Local Businesses Supporting The Arts
Tour the Quad City downtown areas and you will find good examples of how creative people are growing as innovators – serving in a two-fold manner of providing products and services while supporting local creatives of all types. From artists to writers, local businesses are supporting a manifesto that CREATIVITY and the ARTS matter. This practice is economically benefiting our local community members and adding flair to tourism and recognizing the QCA as a cultural and vibrant destination point. It is this partnership that can also build a competitive advantage while assisting in advancing the Arts.
Businesses such as Crafted QC, a working studio and shop in Downtown Davenport, Iowa features handcrafted goods created by over 100 artisans and opens studio classes. They also hosted a book signing for our local talented writer Jonathon Turner. The environment was vibrant and a pleasant atmosphere to promote his book.
Taste Buds, a snack shop in Rock Island, is supporting local artists by exhibiting their art and hosting receptions. Recently, Jackie Krebs had her debut solo exhibit there, and this week, another local artist, Sara Holtz has her debut solo exhibit. Taste Buds is providing an environment for local artists with an emphasis on giving new artists a platform, particularly for their first exhibits. So far in 2017, all of the local artists exhibiting – Shy Brewer, Julia Hightower, Jackie Krebs, Jackson Leary and Sara Holtz – had their debut solo exhibits at Taste Buds. Owner Bret Gardella, and writer and gallery manager Sean Leary were discussing revitalization in the District of Rock Island, and decided to partner in utilizing Taste Buds as a gallery space with 100 percent of sales going to the artists and no commission charge. Taste Buds and artists are merging their audiences, increasing sales for each other and increasing exposure and model partnership for other businesses. Any artist who are interested in exhibiting can contact Sean Leary via Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I had founded Zola Gallery, the Midwest’s premier ecological gallery in the District a few years ago, I was determined to not only represent local/regional artists but also provide creative services: creative consultation, artist’s development, art workshops, meetings and partnered events with the Eco Arts Council, in a determination to not only offer creative products and services but an environment that FOSTERED creativity in visitors and participants. It was my goal to provide a creative place and a creative experience WITHIN the space supporting creative placemaking in the community.
If you are a business owner, let me share some things to consider from the pARTneship movement by Americans for the Arts.
- Recruit and retain talent. Employees want to work in a vibrant community.
- Put your company in the spotlight. The arts help you build market share, enhance your brand and reach new customers.
- Advance corporate objectives and strategies. The arts help you get your message across in engaging ways.
- Foster Critical Thinking. Did you know that creativity is among the top applied skills sought by employers?
- Engage your Employees. The arts challenge employees to be their best.
- Embrace diversity and team building. The arts create an environment that blends background, ethnicities and cultures.
- Say Thanks. The arts are a great way to show you appreciate your employees.
- Contribute to the economy and quality of life. When you partner with local arts, you partner with the whole city.