Shugoll Research (MD)Engage Your Employees
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, Maryland’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 Research 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!