Rolex Philanthropy

Spotlighting a Foundation's Dedication to Emerging Artists

Communications campaign to raise awareness of the seminal role that Rolex Philanthropy plays in cultivating new artistic voices through the Rolex Arts Weekend in New York City, a culminating milestone of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

March 2011 to November 2011
New York, NY

For nearly a decade, R+A worked with Rolex Philanthropy on a communications campaign to educate U.S. media and the general public about the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative—a unique international program that brings together emerging and established talents in seven disciplines for a year of creative exchange. Over the course of our engagement, R+A developed and implemented a range of communications initiatives to raise the visibility of this international program in the U.S. market, working closely with artist participants and program administrators to build and sustain awareness of the Rolex Arts Initiative's defining strengths.

For the program’s 2010-11 cycle, R+A designed and implemented a communications strategy for the Rolex Arts Weekend, a culminating moment for program participants to share with the public new work that was developed during their year of collaboration. The event took place in New York City, primarily in and around the New York Public Library. R+A mounted a focused, six-month campaign to educate media about the unique and transformative impact of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative on its participants, the creative community, and the public at large. The campaign used the programming confluence of the Rolex Arts Weekend to articulate a holistic set of messages about the program's role in cultivating the next generation of artistic talent.

Our campaign:

  • Developed holistic messaging to frame the Arts Weekend program as emblematic of the Rolex Arts Initiative’s longer-term impact and outcomes
  • Provided strategic counsel and assistance in building institutional partnerships and presentation strategies to maximize program visibility
  • Engaged opinion-leading media at both the national and local levels to raise the visibility of the Arts Weekend, and by extension Rolex’s larger philanthropic portfolio
  • Leveraged the Arts Weekend as a moment of visibility to mount a national announcement of the next phase of programs

R+A’s campaign generated a robust stream of national and local media coverage leading up to the Rolex Arts Weekend, resulting in a crescendo of public interest in the weekend’s programming slate. Our communications activities secured major media placements for the program in such opinion-leading outlets as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Bloomberg, Time Out New York, Village Voice, New York Observer, ARTINFO, and Huffington Post, among many others. R+A also arranged for an exclusive story on the selection of the 2012/13 mentors to appear in The New York Times timed to the announcement of this news at the weekend's closing event.

Through our comprehensive campaign messaging and strategic outreach, we were able to leverage the weekend as a focal point for long-term public engagement with the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, creating a greater degree of visibility for Rolex’s philanthropic activities that was sustained through the new mentor announcement and into future program cycles.

Project Timeline
  • Spring 2011 – R+A conceptualizes a campaign strategy for the Rolex Arts Weekend and works with the Rolex team to establish ties with institutional partners for the event
  • Summer 2011 – Announcement of Rolex Arts Weekend program; launch of media outreach to secure advance coverage and cultivate attendance
  • September/October 2011 – Coordination of media placements; strategy for event promotion and marketing; determination of media and VIP attendance at key moments during the weekend
  • November 2011 – Rolex Arts Weekend takes place at the New York Public Library; R+A provides logistical support and media coordination throughout the series of events, and mounts a national announcement of new program participants tied to the culminating gala
Client Relationship
Services Provided For Project
Communications + Media Relations
Brand Positioning + Constituency Development
Program Strategy