Blog Posts for working with business

Recognizing the Value of the Arts in Oxford, Mississippi

Posted by Oliver Nell, Nov 28, 2022 0 comments

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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Think!Chinatown Uses Public Art to Help Local Restaurants

Posted by Yin Kong, Jul 13, 2021 0 comments

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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10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2021

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Mar 17, 2021 0 comments

The effective arts advocate needs to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic—and to deploy the right case-making tool in the right moment. Consider these “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” as your Swiss army knife for arts advocacy. It can feel intimidating Zooming with, or walking into, a legislator’s office—even to experienced advocates. To always feel prepared, I break the advocacy process down into three questions: Who gets the message? What is the message? and, Who delivers the message? When you are preparing your case for the arts, remember The Golden Rule: No numbers without a story, and no stories without a number. The arts are all about stories—often small, always meaningful. Share yours. It is engaging and draws your listener in—and then pair it with the research-based findings in “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” Yours will be an advocacy visit that is not soon forgotten!

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Buy Fine Craft to Invigorate your Local Creative Economy

Posted by Erika Juran, Mar 09, 2021 0 comments

For me, handmade objects have “sparked joy” long before Marie Kondo became a household name. A fine craft collector invests in the artist and the story of the artist. The artist’s journey to learn their craft is a part of that object. As many of us re-learned in 2020, our conscious choices to purchase local and handmade have reverberations through our community and country. I serve the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen (PGC) as its Executive Director. Founded in 1944, and headquartered currently in Lancaster, PA, the PGC is one of the oldest and largest professional craft guilds in the country. The PGC was born out of an effort to promote wider awareness of the contributions that craft can bring to a community through the stimulation of achievement and enrichment of cultural, aesthetic, and educational interests. Its very existence was inspired by the recommendation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to find ways of transferring wartime skills to peacetime work. Our state’s fine crafts are not just beautiful, useful objects; they also demonstrate Pennsylvanian practicality and authenticity, speaking to our state’s historical Quaker roots.

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The Intersection of Place and Process

Posted by Christy Bolingbroke, Feb 26, 2021 0 comments

As the second choreographic center of its kind in the country, NCCAkron often asks what it means to be a “national” center that is neither in the physical center of the country nor the perceived center of the dance universe. Being based in Akron affords us (and by extension, the artists with whom we work) the emotional, mental, and physical space to create from a place of abundance inherent to our Northeast Ohio stomping grounds. Being national in our scope allows us to stretch—to engage artists from all over, to hold even more capacity for ideas larger than ourselves, and to be the connective thread between communities. We refer to this as operating in both the hyperlocal and the national spaces. I felt a spirit of possibility immediately upon arrival in Akron, and try to underline it in everything we do.

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Strengthening Education & the Workforce Through the Arts

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Nov 24, 2020 0 comments

When the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Stanford University’s Thomas Südhof, was asked by the prestigious medical journal Lancet to name his most influential teacher, one can only imagine the look on the interviewer’s face when the professor responded, “My bassoon teacher.” He later went on to describe how it was his music education that gave him the habits of mind that made him a great scientist—discipline and drive for excellence, creativity, communication, and a desire to innovate. As public and private sector leaders work to strengthen their education systems and the competitiveness of their workforce, the research makes clear that ensuring every student receives a quality arts education achieves both. The research points us in an unmistakable direction: If you care about students performing better academically and building a competitive 21st century workforce, use your voice to help ensure every student receives a quality arts education.

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