Monday Musing – Is A True Partnership Possible?

Today’s musing resulted after I read an article published in The Globe and Mail (Vancouver’s first city-owned studio space opens as arts facilities continue to close). I wondered what might happen if there was an opportunity that called for the creative resources of a non-profit arts organization and the practical capability of a for-profit business to benefit from each other’s missions. 

Of course, this isn’t anything new. Historically, many large companies have partnered with the arts to create a meaningful alliance but often there is an imbalance in this union. It is not uncommon for a business to donate or bestow an amount of money to an arts organization, and the arts non-profit then carries out a program or mission. That is often where the partnership may end. One has money, the other needs money, and that is the only exchange that takes place. 

What might it look like if these two entities formed a true partnership where each offered support and cooperation?

Too often, non-profits spend a considerable amount of time looking for donations, grants, investors, etc. to enable them to carry on with their creation. Businesses are inundated with request after request for monetary gifts and spend resources on deciding what aligns with their values and beliefs. 

Using a partnership of art and business to bring about social benefits makes economic sense. Throughout history, art embodies the power to change society. The influence art has on society, caused many governments to censor this powerful effect. Combining creativity with a logistical talent to be used as a resource to seek innovative solutions to issues society faces benefits everyone. 

What would be the best solution to combining the two?

Many artists cringe at the thought of being confined to a cubicle. In the same breath, many organizations are reluctant to hire an arts major. There seems to be an impasse of how to bring these two seemingly different worlds to one table to work together even though it makes perfect sense. 

I leave you with a question, is a true partnership between an arts organization and a for-profit business, where each sees the value of the other possible?


Dunn, Michael. What is the relationship between art and society?
Isaac Kaplan, Upstart Co-Lab Wants Businesses to Hire More Artists
L.E. McCullough, A New Paradigm for Successful Arts and Business Partnerships


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