Using Art as an Engine for Community Involvement and Social Change

Gary Rosenthal

Gary welding

Gary Rosenthal, the CEO of Art as a Catalyst, is inspiring others to become involved in service through art. He believes that art can be a catalyst for community building and arts enrichment. This philosophy stems from his long history of service and educational contribution, but is rooted in what Gary knows best: ART.

In 1996, the Wall Street Journal asked employees of Fortune 500 companies which of their employers' activities mattered to them. Among the usual answers--ethics and values, quality products and services, and the effects of economic development--three of the top nine answers were community service, treatment of employees, and dealing with social issues. The importance of these topics is on the rise. Early on, we recognized the potential to link the companies that purchase our products with the nonprofits we support, and the result was the corporate gifts program. Socially conscious purchasing doesn't incur any additional expense for companies, and has wonderful ripple effects, such as increased employee morale and good will in the community. We now use socially conscious purchases to fund engaging community programming and earned income ventures for local groups.