Blog Posts for Arts & Business

Indicators that Tell a Broad Story of the Arts

Posted by Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Jan 26, 2010 0 comments

At a time when the arts and culture community’s understanding of itself is shifting away from traditional conceptions of “arts participation” (i.e. attendance) and focus on publicly-supported business models, creating an empirical index such as the National Arts Index (NAI) is a daunting task. The challenge is that many arts-related data sources are anchored in conventional conceptions of the sector.  Consequently, the NAI makes huge steps forward by including both for- and non-profit indicators, by including indicators of personal participation, and by shedding light on lesser-utilized data sources (see pages 131-134 of the report).

The arts and culture sector seems to be moving toward a broader, more holistic, understanding of itself – one that spans a larger swath of the ‘cultural ecology’ – including professional arts, participatory practice and cultural literacy.  The cultural ecology framework developed by John Kreidler and Philip J. Trounstine in their 2005 Creative Community Index report (page 6) is a simple and elegant depiction of the cultural system. As we in the field continue to develop this broader self-definition, participatory practice and cultural literacy will need to be characterized at the same level of detail as indicators currently included in the NAI.

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Business Leaders as Arts Advocates (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Emily Peck, Dec 09, 2009 1 comment

A few weeks ago, business leaders gathered in New York City to celebrate the companies named to THE BCA TEN: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America.

I was encouraged and inspired by the passion that CEOs from across the country had for supporting the arts and arts education even in a time of economic uncertainty. These CEOs truly value the role the arts could play in recruiting and retaining employees, building communities, stimulating the economy, and inspiring creativity.

The tremendous support for the arts from the business leaders resonated with all of the people in the room, and reaffirmed the role these companies play in the arts in their communities and nationally. A recent Harris Poll reported that 37 percent of U.S. adults find business leaders to be the most persuasive endorsers of products, beating athletes (21 percent), television or movie stars (18 percent), singers or musicians (14 percent), and former political figures (10 percent). Listening to these CEOs, I could see how this is true.

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Corporate Culture (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Emily Peck, Oct 28, 2009 1 comment

Across the country, bankers painted, insurance agents rocked, and lawyers took to the stage to demonstrate their creativity and passion for the arts.  Take a look at what these organizations are doing, just a sample of the creative partnerships that have been popping up in the arts and business world.

In Nashville, businesses put together bands and performed in the First Annual Music City Corporate Band Challenge. Bankers, insurance salesmen, plumbers, and surgeons took part in this contest which demonstrated the musical talent of the city and promoted Nashville’s status as "Music City USA." AllState Insurance Company’s The Good Hands Band, Myers Company’s Next of Kin, The Nashville Symphony Association’s Phil & the Harmonics, and Vanderbilt University’s Soul Incision were among the competitors in the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville’s first annual Corporate Band Challenge (which, incidentally, was won by MTA’s band, “Transit').

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