Your Next Challenge: Engage Business Employees Through the Arts in Your Community!

Posted by Ms. Jordan Shue, May 20, 2016 0 comments

Thanks for joining us this week to learn more about how arts groups around the country are engaging business employees through the arts, and what the impact is with individuals, companies, and entire communities. This week, we’ve heard from a number of arts leaders, as well business employees who’ve both led and participated in efforts to bring the arts to the workplace, stimulate innovation, and deepen the daily practice of creativity in our lives.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve seen this week, and some of the best and most inspiring quotes:

  1. Amber Buker on the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville’s WorkCreative program, which brings music, visual, and performing arts into the workplace: “When 250 of Southwest’s marketing employees [participated in a] songwriting workshop…the group seemed to find even more resonance with their own part in Southwest’s story. Song lyrics have a way of sticking with you. I will remember the way their song went, probably for the rest of my life, and I guarantee they will too. That is the power of art. Just think about all we could accomplish if that thread was woven into the story of every industry, and if art was used to uplift every employee.”
  1. Valerie Marinucci of Aetna on the experience of being engaged through the arts in the workplace: “Did I mention that I love to sing and perform? Obviously, the arts are important to me, and having access to opportunities to engage in my passion at work is what makes my job so enjoyable and meaningful. The arts bring us beauty and happiness, and we need that everywhere, especially in the places where we work.”
  1. Steve Knight of COCAbiz on making arts-based training experiences as meaningful as they can be for a business and its employees: “Engaged, motivated, creative employees are great–but without a clear understanding of the expected business application and a supportive environment to sustain it, the energy and insights from arts experiences will dissipate or be wasted on the wrong priorities. Answering “engaged in what?” is the key to strong business impact…When arts-based learning experiences are coupled with reflection and identification of clear path for application, employees are not only actively engaged, they are engage in the right things to propel their business forward.”
  1. Mel Healey, Retired Group President for Procter & Gamble North America, on the power of CincySings, a corporate singing competition she helped ArtsWave create three years ago: “…it is evident to our city that [CincySings] has delivered on its mission to leverage the power of the arts to create employee engagement and excitement among the participating companies, and a renewed passion for the arts across the regional community.”

Ready to take the plunge and start an employee engagement program in your own community?

Americans for the Arts recently announced the release of the first three workbooks in a series dedicated to helping nonprofits start arts-based employee volunteer and engagement programs, including:

  1. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville’s WorkCreative, an arts-based training program that brings arts into the workplace by engaging employees in hands-on creativity to stimulate communication, build teamwork, and spark innovation for effective business growth.
  2. ArtsWave’s CincySings, a corporate arts challenge that brings arts into the workplace by creating a friendly, amateur singing competition featuring choirs of Cincinnati-based company employees.
  3. Americans for the Arts Business Volunteers for the Arts® program, a pro bono consulting program for arts organizations that operates in several cities around the United States.

If you’re trying to make the case to businesses in your area that using the arts can engage their employees, check out our one-pager advocacy tools, Six Ways to Use the Arts to Boost Employee Engagement and The Arts Boost Employee Engagement. Learn from practitioners–like ArtsWave and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville–who’ve taken the plunge, and work with us or on your own to do the same in your communities! Learn more.

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