test their newest inventions in a real-live, real-time setting.

 

HME gets an authentic testing ground for its technology. And the Old Globe gets the newest whiz-bang equipment for free. HME gets timely feedback and suggestions from the very clients they seek.  The Old Globe gets techs close by, ready to make adjustments at a moment’s notice.

 

“Wireless systems are a big part of any performance, and for that reason, they have to be dependable, night after night,” says Paul Peterson, sound director at the Old Globe. “The systems we have are very compatible with one another and provide us with the rock-solid reliability we demand. ...With a reputation like ours at stake, there’s no other way to approach this job.”

 

Adding to the win-win scenario: HM Electronics gets recognition as a “Season Sponsor” of the theatre with mentions in the program as well as backstage access for their staff and guests to meet the stars of the show during a gala night out. 

 

Oh, and HME CEO Chuck Miyahira and his wife get to hear the theatre they so love, without any interference.

Heathman Hotel - A Suite Deal for Portland’s Artistic Scene
Heathman Hotel

A Suite Deal for Portland’s Artistic Scene

In 1984 the Heathman Hotel opened its doors as Portland, Oregon’s first luxury boutique hotel dedicated to supporting the arts. Centrally located in the heart of the city’s cultural district, the hotel has found unique ways to showcase local artists and give back to its community. The Heathman also knows that the connection to the arts makes it standout to Portland tourists who come to enjoy the city’s rich cultural life.

 

The Heathman Hotel brings a wall-to-wall commitment to the arts. From the rotating selection of fine artwork curated by local gallery owner Elizabeth Leach to an Andy Warhol-themed suite, the hotel shows its appreciation for the city’s cultural icons. In 2012, Chris Erickson, the hotel’s general manager and chief arts enthusiast, joined forces with Stephen Galvan, sales and marketing director, to find a new way to do just that through the Arts Signature Suites.

 

Each of the Heathman Hotel’s four Arts Signature Suites was curated to embody and support four Portland arts organizations: the Oregon Symphony, Fine Arts and Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Center Stage, and Literary Arts of Oregon. Drawing on musical, literary, theatrical and fine art inspirations, Erickson and Galvan called upon design contractor Kat James of Portland’s Bluevine Studio to execute their plans. Each room was injected with the vibrancy of a genre of Portland’s artistic scene.

 

After supporting Portland’s musical arts for many years, the Heathman Hotel chose to honor the oldest symphony in the western US. In the “Oregon Symphony” suite, visitors are immediately taken aback by the beauty of the room’s centerpiece: a cello, sculpted and adorned with gingko leaves and branches. Designed by Bluevine Studio, crafted by three local artisans, the cello stands as a perfectly tuned symbol of the Oregon Symphony and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. A portion of the room revenue from the “Oregon Symphony” suite is donated directly to the symphony’s Kids and Education Missions.

 

The “Fine Arts” suite is bathed in light and color by an incredible light installation created by Portland’s Hap Tivey. Filmmaker Gus Van Sant’s paintings bring light-hearted fun into the room, while a relief painting by local artist Joe Thurston calls upon the suite’s visitors to question creative inspiration and execution. A portion of the “Fine Arts” suite’s revenue is donated to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, which offers fine art and design degrees, as well as a vibrant public program of exhibitions, lectures and internationally recognized visual artists, designers, and creative thinkers.

 

The Heathman Hotel’s “Portland Center Stage” suite brings a playful charm to its visitors. While the spotlight shines brightly on the hotel’s commitment to the theatrical arts and to Portland Center Stage (PCS), guests are the suite’s stars. Visitors are encouraged to take a peek at Costume Designer Jeffrey Cone’s beautiful handmade costumes or try on a hat from PCS’s hat rack in the room. Ticket stubs that line the inside of the murphy bed doors and edited scripts from PCS Artistic Director Chris Coleman show how much fun Portland’s largest producing theatre truly is. A portion of the room revenue from the “Portland Center Stage” suite is donated directly to PCS’s education and community outreach programs.

 

The “Literary Arts” suite celebrates the Heathman Hotel’s long-standing partnership with Literary Arts of Oregon. Hotel staff members type messages to guests on the room’s old typewriter and encourages guests to leave their own messages in reply. The deeply lofted leather couch invites visitors to curl up with one of the room’s signed Portland Arts & Lecture books to drift away into another world. The inside of the suite’s murphy bed doors are lined with 2000 hand-cut 2”x2” squares of dictionary pages, so that even guests’ dreams will be inspired by the beauty of the written word. A portion of the “Literary Arts” suite revenue supports a wide variety of literary non-profits across the city of Portland.

 

Combined with financial support for Portland’s vibrant arts community, the care and enthusiasm for supporting local artists is at the core of the Heathman Hotel’s values. From the historical artifacts borrowed from the Oregon Historical Society to the locally-sourced, locally-inspired decor, each of the Heathman Hotel’s Arts Signature Suites brings to its guests a sincere love for the arts. With that kind of enthusiasm, it’s impossible for visitors to not share the hotel’s passion.

Aspen Skiing Company - Art Takes to the Slopes
Aspen Skiing Company

Art Takes to the Slopes

Let’s face it: opposites attract. And there may be no place on earth that embodies this theory quite like Aspen, Colorado. As Aspen Skiing Company CEO Mike Kaplan says, “It’s got the heart of a city, but the soul of a mountain town.” Seven years ago, a unique partnership between Aspen Skiing Company and the Aspen Art Museum fused the city’s heart and soul by bringing art to unexpected places.

 

In 2005, the Aspen Art Museum’s new director and chief curator, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, envisioned a new way to promote the town with the Aspen Skiing Company. Using the town’s iconic Aspen/Snowmass mountains as canvases, artists created showstopping (but not snow-stopping) sensations. Japanese artist Yutaka Sone, for one, rolled two vibrant 8-foot dice down the X Games Superpipe in 2006.

 

The Aspen Skiing Company even opened their minds and ears to auditory art. A February 2011 sound installation by Susan Philipsz brought beautiful, almost haunting a cappella singing to skiers crossing the Trestle Bridge. The invisible source of White Winter Hymnal gave skiers and riders reason to pause and appreciate the beauty and art of Aspen/Snowmass.

 

Still, other contributors used smaller canvases and pieces to combine sport and art. Since the partnership’s launch, each ski season has done away with standard lift tickets baring only barcodes, logos and expiration dates. Instead, Aspen/Snowmass lift tickets have featured the wide-ranging works of contemporary artists that were often scheduled for exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum. Some, like Yutaka Sone’s 2005-2006 tickets, colorfully captured the joy and whimsy of the mountains. Others, like Carla Klein’s 2009-2010 tickets, offered reminders of the pristine conditions and exquisite views from the slopes. For the 2011-2012 season, sculptures by artist Mark Grotjahn installed on each of the four mountains were illustrated on lift tickets. As skiers returned throughout the season, their lift tickets served as reminders of the unexpected elements of both art and adventure in their journeys up and down the mountains.

 

The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) acknowledged the efforts of the Aspen Skiing Company at its 25th Annual Business For the Arts Awards. The ongoing partnership with the Aspen Art Museum earned the Aspen Skiing Company the 2012 Impact Award, which honors companies that use the arts in innovative ways to drive business success in Colorado.Deborah Jordy, Executive Director, CBCA and Americans for the Arts Board Member says that, “The Aspen Skiing Company and Aspen Art Museum partnership epitomizes CBCA’s Impact Award – their partnership proves that integrating the arts into business not only differentiates Aspen from other ski resorts worldwide, but it also translates into economic success.”

 

According to Kaplan, “As a business we are trying to compete with destinations from around the world from Hawaii to other ski resorts.  How do you stand out from the crowd?  Well, you stand out by having this incredible arts experience and arts offering and cultural experiences and all those things in addition to the splendor and beauty of the mountains.”

Aetna - Partnerships with Pastability
Aetna

Partnerships with Pastability

“Arts can play a vital role in promoting health and wellness. That’s why through our sponsorships, employee fundraising, and volunteerism, Aetna ensures the arts continue to thrive.” — Mark T. Bertolini, Chairman, CEO and President, Aetna

 

Collectively, we know the arts accomplish more than what meets the eye (or the ear), but sometimes there are partnerships which are attention grabbing for their creative approach.

 

The collaboration between Aetna and the Center for Puppetry Arts is one of those partnerships.

 

Well…whose attention wouldn’t be pulled towards a puppet called ‘Little Noodle’?

 

‘Little Noodle’ is a new puppet created by Atlanta-based Center for Puppetry Arts in collaboration with Aetna. The Adventures of Little Noodle is one of the Center’s plays addressing health and wellness, as part of their Healthy Children/Prevent Childhood Obesity Initiative.

 

Aetna has been committed to being at the forefront of this issue in the healthcare field and sees a strong tie to the effectiveness of messaging through the arts.

 

The arts can be a strong vehicle for a business’s message and the strength of programs like Aetna’s, is built on the power and reach of the arts.

 

In fact, when the play was first created, Cynthia Follmer, then president of Aetna’s Georgia market, said that the Center for Puppetry Arts “uses puppets to reach and inspire children in ways that few others can.”

 

As part of its efforts to reduce obesity rates, Aetna Foundation recently awarded grants to the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York, The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Dance Out Diabetes in San Francisco, and the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford to offer dance-oriented health and fitness programs for children and families who live in underserved areas.

 

From music to dance, fine arts to performing arts, Aetna believes that the arts can enhance one’s personal wellbeing, revitalize a community, and create a world that bridges cultures and differences.

M5 Networks - “Band”-ing together to build teamwork.
M5 Networks

“Band”-ing together to build teamwork.

Smart companies know the importance of building teamwork among their employees. But so often the opportunities to bring different departments and disciplines together are few and far between. Sure, there are team building exercises, retreats and corporate get-togethers. But the telecommunications firm M5 Networks found a different approach: A company-wide battle of the bands that takes the stage during their annual meeting.

 

Called the M5 Rocks program, employees are thrust into different musical acts, with employees they typically don’t interact with. And since learning new things is a core principle at M5, employees who have musical background are not allowed to play an instrument they’re already proficient at.

 

To help them get their act together (excuse the pun,) M5 turned to Ivan Trevino, an educator from the Hochstein School of Music and School of Rock in New York City. This year there were about two dozen employees broken up into 5 or 6 M5 bands. Every week they’d get together (on company time) to learn and practice covers of rock songs. 

 

Trevino says his involvement with M5 Rocks culminated after a meeting with Phelim White, the founder of M5’s Rochester office, who approached the music school about teaming up. 

 

According to White “Most people don’t want to learn something that they’re really insecure about.” White is a drummer himself, who even toured the U.S and Ireland. And he knows first-hand that there’s no better way to build a team than to start a band. “That’s the accounting person getting together with an engineer and a sales guy, all these different departments coming together as a band as a unit and learning how to be great together," he explained. 

 

This year, the company’s expecting an audience of about 2,000 — a pretty big gig for a bunch of fledgling rock stars. Last year a band from the Rochester office came in second to New York City. But this year the Rochester team say they’re taking home the title.

 

Pitting one office against the other? In this case, that’s music to M5’s ears.

ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. - Helping spread the arts by the trunk-full.
ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

Helping spread the arts by the trunk-full.

Most music fans know Bethel Woods Center for the Arts as the site for the iconic 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Today, Bethel Woods is home to a cultural center, outdoor performing arts pavilion, amphitheater, event gallery and history museum. Their mission, while timely, is still true to their historic roots: to inspire creative expression and civic engagement to enrich the human spirit.

 

To help foster that engagement with a younger generation, Bethel Woods launched a Traveling Trunks program, which takes the center’s resources into local classrooms. Today, three trunks make their way to schools in rural areas that often have limited access to the arts.

 

Music around the Globe explores music and musical instruments from fourteen different cultures on six continents. Personalities of the Sixties profiles groups that defined the 1960s. The Times They are A-Changin’ places the 1960s within broader changes in America from the end of WWII to the Bicentennial in 1976. All trunks include touchable objects, primary documents, and lesson plans for hands-on learning experiences. The musical instruments in particular are high quality, usually made by hand in their country of origin, so that students are encountering a “real” object.

 

The trunks are available to teachers--and scout leaders, children’s librarians, and other youth service providers-- free of charge. And that’s where ShopRite Supermarkets comes in. As a community grocery store, they know the importance of education and community outreach. “ShopRite is pleased to support Bethel Woods and its Traveling Trunks program,” said Tom Urtz, vice president of human resources and community affairs, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. “Their unique approach to providing an educational experience through the arts is consistent with ShopRite’s goal of reaching out and connecting with the communities we serve.” As part of their partnership and to help Bethel Woods generate interest and support, ShopRite displayed the trunks in their grocery stores to introduce the program to area neighbors.

 

The result? Bethel Woods got some much-needed exposure and saw outreach to schools substantially increase. And ShopRite helped to cement its reputation as a good neighbor and community activist.

 

Now that’s what we call a creative win-win.
 

Humana - Fostering innovation by fostering the arts.
Humana

Fostering innovation by fostering the arts.

When you think about Humana, you think of health and wellness. After all, their business is all about helping people achieve lifelong well-being.

 

So it should come as no surprise to learn that Humana understands how the arts can play a critical role in a person’s overall health and well-being, as well.

“Our success is driven by innovative people who thrive in communities with engaging and diverse cultural opportunities,” says Michael B. McCallister, Humana’s Chairman and CEO. “As Humana’s business has grown, so too has its commitment to the communities we serve.”
 
It’s this commitment that has led Humana to sponsor the Humana Festival of New American Plays for the past 33 years. The Festival is presented thanks to a partnership between Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. The support of The Humana Foundation began in 1980 – the third year of the Festival – and represents the longest, continuous and current partnership between a corporation and a theatre in the country.



Through The Humana Foundation’s ongoing support, the Humana Festival has become the premier New Play Festival in the country. Annually, the Festival draws audiences of nearly 40,000, including hundreds of the industry’s most distinguished leaders, producers, critics, and admirers. All descend upon Louisville for a month-long celebration of new writing for the stage.



The Humana Foundation’s belief in Actors Theatre and the Festival has shaped the American theatrical canon. This partnership has made a lasting impact on the nation and the world, with more than 400 plays introduced into the American and international theatre’s general repertoire. Premiering plays include three Pulitzer Prize winners—The Gin Game by D. L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies—as well as Rinne Groff’s The Ruby Sunrise, Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business, Charles L. Mee’s Big Love, Theresa Rebeck’s The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo’s After Ashley and Becky Shaw, UNIVERSES’ Ameriville, Jordan Harrison’s Maple and Vine, Stephen Belber’s Tape and The Civilians’ This Beautiful City.



 

Over the years, The Humana Foundation has been a supporter of civic and cultural development and places great value on the long-standing relationship with Actors Theatre of Louisville. Today, The Humana Foundation aligns with Humana Inc.’s focus on health and well-being by providing grants especially in the areas of childhood health and education, health literacy, and intergenerational health.

The Boeing Company - Investing in the arts keeps them flying high.
The Boeing Company

Investing in the arts keeps them flying high.

“We believe that companies like ours must play a significant role as citizens beyond our role as corporations. We must lead responsibly to help our communities, our nations and the world address challenges that are bigger than any one company’s interests. That includes bringing problem-solvers together, focusing them on action that helps communities grow, and helping communities develop the resources that sustain and attract people who choose to live, work, learn and play in them." 

– Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and CEO

 

Boeing is a company of amazing people working in one of the most exciting industries in the world. Yet when you consider their history – from designing and building the earliest biplanes to creating and supporting today's supersonic aircraft and spacecraft – you might think they would be content with how far they’ve come. But a company of their size and scope doesn't succeed by resting on its laurels; they are constantly re-examining their capabilities and processes to ensure that Boeing is as strong and vital as its heritage. In fact, its culture mirrors the heritage of aviation itself, built on a foundation of innovation, aspiration and imagination.

 

To help foster a culture of innovation and imagination, Boeing has turned to the arts.

 

George Roman, Vice President, State & Local Government Operations and Regional Executive at Boeing sums it up nicely. “We have long held that investing in the arts positively impacts economic development and growth, produces a creative and diverse workforce, and nurtures the imagination and self reflection needed to solve complex personal and community issues.”

 

That’s why, for the fourth year, Boeing has partnered with the Arts and Education Council in St. Louis on the Boeing/Arts and Education Council Collaborative Grant program – an innovative funding opportunity for arts organizations to create and promote a more sustainable arts and cultural environment that engages people to become lifelong arts participants, patrons and practitioners.

 

Under the Boeing gift, grants have been awarded to seven arts programs in the St. Louis area to develop and train future arts leaders. Groups such as the Cinema St. Louis, Grand Center, Inc., Jazz St. Louis, MADCO (Modern American Dance Company), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, St. Louis Children’s Choirs, and Stages St. Louis have benefited from Boeing’s generosity and vision.

 

In fact, since 2008, The Boeing Company has supported 32 grants through the Boeing/Arts and Education Council Collaborative Grant program.

 

“Boeing is one of our most dedicated and generous supporters,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. “They understand the vital role the Council plays in financially supporting the St. Louis arts community and its direct impact in attracting the best and the brightest workforce to our region. By funding programs designed to mentor and train individuals in arts management, The Boeing Company ensures area arts organizations will continue to thrive and strengthen the St. Louis region.”

 

What’s more, Boeing realizes that the arts play an even bigger outside of any one company.

Portland General Electric - A city-wide mural project paints a history lesson.
Portland General Electric

A city-wide mural project paints a history lesson.

Looking to create a cohesive environment that blends diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures? Through exhibitions, performances and workshops, the arts provide opportunities for employees to grapple with workplace concerns and become more familiar with their coworkers around the world. Portland General Electric (PGE) liberally incorporates the arts into its corporate culture, while also encouraging other area businesses to follow suit. PGE underwrote the creation of “Creative Differences,” a diversity program the company co-developed with a local arts nonprofit.

 

In addition, PGE has instituted the “Powerhouse Art Project”, where local artists represent, through paintings or other works of art, the mills and powerhouses that dot the rivers around Portland. It’s not only bringing awareness of the PGE story to the community, but acting as a corporate culture building exercise as well, as employees see their company celebrating itself (and by extension, them) in the community.

Macy's - Reaching new audiences in artistic ways.
Macy's

Reaching new audiences in artistic ways.

“We believe that a strong arts culture can inspire, educate and entertain widely diverse audiences in our communities—touching each individual in deeply meaningful ways. — Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO, Macy’s Inc.

 

Strongly rooted in the local communities of each of its 850 stores, Macy’s recognizes that putting a strong emphasis on the arts creates a vibrant and energetic society. It’s why they work hard to make a difference in each community nationwide—partnering with arts organizations and programs in hundreds of cities in every region of the United States.

 

In addition to hundreds of programs across the United States, Macy’s partnered with the Summer HD Festival for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 2010 which screened 10 of the Met’s Live in HD performances in Lincoln Plaza. Macy’s Herald Square store in New York City dedicated a display window to the Met for the month to promote the Summer HD Festival.  Allowing both Macy's and the Metropolitan Opera to reach new audiences.

 

Macy’s actively expands the reach and audience of arts and culture institutions, ensuring access for diverse and multicultural audiences. In 2008, Macy’s partnered with Freedom’s Sisters, the first comprehensive traveling exhibition that saluted women in the Civil Rights movement and honored 20 remarkable African-American women who made significant contributions to all Americans.

3M - Building more vibrant communities in Minneapolis.
3M

Building more vibrant communities in Minneapolis.

“A vibrant arts community contributes to a strong business environment by enhancing the quality of life, providing creative outlets, and promoting cultural diversity.” — George W. Buckley, Chairman, President and CEO, 3M.

 

If there’s one thing 3M believes, it’s that arts and culture programming, especially programs with strong educational outreach, help improve the quality of life in communities. Besides helping museums across the country, they partnered with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) to present an unprecedented exhibit or 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.

 

The 3M Foundation also helped to 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. 3M also partners with the 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. Through its partnership with 3M, the theater provides study guides, lesson plans, and group activities for students, encouraging them to explore and understand history.

 

 *Photo: Following the belief that arts and culture programming helps improve the quality of life in communities, 3M supports the Guthrie Theater capital campaign. Credit: Sally Wagner. 

Raymond James Financial - An office that’s a work of art.
Raymond James Financial

An office that’s a work of art.

The arts help companies recognize employees and celebrate their talents. Employee art exhibitions and corporate band challenges allow workers to demonstrate skills outside of their normal, everyday jobs. According to Raymond James Financial, “Office space is the next best thing to a museum because we have a high-traffic area with about a million square feet.” The firm’s corporate headquarters is home to The Tom and Mary James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection consisting of more than 1,800 artworks. The collection is open by invitation to the public for docent tours that annually draw about 3,000 people.

 

In fact, many of Raymond James’ employees who were never interested in art have become collectors or proudly bring friends to the headquarters and it is often voted one of the best places to work because of the creative environment.

 

Raymond James also hosts the annual Associate & Affiliate Art Show, typically attracting over 400 works in various media from the firm’s employees and associates across the country. The artwork is displayed in the headquarter office and online, with prizes going to winners in four categories and a People’s Choice Award voted on by all associates.

Chesapeake Energy - Employees and the arts make beautiful music together.
Chesapeake Energy

Employees and the arts make beautiful music together.

Art in the workplace allows for employee interaction across departments, lowers silos and just gets employees a chance to see another side of each other. Arts based training and other artistic opportunities encourage interaction between employees and enhance team building. At Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy, they’re always looking for ways to enhance their employees’ personal growth through their unique culture. One way? Well, by putting on a company-wide talent contest, of course. It’s not only a great opportunity for employees to show off their unknown talents, but to support each other, as well. Part of the show is a rock band challenge, where employee-manned bands compete against each other.

 

Last year, Chesapeake Energy’s company band, "Shale Play," stole the spotlight and earned the title of the world's "Best Corporate Band" at the 10th annual Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands.

 

Martha Burger, Chesapeake's Senior Vice President of Human and Corporate Resources, commented, "At Chesapeake, we are always looking for ways to enhance our employees' work experience and personal growth through our unique culture. This contest was not only a great opportunity for the members of Shale Play to display their talent and pursue their passion, but it also gives our employees an opportunity to enjoy their colleagues' musical skills and show their support for their fellow employees."

 

No wonder this company was recently named one of the best places to work in their region by Fortune Magazine.

Baker Botts, L.L.P. - When the arts take center stage, it's the employees who shine.
Baker Botts, L.L.P.

When the arts take center stage, it's the employees who shine.

“Arts programs are essential to our communities. So we make it a priority to support these programs with volunteer time, board participation, and financial contributions.” — Walt Smith, Managing Partner, Baker Botts L.L.P.

 

A major arts partner since the 19th century, international law firm Baker Botts, is dedicated to helping arts organizations thrive and providing opportunities for its employees and clients to increase their exposure to all forms of art. In doing so, they know it brings valuable perspectives, experiences, and talents to the firm, allowing them to be more creative, effective, and ultimately successful at work.

 

Each winter, their Houston office hosts a family holiday event tied to its partnerships with local performing arts organizations. These events have taken place in conjunction with productions such as “The Nutcracker” at Houston Ballet, and “The Grinch” at Theater Under The Stars followed by an exclusive on-stage reception. These unique experiences allow Baker Botts to introduce the arts to a new generation and foster an early appreciation for the arts.

 

They’re also incorporating the arts in conjunction with their diversity initiative. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2011, Baker Botts displayed an art exhibit by Artists of the Americas – including original artworks by internationally emerging artists from Latin America – and feature them in several of their domestic offices.

Kohler - When artists meet manufacturers, sparks fly.
Kohler

When artists meet manufacturers, sparks fly.

“We literally bring a sense of the arts to everything we do because the arts refresh lives and inspire distinction.” -- Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Kohler Co.

 

Over its 138 years, Kohler has expanded from plumbing products into a global, multi-industry leader, driving innovation and a single level of quality in each of its core businesses. Their partnerships with the arts and artists stems, in part, from the value it places on design, innovation, and craftsmanship in every product. The importance of the arts is palpable as soon as you enter its corporate headquarters in Wisconsin, where a vibrant mural created in 1925 by Arthur Covey depicts the life of the factory.

 

Through the years, Kohler Co. has funded the arts at museums, performing arts centers, art schools, and universities across the country. Over four decades ago, the company began to support an unusual and spirited grassroots effort that “makes real the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.” Named John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) because of its beginnings in the 1882 home of Kohler Co.’s founder, JMKAC is an independent organization, nationally acclaimed today for the creative exchange it generates between an international community of artists and a broad, diverse public —through remarkable exhibitions, collections, residency programs, performing and media arts, and a wide range of arts education opportunities.

 

Among the Arts Center’s most well known programs is Arts/Industry, a unique collaboration with Kohler Co. that takes place in the manufacturing plant at the company’s headquarters. Arts/Industry makes the facilities and technologies of the company’s Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries and Enamel Shop available annually to approximately 16 artists from around the world. More than 500 artists, generally four at a time, have been involved since 1974.

 

In residencies of two to six months, the artists are able to explore new ways of thinking and working and to create bodies of work that are not possible in their own studios. Works have included sculptural and functional forms, murals, temporary installations and major public art commissions for parks, convention centers and other sites from Oregon to North Carolina. Studio space in the factory is accessible to the artists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also receive free materials, use of equipment, technical assistance, photographic services, housing, round-trip transportation from their homes, and modest honoraria.

 

The value of Arts/Industry to Kohler Co. and the region is manifold. The artists’ involvement in the factory and the community energize the associates, and a creative synergy develops not only with the designers but also with engineers, slip casters, enameling specialists, etc. The cross-pollination leads, at times, to innovative ideas regarding products. In addition, each artist spends one day per month in education programming at JMKAC and schools and universities.

 

The artists generally produce relatively large bodies of work that belong to them. Each artist is asked to give one work to the company and one to JMKAC. These pieces are exhibited at JMKAC, throughout Kohler Co.’s Wisconsin campus and at its Kohler Design Center, a showcase for the company’s products. Works have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. The company’s collection made its global debut in China in 2009 at Beijing’s notable 798 Art Zone.

Shugoll Research - The arts do wonders. Here’s the research to prove it.
Shugoll Research

The arts do wonders. Here’s the research to prove it.

Whether it’s sponsoring student-focused programs, creating innovative arts education programs, or underwriting student tickets to arts events, Bethesda’s Shugoll Research puts the arts smack dab in the middle of their day-to-day operations.

 

They start by encouraging their staff to serve on the boards of arts organizations. And they have a great role model: CEO Mark Shugoll is Chairman of the Board of Arena Stage and also serves on the boards of the George Mason University Arts Partnership, the national Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the national Business Committee for the Arts, Inc. Merrill Shugoll, the President, is on the board of Signature Theatre, as well.

 

Shugoll knows that inspired employees bring creative thinking into the workplace. So it’s quick to invite employees to opening night performances at the local theaters. Their holiday parties often include dinner with artist performances followed by a trip to a play or concert.

 

And since the arts play a powerful role in the community, they provides pro bono and low cost research to arts organizations. The result? Well, more than 50 arts organizations have built audiences, increased donor bases, developed marketing strategies, positioned capital campaigns and created audience services programs.

 

All in all, it’s a commitment Shugoll made back 1997, when it created ArtSpeak! to generate interest in the arts among middle and high school students and their parents and to encourage them to attend performances. The program, presented 5-6 times a year, brings leading Broadway, jazz, classical music, dance and design artists into public schools to discuss their careers, answer questions and perform. The company recruits the artists and funds all elements of the program including artist fees, sound and lighting. To fully engage the audience, students introduce and interview the artists as part of each event.

 

For the last 12 years, the company has organized TheaterTrips! for students so they may attend the theater, concerts and dance events. Since the program started, more than 3,000 students have attended.

 

We say, Bravo!
 

The Wagner Companies - Turning scrap metal into the next big idea.
The Wagner Companies

Turning scrap metal into the next big idea.

The arts are about critical thinking, solving and reframing problems and facts in ways that reveal insights and opportunities. The businesses that understand the value the arts bring to their workforce, workplace and communities succeed. Just look at The Wagner Companies, one of Milwaukee’s oldest metal manufacturers. Several Wagner workers are artists who were looking for a way to make a living and took jobs as metal fabricators for the company. While at Wagner, they’ve used downtime to create artwork out of scrap metal from the line floor. So what might have been wasted scrap, is turned into stainless steel light fixtures – which Wagner hopes to add to their product offerings. In fact, the company has a product development board that reviews any employee’s creative product ideas.

 

In the end, the employees’ creativity benefits the company’s bottom line. "Anyone can sketch something on a piece of paper and get it reviewed," said Kane Behling, company production manager.

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Behind the Movement

The pARTnership Movement is an initiative from Americans for the Arts to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.

 

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