TO: Metro Angel Investors
FROM: The Arts Partnership (TAP)
RE: Investing in an organization with a proven track record that could far exceed expectations in assisting with employee attraction and retention and economic growth across the metro if funded more robustly. In short, TAP needs increased capital to move the dial on the arts’ capacity to serve the metro in its (and your) current needs.
Is your interest piqued? Let me provide answers in anticipation of questions you may have.
Who are your current supporters?
TAP has many supporters, but you could reach out to Sanford Health (Dave Anderson), TMI Hospitality (Lauris Molbert), Myriad Mobile (Jake Joranstad), Charley Johnson (Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Convention and Visitors Bureau) or any of the three City Mayors. Each of these entities has a long history of supporting The Arts Partnership.
How do you track trends in your market?
We continue to hone our business acumen through professional development opportunities and extensive reading from leaders in the field.
TAP is currently working with Americans for the Arts on a comprehensive economic study to provide indicators of the impact the arts are making in our community.
We have visited many regional communities to meet with their arts and economic leaders. We know we don’t need to reinvent the wheel where arts investing is concerned, but rather, we need to bring back models of excellence that we can adapt to fit our community.
What is your value proposition?
TAP cultivates the arts in the community through a four-pronged approach: communicate about and advocate for the arts; create networking opportunities and provide grant funding to arts organizations and artists.
There is no metro agency that covers such a broad arts spectrum. TAP represents fine and craft arts. Instrumental and vocal arts, theatrical arts and film. Performance art and dance. Culinary arts. Spoken word and literary arts. Professional, collegiate, K-12 and volunteer arts organizations. Individual artists of all stripes and interests.
Our capacity to communicate about the arts is immense. From our weekly relationship with The Forum, to our weekly and monthly KFGO radio programs, to our blog and social media writing, TAP generates thousands of pieces of content about the arts in the metro.
Content you can use to entice employees and business investors, too.
We represent the massive collective that is the arts. We advocate directly and effectively with all three City governments, major corporations, starts ups, foundations, nonprofits, educational centers, service clubs, individuals and more.
We will advocate about the quality and quantity of the arts to any investor or employee you are trying to bring to the metro.
TAP fields questions, creates content and makes introductions for those who want to engage with the arts. We routinely connect artists or arts organizations to businesses, other nonprofits, schools and more. TAP is the arts hub that connects the various spokes that make the metro thrive.
We will help your employees think more creatively in the workplace.
We will manage grant dollars for the arts from you efficiently, transparently and effectively.
This year, TAP will award more than $95,000 to arts organizations through the City Arts Partnership grants and Sanford Health merit awards. We will award more than $20,000 to artists through the Jade Presents and the Individual Arts Partnership grants. In addition, TAP will fund artists at more than $20,000 through our various programs: Community Supported Art, the Corporate Artist in Residence program and ChalkFest.
What do you need?
The Arts Partnership needs increased corporate and private investment to do this work better. The three-year goal is to match the $84,000 City Arts Partnership dollars with corporate giving to double the size of the grants we award annually.
TAP wants to encourage risk taking through its funding programs. Our largest grant award this year is $7,500; however, with a $15,000 grant, an organization might think about new programming aimed specifically at millennials or bring in an outside exhibit that draws families or leverage those dollars to create a new staff position.
When the arts are able to think and act bigger, their work will have an even more robust impact on the community, which will directly assist in attraction and retention, economic growth and sense of placemaking. All these elements are of current concern to those working in the economic, infrastructure and planning of the metro as well as you, the private sector. The Arts Partnership is singularly poised to make this happen with your investment.
Thank you for your consideration.
Submitted to The Forum for the May 30, 2016, column but was ultimately not printed at the direction of the editorial staff.