For the Care of the Community – From Guest Blogger Adam Brouillette
My connection to Triad developed through a shared sense of community building. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working as a community arts organizer, running events, managing spaces, and finding people with artistic skills to participate in an engaged way. Often, businesses look at artists and cultural organizations as charity cases rather than partnerships or opportunities as they would with other businesses. The role that the arts play in developing lasting culture in a community is quite important. Businesses that appreciate that fact and support artists and cultural organizations become stewards of culture.
On multiple occasions, I have seen the direct partnership and stewardship from Triad that I am talking about. In 2016, when an arts space that I formerly ran was forced to close by development in a changing neighborhood, my wife and I decided to relocate our business, Blockfort, downtown into an old NAPA Auto Parts store. I had already developed a history of managing spaces for over a dozen years but knew that resources were limited in order to create a new space for 25 working artists. Working with Triad felt like a partnership. It wasn’t about a company treating my organization like a charity case. It was about maximizing the potential of a space through collaboration, through listening, through partnership. The result is a space that for the past six years has served as one of the notable grassroots hubs in the Columbus art community. Through that process, I saw how Triad had also been involved in other cultural spaces and institutions. I could see that the company was dedicated to preserving and enhancing culture, not replacing it. And that fact led me to become friends with Brent and Zach.
Later, they asked me to assist with helping create a “middle brand” for them. As an artist and designer, I got to think through how to help move Triad from their original brand to something updated. Again, I felt respected as an artist as we worked through the process, trying to design something that felt authentic to who they were in the community. That brand has since been updated again, to reflect the growth and development of the company. I was happy to have helped assist in that growth, in my small way.
Lastly, I enjoyed being involved in community conversations that were set up at the Triad space. These conversations dealt with highlighting members of the arts community that weren’t getting the attention they deserved. The art gallery in the old office showcased these artists and I attended several exhibitions in the space. Again, Triad was finding ways to promote culture that already existed by elevating it. They were being stewards, not supplanters.
I will forever be appreciative of businesses like Triad that work to enhance community through stewardship and respect of arts culture.