Recognizing the Value of the Arts in Oxford, Mississippi

Posted by Oliver Nell, Nov 28, 2022

Only a few years ago, the business community in Oxford skewed heavily toward traditional notions of economic growth and profitability, which inevitably bred a bias toward large manufacturing businesses, insurance, finance, and healthcare. A smaller-scale entrepreneur community, particularly more creative and artistic entrepreneurs, was not cultivated to the degree it should have been. This community didn’t attract attention because it wasn’t necessarily seen as vital to the health of the local economy. In 2015, Oxford’s local arts agency, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC), recognized this was an issue for the community. They saw that a major part of the local economy—the arts sector—was not being taken seriously as an economic driver. The numbers, they found, were on their side, demonstrating that the arts made up more than a negligible portion of the local economy. The YAC began strategizing with the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce on how they could best capitalize on the arts ecosystem in town, which was finding a way to survive even without the necessary value placed on it. Together they began looking for ways to integrate the separate arts and business communities such that their complementary skill-sets and capacities could meet their mutual goals and needs.

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Americans For The Arts Debuts Improved Arts + Social Impact Explorer

Friday, May 20, 2022

Screenshot of the Social Impact Explorer wheel, with 30 wedges in a rainbow of colors.

Americans for the Arts has introduced a new 2.0 version of the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, the most comprehensive clearinghouse of example projects and research about the role of arts in community life available today. The Explorer provides examples, datapoints, links to research papers, and lists of active organizations to illustrate the impact of arts and culture in 30 aspects of community life from public health to transportation, safety, community cohesion, and innovation. 

Americans for the Arts Offers Testimony for First Congressional Small Business Hearing on Creative Economy

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Committee on Small Business logo

The first ever hearing dedicated to the creative economy explored both the impact of COVID-19 on the creative economy, and the various points of connection to federal assistance to small businesses for recovery and long-term support for growth. At the invitation of the committee, Americans for the Arts provided additional testimony alongside other national arts service organizations. 

The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts Release ‘Business Support for the Arts 2021: Art for Everyone’s Sake’

Friday, February 18, 2022

10 smiling, diverse faces make up the cover image of the report

A new report by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts finds that companies that are continuing to fund the arts are increasingly partnering with arts organizations to address social challenges, including racism and other forms of inequality.

Americans for the Arts Honors Businesses and Leaders for Exceptional Commitment to the Arts

Arts + Business Partnership Awards to Be Presented at Virtual Gala on October 15

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Logo for Americans for the Arts' Arts + Business Partnership Awards, October 15, 2021
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Americans for the Arts today announced the recipients of this year’s national Arts + Business Partnership Awards, recognizing six U.S. companies, an arts and business partnership, and a business leader for their exceptional commitment to the arts. The awards will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 15, 2021, at a virtual gala. This year’s honorees include the companies Audible (Newark, NJ); NMG Network (Honolulu, HI); University of Michigan Credit Union (Ann Arbor, MI); Underestimated People of Purpose (UPOP) (Denver, CO); Universal Orlando Resort (Orlando, FL); and Vestar (Phoenix, AZ). These companies have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.

Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month with Americans for the Arts in October

Americans Are Encouraged to Explore the Arts in Their Communities

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A grid of images showing artworks and cultural experiences plus the National Arts & Humanities Month logo
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Americans for the Arts today announced its October celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. The arts and humanities have played a critically important role during the COVID-19 pandemic and in amplifying the need for racial equity across the country. National Arts and Humanities Month is the time for communities to come together in unified celebration of the power of the arts to make a difference and change our lives for the better.

Advocate and Celebrate for National Arts & Humanities Month this October

Monday, August 16, 2021

National Arts & Humanities Month logo

Individuals and organizations can use National Arts & Humanities Month as a starting point to advocate for the arts and raise awareness about its role in our communities and lives—not just for the month, but throughout the entire year! Here are a few of the ways you can join Americans for the Arts in celebrating NAHM.

Weekly Web Roundup: July 16, 2021

Friday, July 16, 2021

A dining counter in front of a Chinatown restaurant, painted bright orange with floral and food motifs.

This week: a community art project in NYC’s Chinatown, a report on the intersection of arts and technology, an educator’s guide on the First Amendment and the arts, the latest in our professional development webinar series for early arts leaders, and more!

Think!Chinatown Uses Public Art to Help Local Restaurants

Posted by Yin Kong, Jul 13, 2021

ASSEMBLY for CHINATOWN was launched in collaboration with A+A+A Studio to build outdoor dining spaces at no cost to Chinatown businesses. We design, source materials from Chinatown vendors, and construct Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant dining barriers for restaurants. Artists beautify and personalize the space for the restaurants with the help of volunteers who come (socially distanced) together in a help-a-thon to sand and paint the wood barriers. The mural project came into play with our first artist, Kat Lam, who reached out to ask if we wanted her to paint one of the barriers. Her style matched with the business owners, so we moved forward. She contributed her vision as a muralist and we decided to do that for all the barricades to enliven the space and the neighborhood. People want to be part of this community project. Painting is such a gratifying way to work together. Whenever the volunteers walk by, they feel ownership and want to patronize the business. 

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Alma Robinson Honored with Michael Newton Award

Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Awards Presented as part of Annual Convention

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A smiling woman with dark curly hair and wearing red glasses

The Michael Newton Award is presented as part of Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention and recognizes an individual for their innovation in developing arts and business partnerships for the arts and/or long-term achievement in effective and creative techniques to engage the private sector. The 2021 honoree is Alma Robinson, Executive Director of California Lawyers for the Arts. 

Eli Broad Understood the Transformative Power of the Arts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A smiling man dressed in a suit.
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Americans for the Arts mourns the recent passing of philanthropist, arts supporter, and longtime friend Eli Broad. Mr. Broad was a visionary supporter of arts and culture in Los Angeles and across the nation through both the Broad Arts Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

Over 110 Chambers of Commerce Deliver Letter to Congress Supporting $18 Billion in Recovery Support for Creative Economy

Friday, April 30, 2021

A chart showing the 59% economic contraction in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector between December 2019 and June 2020, and the 19% return from July to December 2020.

Building on two previous letters of support for relief and recovery efforts to help the arts, culture, and the creative sector, a coalition of 113 chambers of commerce in 46 states delivered a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership asking that $18 billion be allocated within the forthcoming infrastructure recovery bills specifically to support creative economic recovery. Signatories come from chambers in communities of all sizes and geographies and collectively serve over 33 million Americans.

Weekly Web Roundup: April 23, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021

A bronze sculpture of two figures sitting side by side leaning on each other and holding hands.

Enjoy this week’s blogs, news, and webinar replays on topics ranging from fundraising, cultural equity and access, and the inclusive creative economy to arts and business partnerships, public art, and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts—plus, learn how to make our Local Arts Agency Dashboard work for you.

Learn How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, April 22, 2021

A sign that reads "Chamber of Commerce" hanging outside a building.

Just as local arts agencies act as voices and conveners for their arts and culture communities, so do local chambers of commerce for their business communities. Partnerships between the two are essential to community and economic development. But where to start? Register for our new 101-level, on-demand webinar series that aims to flip the conversation away from “business support for the arts” to “how and why the arts are an essential part of business and community development strategies.”  

Weekly Web Roundup: April 16, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

A bright orange text graphic that reads "2021 Annual Convention June 8-11, Reimagining the Future of the Arts, register today."

This week: we launched registration and opened scholarships to the 2021 Annual Convention, dove into arts policy and issues at the state and local levels, explored the importance of intersectionality in anti-racism work, reminded ourselves why creative employees make the best employees, and shined the spotlight on one of our dedicated members.

Arts and Creativity Brings Humanity and Problem-Solving to STEM

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A dancer in a flowy orange dress strikes a pose on a stage.

As higher education institutions and elected officials have pushed for STEM programs, the resulting technology and innovations have only revealed the need for the arts and humanities within these spheres.

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