May 29, 2012
Filed under: A&BC News
Chicago a cappella recently honored A&BC, with special recognition going to former Executive Director Joan Gunzberg, with its Friend of the Arts Award. The award was presented at Chicago a cappella's gala benefit on May 17th.
Citing the organization's long association with A&BC, Executive Director Matt Greenberg said,
On behalf of our artistic director, Jonathan Miller, and the entire organization, it is my pleasure to tell you about our 2012 Friends of the Year.The Arts and Business Council of Chicago has been one of Chicago a cappella’s most treasured resources for over a dozen years. When we first discovered the Arts and Business Council in 1998, we were amazed to learn that there was an organization here whose sole mission is to serve arts groups just like us – connecting us with people, resources, and expertise to help us succeed. In the years since then we have tried to take advantage of every opportunity the Arts and Business Council has afforded us.We were lucky to be accepted into an advanced marketing seminar back in 2000 that transformed the way we think about our audiences and how we communicate with them. Within two years of that program, our subscriber base increased by 30% and our single tickets increased by over 50%. We used volunteers from the Arts and Business Council’s Business Volunteer for the Arts (or BVA) program to help us match our audience demographics with the most effective marketing and sponsorship opportunities.We enrolled in OnBoard – a phenomenal program that acts like an extended “speed dating” service – actually it’s more like “slow dating” -- between potential board members and arts organizations, while at the same time training hundreds of arts enthusiasts from the business community about what it means to serve on a Board of Directors. Over the years, we have received five board members from this program, including two current members, Linda Mast and Maria Suarez.We participated in the Council’s innovative eCommerce Incubator program, which gave us ongoing consulting services to refine and advance our online and email-based communications. And our staff and board members have attended countless workshops, seminars, and advanced training sessions on topics ranging from board development to finance.There is not one area of our work that hasn’t been positively impacted by the work of the Arts and Business Council, and we are just one of hundreds of nonprofit arts organizations that they support every year. So you can begin to imagine the impact they have on the life of the arts here in Chicago.In addition to our gratitude for the Arts and Business Council, we are happy to be recognizing the particular gifts of our special honoree Joan Gunzberg. As the executive director of the Arts and Business Council for twenty years, until her retirement four years ago, she built the organization into the powerhouse that it is today.Her innovative approach to arts and business partnerships, savvy networking and personal skills, and deep love for the arts were responsible for the creation of one of our city’s most important service providers. And lucky for us – she also likes a cappella vocal music. Since we first became involved as a client of the Arts & Business Council, Joan took a particular and personal interest in our success. She does not play favorites – but we always FELT like we were one of her favorites. She guided our efforts to best utilize the Arts and Business Council’s services, and she provided advice and support—both officially and unofficially—on every occasion we asked. And we asked a lot.She is also one of the Evanston community’s most steadfast civic supporters, serving on numerous committees and boards, including the Evanston Community Foundation and many others. Since retiring from the Arts and Business Council, her support and friendship for Chicago a cappella have not wavered. She knows only too well by now that when we ask her to breakfast at the Lucky Platter, it’s not just because we want to share a scone – we’re looking for some advice. Her generous support for Chicago a cappella has transcended her former position, and we are honored to have her as one of our most treasured friends.Please help me in acknowledging and thanking our 2012 Friends of the Year, the Arts and Business Council of Chicago—represented by their executive director Andrew Micheli—and our special honoree, Joan Gunzberg.