Guido's Fresh Marketplace (MA)Contribute to the Economy & Quality of Life
Art Feeds Us
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace is one of the premiere destinations for shoppers looking for fresh produce, meats, flowers, and food in The Berkshires. What started as a family roadside produce stand has grown into a staff of 200, with two stores and four additional partners: Bella Flora, Mazzeo’s Meat and Seafood, The Chef’s Shop, and The Marketplace Specialty Foods. Over the years, Guido’s’ family-oriented roots have expanded to a deep love of the community. And lucky for the Berkshires, the community is full of arts and cultural organizations.
Western Massachusetts boasts some of the most exciting organizations from Jacob’s Pillow Dance to MASS MoCA to Tanglewood Music Center. It is constantly ranked a top destination for dance-lovers, museum-goers, and music-aficionados alike. And although the arts and culture community is strong in the Berkshires, the arts have been under threat over the last year.
Each year, the Guido’s marketing team chooses a theme for the upcoming summer. In early 2017, they asked themselves “How can we make this theme something we can stand up for and believe in?” With distressing news about the future of national art funding and this question in mind, they created the #ArtFeedsUs campaign, which partnered with ten organizations across the county.
When it came time to launch the campaign, over 200 customers and members of arts organizations came together at their Pittsfield location to celebrate. Each attendee was given ten raffle tickets that they could enter in various bags of things donated by the partner organizations (i.e. membership, or free entry to an exhibit, or lawn tickets to a performance). With live music, high attendance, and interactions with the cultural organizations, the launch was a clear sign of the campaign’s success.
Launch party at Guido's in Pittsfield
In addition to the raffle item, each organization gave something for Guido’s to use (i.e. a rotating membership that different staff could use throughout the summer). In some cases, theaters even gave free tickets to employees throughout the season. One staff member who had been living in the Berkshire for 40 years finally went to the Clark Art Institute. Soon enough, the staff became advocates for the arts, telling customers about their recent experiences. Decked in #ArtFeedsUs t-shirts that listed the partners, they were engaging with the arts in a new way. They even made reusable tote bags that were given out to members of partner organizations to promote sustained support.
They took these totes to all ten locations for the campaign and even set up picnic photo shoots at Jacob’s Pillow Dance (where American Ballet Theater principal dancer James Whiteside and soloist Cassandra Trenery got in on the fun!) and Hancock Shaker Village.
Hancock Shaker Village. Photo by Benjamin Baptiste
Last month, they also held a Staff Art Show, which will become an annual event after its successful run. The opening night also featured performances by two staff bands. Marketing and Events Manager Alana Chernila said, “it’s nice to honor all of the parts of everyone who works for us.”
Through partnering with these arts organizations, Guido’s has not only promoted membership and support for the arts and culture, but they have engaged their employees and found a way to thank them and honor their own artistry.
Guido’s will launch its 2018 #ArtFeedsUs campaign with more partners, more t-shirts, and more love for the incredible community of arts organizations. As Chernila said, “The Berkshires are best when we are supporting each other.”
Full List of Partners:
Check out Guido's site here.
Cover photo: Cassandra Trenary and James Whiteside at Jacob's Pillow Dance. Note the #artfeedsus totebag in the left side. Photo by Benjamin Baptiste