Arts & Business Thrive Together

article by Kelly Johnson | Executive Director, Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene

In 2006, the City of Eugene decided to take a close look at our community’s cultural strengths and develop an integrated vision for the future. This year of research and conversations resulted in the Cultural Policy Review (CPR) — a report that recommended the creation of an alliance that would coordinate and strengthen the efforts of the public, private and nonprofit cultural sectors, while fostering high-level civic leadership in support of arts and culture.

The City pulled together a group of stakeholders, consisting of leaders from the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Lane Community College, University of Oregon, and Travel Lane County, to bring this alliance to fruition. These five founding partners launched the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) in 2008. The ABAE has connected local businesses to Eugene’s multimillion-dollar arts sector for over a decade.

A strong arts and culture sector can create jobs, increase tourism, and grow the economy. Beyond these community-wide economic benefits, individual businesses can profit from helping their employees develop their creativity. Creativity is among the most sought-after skills in today’s workforce. Environments rich with creativity, dance, music, and art enable people to come together to share experiences and ideas. By sharing experiences and perspectives, people in a company or the wider community can better understand each other and live and work together.

The ABAE educates business people on why partnering with the arts is beneficial personally and professionally and then shows them how to do it. The ABAE is leading a movement to reimagine models of partnerships and foster a fluid exchange of ideas and assets between Eugene’s arts and business sectors. They are a catalyst for inspiring high-impact collaborations that contribute to Eugene’s long-term economic health and livability.

Their programs and events are designed to:

  • Identify and amplify models of partnership.
  • Promote, teach, and facilitate knowledge, asset, and skill-sharing.
  • Make it easy for businesses and arts to network.
  • Encourage business leaders to discover the advantages of exploring their creativity.
  • Articulate the economic and social value of the arts in the Eugene community.

Eugene’s arts ecosystem is vast and diverse for a community of its size. There are many ways that you or your business can get involved to ensure the arts continue to thrive, which boosts our local economy and helps make Eugene an ideal place to live and work.

You could meet your next unexpected partner by attending an event or program put on by the ABAE, including Arts After Hours. Arts After Hours is also an opportunity for business and arts leaders to create new relationships, strike up conversations about future partnerships, and explore the congruent interests of the arts and business.

Can’t make Arts After Hours? The ABAE Arts Guide provides a snapshot of Eugene’s arts organizations and artists.

Published On: April 20, 2022
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