Every meeting I go to involving the business sector asks the same basic question: What are your biggest concerns for your business?
If you run a business, your answer is likely hiring and retaining employees. Every local study, task force and organization dedicated to supporting this sector talks about the pending — and I would argue current — crisis that is our employment issue. So I ask you: What haven’t you tried yet?
I invite you to join us for the 2019 Arts Partnership Business Breakfast Series, which begins at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, at the Hjemkomst Center, 202 First Ave. N., Moorhead, with guest speaker David Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Brown will share why the arts are so important to the business success of Omaha and some of the strategies of how the two sectors are working together. Sandi Piatz, site lead at Microsoft, will moderate the conversation.
I never pretend that the arts are the silver bullet that will solve all our metro’s employment needs, but local, regional and global research shows that investing in the arts makes dollars and cents sense when talking about attracting and keeping employees as well as addressing other business concerns.
In the Strategy + Business article “Art Is Good for Business,” author Shellie Karabell begins by noting that recent tax breaks have left many companies with extra cash. She then lists common challenges facing businesses, large and small — challenges I have heard expressed locally.
“Corporate leaders must now navigate a landscape in which consumers, shareholders, and activist investors are putting good corporate citizenship on par with providing excellent products and services. Skilled talent is increasingly hard to recruit and retain. Amid the clutter on social media, it’s getting harder to control brand image. And firms are looking for new ways to stimulate innovative thinking and attract a diverse workforce.”
Karabell continues, “What if, to help address these issues, companies put some of that newfound cash toward something less conventional, yet effective? What if they invested in the arts?”
Omaha’s business sector invests heavily in the arts, and David Brown will discuss the why and the how as well as talk about the outcomes of those investments in this intimate conversation. Learn about new opportunities for how to address your own needs and those of the metro. Then join us in April, May and June for two more guest conversations and The State of the Arts event, where we’ll wrap up the year for the arts and look ahead as well.
These breakfasts are meant to provide new ideas for the business sector as well as provide space for dialogue, but we need business leaders to join us for change to happen here. Come and see where you can plug your business into the arts for your growing success and ours.
This series is funded by a grant from the Consensus Council and is co-sponsored by Flint Group and Microsoft. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite.
This article is part of a content partnership with the Fargo Forum and originally appeared in print on Monday, February 25, 2019.