Fast Company Event Preview: Understanding Brands as Cultural Patrons

Culture™ at FastCompany Innovation Festival

Shantell Martin, Artist

Shantell Martin, Artist

On October 26, Culture™ will host a special conversation and workshop at the 2017 FastCompany Innovation Festival in NYC (details below). Here is a sneak peek at some of the topics we'll be discussing with our speakers.

Shantell Martin, Artist
When you’re approached for a project supported by a brand, how do you determine if it’s a good fit for you? What factors are important in making a choice to participate? And what factors are key in making the project a success?

When get asked to do a project by a brand, a school, a non-profit, a museum, a friend, a cooperation, a scientist I ask myself are our morals and ethics aligned, is this a good fit for me, can I share my work with a new demographic, do they respect and value what I am doing, do I respect and value what the are doing!? If yes and I have time – then that sounds like a pretty good thing to say YES too. If I’ve not ticked those boxes then I say no.


Julia Kaganskiy, Director, NEW INC at the New Museum

In previous projects where you’ve observed or facilitated brands and artists working together, what do you think are the most common challenges that both sides face, and why? 

I think the biggest challenge that is encountered anytime you have creativity, and artists in particular, in the equation is “what are the metrics of success”? What are the project outcomes we want to achieve and how do we know if we’ve met them? Artistic inquiry is hard to quantify; it’s really open ended. A proposal that gets submitted may look very different from the end result. I think this open-endedness is vital, but it’s anathema to how most companies work. 

Damian Bradfield, WeTransfer


WeTransfer started dedicating virtual space to artists and designers early on. Can you discuss the goals of this initiative and how it has managed to remain part of the company's DNA?

We believe in the concept of profit for good. We believe creativity is about discovery. We didn’t set out to create an initiative. There was no timeline, or KPI, set against creating a banner-free, focused, creative place for people to work. It was a design decision. The majority of the web was beginning to look like a cluttered, obtrusive and disrespectful place. We wanted to give our users a different experience.