On a roll

With a little help from your (artistic) friends
Organization thinks the arts sector can make your business boom

Looking for an unconventional way to better your business performance and become an employer of choice? Amy Henderson and Business and Arts Newfoundland and Labrador would like to talk to you.

Henderson, who is general manager of the organization, says the goal is to develop win-win partnerships between the arts and business sectors in the province. “The first objective is that a conversation is stimulated and there’s a possibility of interactivity beyond sponsorships and gifts,” she says.

But what exactly can artists offer a business that will make it better? One example Henderson mentions is the “Arts To Business” directory project. The directory, expected to be released in July, will include listings of projects artists can deliver (for a fee) that could aid local businesses. The projects have been divided into six categories: fostering creativity, enhancing skills, increasing brand visibility/creativity, demonstrating employee/customer appreciation, improving quality of life and personal development and entertainment.

Henderson says when her organization, which is run by a 14-member board that includes directors from business heavyweights such as Husky Energy, ExxonMobil, and the McInnes Cooper law firm, asked the province’s arts community to submit ideas for the directory, it got 60 project proposals. “I have one theatre director in St. John’s who wants to put on one-hour public speaking workshops for businesses,” Henderson says.

The organization was incorporated in 2011, but Henderson says it’s only been in an “active phase” since November of 2014. She hopes the work it’s doing will lead to $50,000 being injected into the arts sector in 2014-2015 and a better awareness among businesses as to how artists can enrich their enterprises. “This is economic development,” she says. “Artists are better compensated and better valued and businesses get more from the relationship as well.”

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