Arts integration brings added value to development

Posted by Mr. John T. Paradiso, Dec 10, 2019

When I moved to Brentwood, Maryland in 2004, I had no idea it was an arts district. As it turned out, the Gateway Arts District is a two-mile stretch of US Route 1 starting on the border of Washington, DC into Maryland, running through four municipalities (Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Hyattsville). Long before I moved here, a group of folks including local artists, community leaders, and elected officials came together to create a vision for future development along Route 1. They knew that these working-class neighborhoods, although overlooked by developers at that time, would someday be appealing. For years the story has only been, “Artists move into a neighborhood and make it attractive, and then the developers come in and move the artists out.” But because of the high concentration of artists located in these neighborhoods for years, the community put its energy towards cultivating “arts-driven economic development” to attract developers that would embrace the artistic community and keep what was so attractive: the arts itself.

Read More

Business Spotlight: Financial Institution Champions Arts for Company and Community

Posted by Heidi Jark, Nov 25, 2019

I’ve been called the “artsy-fartsy banker.” I started playing piano at age 5 and never looked back. As a farm girl from a rural town in South Dakota, the arts saved me. I’ve been in my role at Fifth Third Bank for 21 years and the company has grown to be an impressive arts champion. That’s not who our company was 21 years ago, but this is who we are today, and I couldn’t be prouder. With the right messaging, people now understand about the power of the arts: it’s an economic driver. People who have a love of the arts have more creative skills—they are more diverse, more innovative, and thus better businesspeople. When we have talent come in, they want to know about the arts scene in our company and community. We know quality of arts enhances quality of life of employees. We are at a critical juncture. Communities need to be strong and vibrant, which means we need the arts—and we must ensure that arts are accessible to everyone. In the future, I can see our relationships deepening and growing with the arts in our community to further achieve our civic and social priorities.

Read More

National Shop Local Artists Week Continues to Spark Commerce Through the Arts

Posted by Ms. Kim Bergeron, Nov 14, 2019

What started as a small, local celebration of arts and artists in December 2016, and grew to a statewide Louisiana initiative in 2017, is now entering its second year as National Shop Local Artists Week, an arts advocacy event embraced and promoted by Americans for the Arts. Considering that communities understand the importance of “Shop Local” and “Small Business Week,” creative professionals often are overlooked, other than when organizations need donations of time and talents for fundraisers. National Shop Local Artists Week events are designed to broaden awareness of the importance of supporting creatives, advocating for artists of all genres as small businesses, and recognizing arts organizations as instrumental components of the local culture. Consumers are encouraged to personalize their holiday gifting by purchasing visual arts, works by local authors, music recordings and concert tickets, attending performing arts presentations, and supporting local arts organizations and museums via memberships.

Read More

Business Spotlight: Advancing the Arts for Workplace and Community Cohesion

Posted by Kathy Romito, Nov 06, 2019

Through Akron Community Foundation’s “On the Table” conversation hosted at Western Reserve Hospital, we determined a need to address the lack of diverse artists and accessible art in the community. The arts proved to be a powerful way to forge meaningful connections by transcending barriers of class, race, gender, background, and so forth. The project brought people together in new ways that benefited the community by sharing the stories of historically marginalized voices. Moreover, displaying art in businesses served as an accessible entry point for those who might not feel welcomed or comfortable in traditional art spaces. This project also served as an economic driver by opening the local businesses to new markets and reinvigorating downtown Akron. By creating a map and social media hashtag, community members were exposed to new businesses on their journeys to view the artwork. At the end of the year, some of the businesses even created their own partnerships with artists and arts organizations to display work.

Read More

Four Tips to Help Arts Professionals Save More

Posted by Melinda Sherwood, Nov 04, 2019

Content presented by the Institute of Financial Wellness for the Arts (IFWA).

As arts professionals, we value the importance of exploration, play, and experimentation—these are vital to the creative process. At the same time, as professionals, we also know that the key to success for any creative venture depends on taking action—and that requires discipline and a plan. Not unsurprisingly, a large number of artists and arts professionals tend to be more impulsive and less strategic when it comes to managing their finances. Some of this is a long-standing cultural misconception—believing (incorrectly) that artistic endeavors ought to be unencumbered by financial realities—and some of this is circumstantial: a lack of access to educational resources or sound financial advice. At The Institute of Financial Wellness for the Arts, we’ve spent a lot of time understanding the unique financial challenges and constraints that arts professionals face. Here are some of the strategies and tips our financial coaches come back to time and time again. 

Read More

Taking the New pARTnership Movement on the Road

Posted by Jessica Stern, Oct 24, 2019

Recently I had the pleasure of being invited to Akron, Ohio to participate in meetings with local leaders and present a half-day professional development training on the basics of the pARTnership Movement, a program of Americans for the Arts which demonstrates that by partnering with the arts, businesses can gain a competitive edge. The pARTnership Movement offers language, resources, and case studies to help arts leaders “speak business.” It illustrates to the business community why they should be active partners with the arts, and how they can support the arts in myriad ways in addition to cash resources. As well as providing online resources and tools, the pARTnership Movement serves as a professional development opportunity for local communities to bring Americans for the Arts to you to train nonprofits and meet with business and community leaders.

Read More