Walker Art Center

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Macy’s Makes Music Happen

In September, as Marshall Field’s becomes Macy’s, the company reintroduces its corporate giving program as Macy’s Gives. While the store’s name changes and its green stripes become a chic new red star, Macy’s corporate giving philosophy will remain deeply rooted in diversity and inclusiveness, and it will continue Marshall Field’s long history of supporting the arts and cultural organizations such as the Walker that promote creativity and imagination among people of all ages.

The Walker is extremely proud to take part in this important transition for Macy’s and is excited to welcome Macy’s Gives as the exclusive corporate sponsor of its 2006–2007 music season. “Macy’s Gives is proud to support the Walker Art Center’s music season, which presents an eclectic, flavorful, and theatrical perspective that resonates within our communities,” says Macy’s North senior vice president of marketing Paul G. Cavalli. “Macy’s North continually seeks opportunities that are creative and meaningful to share with our communities. We’re committed to giving to programs such as the Walker’s music season because of its educational and artistic value.”

In conversation with Macy’s senior specialist of community relations marketing Heather Olson, Walker assistant curator of performing arts Doug Benidt did some digging to find out why Macy’s Gives …

Doug Benidt:

Through Macy’s support of music programs at the Guthrie (Macy’s Night at the Guthrie) and the Minnesota Orchestra (Macy’s Day of Music), you bring the best in classical and contemporary music to the Twin Cities. What does Macy’s support of the Walker bring to the mix?

Heather Olson:

We’re excited to help bring innovative musical styles and performances from around the globe to the Twin Cities through the Walker’s upcoming performing arts music season. Sponsorship of the Walker’s music season gives us an opportunity to show our support of arts and culture in a new way to a new audience.


Macy’s Gives supports art and cultural programs that make the arts accessible to diverse communities. The Walker’s music season does that, from avant-rock by the Books and Gang Gang Dance to African music by Gangbé Brass Band, ancient music reimagined by the Rose Ensemble and Bobby Previte, and all sorts of fusions that include Vijay Iyer’s jazz, a saxophone tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and Habib Koité (who Bonnie Raitt praised by saying “First, there was Hendrix, then Stevie Ray, and now, Habib.”) What gap does it fill in local music?


These Walker performances really help to expand and broaden our understanding and awareness of music from around the world. They’re fun, energetic, and really open your mind to learning and loving new musical styles. We hope they serve as a catalyst to foster new and imaginative music choices for the Twin Cities.


The Walker programs music that is both local and global. How does that breadth fit Macy’s giving strategies—and its shopping experience?


Our mission of delivering newness and excitement in our merchandise, events, and community giving remains as strong as ever. We’re continually seeking the latest trends, designers, and entertainment—locally and from around the globe—that will wow our customers. For instance, this year’s Glamorama—“Glamosphere”—takes attendees on a global escapade with world music and cutting-edge fashion from top designers.