As we reflect upon 2018 and ease into the New Year, we’d like to acknowledge all of those who’ve helped unite the business and arts sectors to enliven our communities and grow our province. To our artist and business members, #ComePlayWithMeNL! public piano artists and sponsors, Business Volunteers for the Arts, as well as our workshop facilitators and all of those who support the arts across Newfoundland and Labrador, we extend a big thank you!
Our #ComePlayWithMeNL! Public Piano Program has been hitting the right notes. Each donated piano is painted by a local artist, debuted by a local musician and sponsored by a local business. The program, which launched in 2014 with the Jag Hotel piano at St. John’s International Airport (originally painted by Justin Fong and later repainted by Cara Kansala), helps spur spontaneous moments of music-making, creative expression and community between piano players and passersby.
Since then, Business & Arts NL has launched five additional public pianos: the Humber Motors piano at Deer Lake Airport (painted by Jackie Alcock), the Coast 101.1 piano at MUN’s University Centre (painted by Susy Randell), the Newdock piano at Atlantic Place (painted by Sarah O’Rourke-Whelan), the Comfort Inn (Clayton Hospitality) piano at the Health Sciences Centre (painted by Louise Markus), and the Memorial University piano at the Emera Innovation Exchange at Signal Hill Campus (accompanied by artwork from Jud Haynes).
Business & Arts NL is currently expanding this program, with our first piano in the works for Labrador. A piano is also on its way to the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre (sponsored by Penney Auto Group), as well as four other locations (to be announced at a later date). In addition, a new piano will be placed at Deer Lake Airport (also painted by Jackie Alcock with Humber Motors continuing as sponsor) and MUN’s University Centre (painted by Mark Benson with Coast 101.1 continuing to sponsor).
In addition to ArtSupport NL (an 18-month program, launched in March of 2018, that sees 12 not-for-profit arts and culture organizations improve their fundraising skills and know-how, and work one-on-one with a professional fundraiser for 10 months to increase fundraising revenues), our Business Workshops for Artists series hosted three legal clinics last year, as well as a session on incorporation vs. sole proprietorship. Upcoming workshops include “Tax Tips for Artists” (January 23) and “Insurance for Artists” (February 27), with more to be announced.
In 2018, our Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) program matched three volunteers with the boards of arts organizations, for a total of 70 hours of volunteer work. In addition, there have been over 20 hours of Business Volunteers for the Arts consulting completed for the creative community in the areas of strategic planning, governance, tax and fundraising and more, and over 25 hours of pro bono legal work completed.
By means of our “Spotlight on Partnerships” blog, we published 44 stories in 2018 of support and collaboration between the arts and business communities, in addition to news regarding piano launches, workshops and more. We look forward to sharing even more inspiring stories in 2019.
Coming up, our first Scene First event of the year will be held mid-February and will feature Artistic Fraud’s Between Breaths Orchestral with music provided by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Our first Sunrise Series event will take place in March.
We thank everyone for their continued support!