Director's Note: Investing in the Arts is Good Business

Staff members from River Community Bank participated in Game Day Family Day at Piedmont Arts in 2013.
The bank not only sponsored the event, but set up a free popcorn station for guests.

As an arts organization, it can sometimes be difficult to tell our story, especially to the business community. Our job is getting easier, however, with recent research that has been done through Americans for the Arts, the Wallace Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Research shows having strong arts and cultural programs strengthen communities.

Having a strong, vibrant community is important to all of us, including our corporate partners. According to Americans for the Arts, nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $135.2 billion in economic activity every year—$61.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $74.1 billion in event-related spend by our audiences.

Here are eight reasons businesses should partner with the arts (courtesy of Americans for the Arts Partnership Movement):

1. Recruit Talent—employees want to live and work in a vibrant community. When you partner to support local theater, music, museums, dance and public art, you help to make your community more attractive to current and future employees. Happier employees make for a happier workplace. 

2. Put Your Company in the Spotlight—the arts help you build market share, enhance your brand and reach new customers. Celebrating the arts is a way to build a powerful presence and engage with multiple stakeholders quickly and effectively. Museums, symphonies, dance performances, festivals and more allow you to reach customers and are venues to entertain prospective and current clients. Businesses agree that the arts increase name recognition (79%) and offer networking opportunities to develop new business (74%).

3. Advance Corporate Objectives & Strategies—the arts help you get your message across in engaging ways. The arts can educate the public and your employees about core business issues such as informing them about your products or teaching them to make healthy choices.

4. Foster Critical Thinking—creativity is among the top applied skills sought by employers. More often than not, business leaders say creativity is of high importance when hiring. The arts are about critical thinking, solving and reframing problems and facts in ways that reveal insights and opportunities. Seventy-two percent of companies that give to the arts recognize that it stimulates creative thinking, problem solving and team building.

5. Engage Your Employees—the arts challenge employees to be their best. Whether it’s showing off their own creative talent in a company art show or battle of the bands, or volunteering for a local arts group, the arts let your employees use their current skills and develop new ones.

6. Embrace Diversity and Team Building—the arts create an environment that blends backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. Though exhibitions, performances and workshops, the arts provide opportunities for employees to grapple with workplace concerns and become more familiar with their coworkers in the next cubicle or around the world. Committing to the arts lets people know inside and outside your company know that you value innovative thinking and a creative culture.

7. Say Thanks. The arts are a great way to show you appreciate your employees. Providing tickets to events, museum memberships and other arts experiences is the perfect way to inspire employees and say “thanks.”

8. Contribute to the Economy and Quality of Life—When you partner with local arts, you partner with the whole community. The arts are essential to the health and vitality of neighborhoods, cities, states and our nation. they enhance community development, create jobs, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and create an environment that attracts skilled and educated workers.

Piedmont Arts thanks its corporate contributors who recognize the importance a strong arts and cultural presence to the overall economic well-being of Martinsville-Henry County.

Director's Note
 is a monthly blog by Piedmont Arts Executive Director Kathy Rogers examining the impact of the arts in our community. 

Contact Kathy at


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