Blog Posts for November 2011 Blog Salon 2

My November Thanks

Posted by Valerie Beaman, Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

What a great look into the future of the arts and business partnerships!

Thanks to our bloggers Neil McKenzie, Bruce Whitacre, Tom Tresser, John Eger, Krista Lang Blackwood, Donald Brinkman, Kelly Lamb Pollock, Christine Harris, Mary Wright, Janet Brown, Jim Sparrow, Nancy Glaze, Michael Gold, Michelle Mann, Giovanni Schiuma, Michael Wilkerson, Sahar Javedani, and Emily Peck for writing such thoughtful and provocative pieces!

Thanks are also due to all the other commentators, Tweeters, and Facebook friends.

There were so many insightful blogs this week.

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Inside Arts Based Interventions

Posted by Michael Gold, Nov 18, 2011 2 comments

Michael Gold

Michael Gold

For any individual or culture to change it has to want to change.

Arts based interventions that have the potential to affect real change are engaged when someone inside the corporate culture sees the need and the potential. It is essential that such interventions be very carefully designed.

There must be a thorough and agreed upon understanding of the client’s “pain” and how an art based intervention can be applied to catalyze that pain into specific productive results. A good starting place for practitioners is Giovanni Schuima’s book The Value of Arts for Business.

The only thing that will convince corporate interests that its management needs the resource of the artistic perspective is word of mouth based on experiential results. One cannot blame Chief Learning Officers and CEOs for being skeptical.

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Linking Creative Education & Talent Development

Posted by Ms. Christine Harris, Nov 18, 2011 1 comment

Christine Harris

You see more and more reports indicating that creativity is a critical issue facing our world -- and that there is a serious lack of it throughout the business environment.

No wonder we celebrate and even venerate the life of Steve Jobs because he demonstrated a heart and soul connection to his personal creativity that we don’t see too many other places, and many of us feel is missing within our own lives.

So -- you would think with all of this concern about our ‘creative capital’ we would be increasing our commitment to arts education, not pulling further away from it, right? What is wrong with this picture?

I think we have both a communication issue as well as an outcomes issue.

First, the  communication issue is that despite decades of research showing the positive personal and academic impact of arts education, we haven’t moved the needle in terms of school curriculum strategy, educational budgets, or civic and corporate commitment. So, let’s stop using the same language because no one has been seriously listening for years.

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Fort Wayne: Integrating the Arts Through Practice

Posted by Jim Sparrow, Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

Jim Sparrow

In Fort Wayne, IN, the arts are an active part of the downtown redevelopment. One of the anchors to this involvement is the new Auer Center for Arts and Culture, which is aligned with our vision of integrated partnerships.

These partnerships are both traditional, such as the ballet, an arts gallery (Artlink), and the administrative offices for Arts United, as well as non-traditional, including a small business partnership with Pembroke Bakery and offices for Fort Wayne Trails.

We have also formed a Cultural District Consortium with our organization, the city, our CVB, and our Downtown Development Group that has a presence in the building. Its focus includes development of business, activities, and public art within the downtown core.

The center’s concept includes fully-integrated business services; financial, insurance, IT, phones as well as shared common space and business service staff and operational space. It is also structured with the objective of changing the operation and relationship of the arts with the community and its development.

The Auer is a community center with activity focused less on events and more on active arts and cultural space. Our model defines arts in a very broad manner, but has high-quality traditional arts at the center.

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Creativity is the Connection to Corporations

Posted by Michelle Mann, Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

Michelle Mann

Over the past 7 months, as a loaned executive from Adobe to 1st ACT, I have gained a new appreciation for the difficulties arts organizations face when raising money.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, with its corporate giants and start-up millionaires, there is very little investment in the arts and culture ecosystem. That’s because 70-80% of Silicon Valley’s wealth leaves the region.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised -- understanding the global nature of business. But I am disappointed that more of my peers and former colleagues in corporate philanthropy don’t include arts and culture in their giving portfolios.

Study after study have demonstrated the link between creativity and the arts to higher academic achievement, to attainment of 21st century skills, to brain development and early literacy, and social and emotional development.

Corporate leaders talk about creativity being an essential skill for the 21st century workforce. They want  to hire people who are problem solvers, are flexible and can adapt quickly to new situations, are culturally competent and open to working with others.

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Corporate Storytelling

Posted by Bruce Whitacre, Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

Bruce Whitacre

Bruce Whitacre

“Our projects have to have a beginning, a middle and an end.”

“Don’t bring me your menu of options, A-level for $10,000, B-level for $15,000. Let’s just talk about what you’re doing and let me figure out how we can be part of it.”

“We’ve been tasked to put the A for Arts into STEM for the next Clinton Global Initiative meeting.”

These are not foundation executives or nonprofit executive directors talking. These are community relations executives at three Fortune 500 companies.

I also saw this phenomenon at the IEG sponsorship conference last spring, when GE and Xerox explained how they are using sponsorship to enter a new country or demonstrate logistics prowess through a sports franchise. Or a company that uses its pro bono work on behalf of a nonprofit to develop in-house expertise that will be resold to the commercial market.

What does all this mean to me?

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