Americans for the Arts has partnered again with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) for the 2015 Arts Destination Marketing Award. Established by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International, this award recognizes the importance of a strong relationship between a community’s DMO and its local arts agency. Synergy between these organizations plays a key role in a destination’s brand by weaving a community’s arts, cultural, and heritage story into its overall community message, effectively developing a truly distinctive locale. 

Two awards will be given. One to a LAA and a DMO with a DMO annual operating budget of US $3,000,000 or less and one to a LAA and a  DMO with a DMO annual operating budget of US $3,000,001 or more. The awards will be presented at Destination Marketing Association International’s Annual Convention, July 14-17, in Austin, TX and at the National Arts Marketing Conference, November 6-9, in Salt Lake City, UT. (See below for descriptions of this year's award winners.) 

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Previous awardees of the Arts Destination Marketing Award:

2015

El Paso
In the category of under $3,000,000 budget, the panel selected Destination El Paso (DEP) and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) for their successful decade long marketing partnership using the arts. DEP and MCAD worked to increase El Paso’s profile as a destination and showcase El Paso’s cultural offerings and arts organization for visitors. With this partnership, 70% of DEP’s marketing budget supports promotion of arts and cultural events to tourists. There has been a 66% increase in large scale downtown events resulting in a $6.4 million impact to eh local economy. And in 2011 El Paso was officially designated by the State of Texas as a Downtown Arts District.

Napa Valley
In the category of over a $3,000,001 budget, the panel selected Visit Napa Valley and the Arts Council Napa Valley for their Napa Valley Arts in April (AiA). AiA is a month long event designed to showcase Napa Valley’s rich cultural assets and community. In this past year, AiA not only focused on the art in the wineries but also allowed local artists and arts venues to participate. Because of new partners for AiA, there was an increase of 20 new events from 42 to 62. Visit Napa Valley also invests more than $100,000 in promotional dollars as well as staff time for AiA and this investment generated 24.5% increase in lodging revenue.

2014

Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
The Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County formed the Arts Activation Committee that worked together to attract the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) week long festival. The Arts Activation Committee worked with local businesses, bluegrass advocates, and local government to develop a successful bid to host this important event and to create an overall atmosphere in the Greater Raleigh/Wake region that promotes the event and art form while developing pride locally in the rich bluegrass heritage of North Carolina. IBMA’s 2013 week in Raleigh was the best-attended in WOB history. According to IBMA records, the unique total attendance for the week was 146,894 (this contrasted with some 16,000 for WOB 2012 in Nashville), translating into $10 million in total visitor spending (direct economic impact). In addition to the visitor spending and total attendance figures, IBMA’s WOB 2013 also garnered $5 million in advertising value equivalency (value of PR efforts) internationally for Raleigh and the Raleigh area brand. 

Stevens Point Area Convention & Vistors Bureau and Arts Alliance of Portage County
The eight-week project, Celebrate the Arts/Stevens Point Area Spring Arts & Culture Showcase, focused on promotion of the diverse and high-quality art and cultural offering in the Stevens Point Area. The strategy was to collaboratively package arts offerings to travelers interested in art, culture, and food from key geographic markets. The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Arts Alliance of Portage County combined forces to bring more visitors to the area during the Spring, a very slow travel time for the community. During the 2013 promotion period, area hotels saw a 5% increase in occupancy rates along with a 13.3% increase in revenues. 

2013

Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and ArtsMemphis
Created in 2013, the Memphis Hop is the first ever Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour of Memphis attractions. Memphis has a wide variety of activities to entice its visitors, but the sheer number of attractions and the distance between them did not create an atmosphere that encouraged visitors to enjoy all that Memphis has to offer.  So the ArtsMemphis enlisted the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau and created the Memphis Hop, the first ever Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. Now, Graceland is connected to the Memphis Zoo, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and Beale Street.  Other participants include the Stax Museum of American Soul Musin, Metal Museum, Rock n Soul Museum, National Civil Rights Museum, Pink Palace Museum  and The Children’s Museum.  

Visit Bloomington and Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District (BEAD)
Visit Bloomington which is the destination marketing organization for Bloomington has teamed with Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District to use the arts as a key imitative in their destination strategic plan and core function of promotional activities.  Besides joint marketing campaigns and online joint marketing with Visit Bloomington and BEAD, Visit Bloomington established a tourism event marketing grant program that provides marketing funds to local events .  Since its inception, the program has provided $150,000 in grant funds to local event organizers, including artist gallery exhibits, music festivals and theater performance in the Arts District.  Since the establishment of this program and joint marketing efforts between these partners, visitor attendance has reached all time high in Bloomington.