When it comes to investing in art for your business, you’re doing so much more than establishing a unique aesthetic. And while we’ve discussed the importance of creating a striking visual brand to successfully connect with customers, the deeper importance of art goes beyond four walls: it’s also a powerful way to do good in your community while investing in positive change for your employees.
But how does a pretty picture harness so much power? The reality is, investing in local artists is fantastic PR: it elevates your business’s public image and can be leveraged as a powerful marketing tool while doing good in the community. But incredibly, a thoughtful art curation also stimulates a positive company culture by promoting meaningful experiences and connections for employees. Internally and externally, the value of corporate art is profound – and there’s a wealth of evidence that supports this.
The Value of Art Partnerships in Business
The business landscape is changing, and “innovation” is the word of the day. But many companies have made a common mistake: with the advancement of technology, it’s enticing to follow trends and focus on concepts like “work smarter, not harder”. And while there’s admittedly a nugget of wisdom there, there’s also a shortcoming: when do we change our focus to the workers instead of the work?
According to the pARTnership Movement, “As today’s business landscape continues to shift, companies need talent that can respond to an ever-changing world of work. Participation in creative expression fosters and incubates the essential skills and leadership needed in today’s world.”
What’s more, the arts have been known to stimulate a positive company culture and a healthier work environment. From sparking conversations to encouraging explorations of different cultures and ideas, employees can develop both personally and professionally when surrounded by beautiful art.
Cultivate Diversity – and Empathy
The “path to success” was once considered linear, but that’s no longer true: now, businesses rely on diverse voices and forward-thinking strategies to remain flexible and innovative. And that means that focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just the right thing to do; instead, they are critical to staying relevant and successful.
Smart business leaders understand that leveraging the arts facilitates connectivity and cohesiveness within the company. In a 2018 study, 73% of respondents agreed that the arts “help them understand other cultures better”, while another study with a focus on smaller companies (fewer than 100 employees) found that 57% believe that “the arts support their corporate objective to create conversation about important issues”. Art translates to empathy, understanding, and better communication: what business wouldn’t want that?
Help Employees Level Up – and Keep Them Around
Creative thinking and problem-solving are paramount to individual and organizational success – but it’s like a muscle and requires exercise. This is the perfect reason to introduce art into the workplace.
Art partnerships generate inspired and engaged employees, with 59% of businesses agreeing that the arts “increase employee creativity and growth”. Meanwhile, 64% of workers believe that art and creativity benefit them individually in the workplace, making corporate curations and artistic partnerships a total win-win.
Drive Innovation through Inspiration
Inspiration, empathy, and leadership are pivotal to innovation and business success. And when businesses partner with the arts, they get more inspired and engaged employees. According to Business Contributions to the Arts, “63% of companies promote board service at arts organizations believing that such opportunities provide important talent development opportunities”. And interestingly, “63% of employers who considered creative ability a primary concern in the hiring process preferred the creative employee over the technically skilled individual”.
Creativity is intrinsically linked to innovation and success, and regardless of your status in the workforce, art makes a tremendous impact – in fact, 69% of Americans believe that art has the power to lift them up beyond the everyday.
Stand Apart from the Competition
When you invest in an authentic and meaningful partnership with an artist or arts organization, you’re amplifying your unique story and conveying your personal values. And in an increasingly competitive world, what’s more important than sincere communication and engagement?
In fact, when businesses partner with the arts, they gain a competitive edge. 69% of companies that receive national recognition for being a ‘best place to work’ reported that the company invests in creativity, while 45% of companies say that “partnering with the arts offers networking opportunities and the potential to build market share”.
Advance Social and Civic Priorities
Regardless of its size, if you want your company to thrive, you need to invest in a community where employees will want to live and work. Even a small mom and pop can make a huge difference: “partnering with the arts fuels the economy, promotes health, wellness, and safety, creates social cohesion and connectivity, and fosters civic engagement”. Art partnerships are proven to contribute to greater economic vitality and growth while creating more robust communities.
Another interesting fact? Art makes communities safer. “Among neighborhoods with the lowest 40% of the income distribution, those with many cultural assets enjoy an 18% reduction in the serious crime rate.” That’s far from insignificant! And with 68% of Americans agreeing that the arts have a positive impact on their mental health and well being, safety and security are surely important factors that shouldn’t go unsung.
A Success Story
Recently, United Airlines started a new campaign called “Her Art Here” in an effort to shine a light on gender disparities in the arts. It’s interesting to note that this comes from an industry that has also historically suffered a wild imbalance of the sexes in its workforce.
However, United’s commitment to amplifying this message in a thoughtfully aligned and visual way proved to be a raging success, with consumers from all over the world applauding the company’s efforts while elevating the work of women artists. It was a massive triumph: the company’s image was elevated in a totally unique way while an important issue was being raised – and thoughtfully addressed.
Encouraging innovative conversations and empathy, infusing positivity into the company culture, supporting mental health and well-being, and benefiting the larger community: the messaging is clear that when companies partner with the arts, they gain a competitive edge that benefits everyone. So we ask you to consider: with so much to gain, what do you stand to lose?