Chart History. Chart test marketed in 2004 in the Central Florida Ballet Nutcracker program which Cutting Edge Communications published, and launched in March 2005. At that time, Winter Park did not have a dedicated magazine and the art galleries on upscale Park Avenue struggled, even though Winter Park was the epicenter of arts and culture in all of Central Florida. Ad agency owner and entrepreneur Casey Tennyson (Swann) had a marketing concept to fill the missing needs in her upscale community. In 2005 Orlando Sentinel, and in 2006 UCF’s Pegasus magazine and Orlando Business Journal, covered the sensational success story. The Orlando Sentinel arts column often covered Chart’s major art shows. The art gallery was Chart from the beginning (spelled chART originally) and the magazine was NOW for a few issues, then became Chart like the art gallery. As Chart expanded to Palm Beach in 2018, the events were covered by Florida Weekly.
+++ Orlando Sentinel, Section C, Monday, August 22, 2005, Chart program maps out new framework for arts community, Some might call it a stroke of genius: Everybody wins when art, business and charity meet, The View From Here is a slice of local life by Sentinel reporters, Today, feature writer Aline Mendelsohn contributes.
Kevin Rambo doesn’t consider himself an “artsy” person. Yet he has collected more than a dozen paintings in only a few months.
It all started one night when he was dining at the Maitland restaurant Za-Bistro. Rambo liked the colorful paintings on the wall, so he bought one.
In the next few weeks, he bought another painting. And then another. “I got kind of hooked,” says Rambo, who owns architectural woodworking business Woodology.
The impetus behind Rambo’s new hobby is the Chart Charity Art Collection, a program that displays artwork in about two-dozen businesses throughout downtown Orlando, Winter Park and Maitland. Once a piece is sold, 20 percent of proceeds go to the charity of the buyer’s choice.
Casey Swann, Chart director, also hosts art parties and publishes NOW: The Source for Good Taste, a quarterly magazine that features a catalog of local artists.
For more than 20 years, Swann has been president of Cutting Edge Communications Inc., a Winter Park advertising agency.
Though a businesswoman at heart, Swann says she has a creative soul. So she brought her business sensibility to the arts community and started a program that introduces new audiences to art while helping local artists find space for their work.
Why display art in a place of commerce? Because doing so gives locals the chance to view paintings outside of a gallery or museum setting, Swann says.
Local galleries struggle to survive financially because many Central Floridians working in the service industry – and don’t have the affluence of traditional art buyers, she says. “We have to customize the arts community to not just survive but thrive.”
Linda Muniz-Staggs is glad to be a part of Swann’s vision. Her business, NFX Apothecary & Shoppe in Winter Park, showcases several chart paintings.
“They’re just alive with color, trendy and chic and sexy and fun,” Muniz-Staggs says. “…It’s more than just something on the wall. There’s feeling, there’s conversation about it.”
The Urban Body Men’s Clothing Studio in Thornton Park also is involved with Chart, exhibiting 11 paintings.
“They add a lot of character and color to the store,” says manager Tim Endicott. Several Urban Body customers have bought the artwork. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be part of the art community,” Endicott says.
Buyers such as Linda Barnby appreciate the philanthropy aspect of Chart. “I was enamored of the whole concept, because everybody wins,” says Barnby, a Winter Park attorney who has bought three paintings for her sun room.
The artists welcome the exposure. “It opens up the door for more contact [with the community],” says Janet Maloney, a Longwood painter.
Artists such as Maloney can meet those who buy their work at the chart parties that take place every few months at the Lofts of Winter Park Village.
Rambo, the Maitland man, enjoys learning what inspired particular pieces. He says chart has deepened his appreciation of the arts, and he expects to add to his collection.
“I’m going to have to add a wing onto my house,” he says “The art wing.”
Aline Mendelsohn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5352
+++ Pegasus (University of Central Florida Alumni magazine), May/June 2006, by Angie Lewis, ‘chART’ING SUCCESS
A little more than two years ago Casey Swann, ‘83, was writing screenplays and books during a year hiatus from her advertising job.
But instead of continuing to solicit clients in the corporate world, Swann decided to pursue her passion for the arts and start up her own “go-to” source for creative expression in Orlando. chART, short for charity art collection, is Swann’s newest promotion within her agency, Cutting Edge Communications, which she has owned for 15 years.
March marked the first anniversary of the chART program, which last year sold 238 pieces to art lovers. Twenty percent of each of those purchases was donated to the buyer’s charity of choice, benefiting nearly 70 different charities.
“[The anniversary event] was a 20 on a scale from one to 10,” Swann said of the party, which included art, live music, and food and wine from local restaurants and bars. “Everything surprises me every day. I’m surprised by the synergy of all the good things that happen within this promotion [charity art].”
chART currently represents about 20 artists and has about 500 pieces of contracted art. But Swann wants to broaden her scope.
“I would like to bring more promotions for the performing arts, music and film, as well as some of the other creative arts,” she said. An example of this effort, Swann buys 100 of the best tickets for the Orlando Ballet and resells them to friends. “I want to encourage people to experience other art forms – not just the visual arts.”
She also plans to eventually expand chART into four other Florida markets, including Sarasota, Naples, Palm Beach and Miami.
Casey Swann isn’t the only UCF alumna involved in the charity art program. Tracy (Rosof) Petersen, ‘82, and Jann (Banks) Stanton, ‘83, are two of the artists whose works are for sale through chART.
Swann’s friendship with Stanton began in high school. “Jann would have slumber parties, and we would do crafts,” Swann said. “She was an artist even then.” Petersen was Swann’s college roommate. “She was a pottery major and never around, because she was always at the kiln.”
While she was a student, Swann was involved in many extracurricular activities that she credits for her success today, including selling ads for The Central Florida Future student newspaper, serving as vice president of Quotes (the professional ad/PR club for students) and working as a freelancer for an ad agency, where she had an opportunity to do all of the creative and media buying for a graduate studies media campaign titled “Major Advantage.”
“All of those activities together, in addition to my classroom education, completely prepared me for my career,” Swann said.
She remains involved with UCF today. chART has a presence with the UCF Women’s Club fundraising event, as well as the Nicholson School of Communication Wine Stroll.
“There’s never been one day when I haven’t loved what I do,” Swann said. “That was based on a good, solid education that gave me a lot of opportunities, and my degree at UCF put it all in motion.”
+++ Orlando Business Journal, Aug. 4-10, 2006, The art of collaboration Synergistic promotional program helps artists get better exposure, by Bob Mervine – Staff Writer
WINTER PARK — A Winter Park woman is blending art and charity, commerce and community service in a promotional program that includes a quarterly magazine designed to benefit all who participate.
The idea for the concept first began to percolate following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America when Casey Swann, a 23-year advertising and marketing veteran and owner of Cutting Edge Communications Inc., experienced a slowdown in business.
While pondering how to shift her business focus during a weekend trip to an art show with a former college roommate, Swann says she realized how difficult it is for artists to market and promote their work. With that in mind, she devised an interconnected promotional program designed to sell original art created by local artists.
The chART Art Collection program is an unusual combination of elements that includes a profitable, slick lifestyle magazine dubbed chART — in-the-kNOW Art of Living, an online catalog of artwork for sale and a series of art-related events held at advertisers’ businesses that generate traffic and sales. All are connected by more than 70 charities that benefit from the proceeds of the art sales.
United Arts President and CEO Margot Knight calls the process “a creative brokerage.”
“I love the way she has connected the local business community with the arts,” says Knight. “It’s a great concept that complements and doesn’t compete with local businesses or artists.”
Trickle-down effect For her part in running the program, Swann takes a 30 percent commission on the art sold, and every sale includes a 20 percent donation to the charity of the buyer’s choice. Businesses, from The Volvo Store to Adair’s restaurant, advertise in the magazine, display the art and host the charity-related events, which generate more art sales and charity donations.
The magazine, presented in a slick color format comparable to other local lifestyle publications includes advertising from the businesses that display the art and editorial content about local artists, charitable events and organizations.
Says Karen Carasik, a mixed media artist who works out of the COMMA art studio, “She’s (Swann) a committee of one who has succeeded by her force of will, the old-fashioned values of commitment and enthusiasm.”
Carasik adds that not only the non-profits and Swann’s stable of artists benefit from what she doesn’t, but that there’s “a trickle-down or trickle sideways – maybe even a puddle effect – that benefits the broader community as well.”
‘Real niche-y’ Participant David Reynolds has experienced that trickle-down effect firsthand and says the program is an example of relationship management at its best.
Reynolds, owner of Reynolds and Co. Jewelers, has been advertising in Swann’s chART magazine since it started. He bought the first ad “because it was for a good cause,” he says, but has since discovered it brings customers into the store to look at the half-dozen pieces of art on display.
“I’ve sold jewelry off of the ad,” he says. “In fact, I’ve had more sales from advertising with them than any other place.”
Reynolds thinks the relationships Swann uses to bring things together are what makes the whole concept successful. “It’s based mostly on a lot of word-of-mouth that she generates,” says the businessman. “She knows what works.”
The concept is actually quite simple explains Swann: Magazine subscribers, at $24 a year, get invitations to the events and a first look at new art. In addition to subscriptions, the magazine is distributed at advertiser’ businesses and at the special events.
With only 600 subscribers, Swann says the magazine need not have a huge circulation to be successful. After all, she points out, it is only one link in the chain.
“I look at things totally differently than most people do,” Swann says. “chART is not just a magazine, and it’s not like other publications. Its real niche-y.”
+++ Chart often made the Orlando Sentinel arts column. Below are a few of the mentions in the early years.
Orlando Sentinel, Calendar Section, March 3-9, 2006, Visual Arts by Terry Hummel, Party! We’re chART(ing) progress Casey Swann of Winter Park is a marketing whiz. She has worked with many of our area’s best nonprofit and corporate citizens. Many of the nonprofits, as anyone who reads this column knows, sell or auction local art as part of their fundraising strategy. Swann decided to turn this loose but symbiotic relationship into more of a formal marriage; she created “chART” (from: charity + art) and its full-color magazine NOW. ChART holds events throughout the year, selling original art and donating a portion to the charity of the purchaser’s choosing. The magazine is full of articles about cultural happenings, patrons, our many cultural organizations, artists, and performers. Each issue contains a small catalog of original art for sale. (These sales also benefit the charities.) Tonight, 7-10 pm, chART and Now celebrate their one-year anniversary and the launch of the spring issue of the magazine. ChART events are always huge, and tonight’s party is no exception. This event takes place at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Maitland (on U.S. Highway 17-92 near the Maitland Boulevard overpass), and will have art, live music, food and wine from the area’s best eateries. The various bars, etc., each benefit a single charity. Admission is free. Call ___.
Orlando Sentinel, March 24-30, 2006, Visual Arts by Terry Hummel, 2 chances to party arty There are two art parties tonight with a lot in common. They both will be in Winter Park, will have great original art by Florida artists, will take place on the second floor of their buildings, and will be located less than five minutes apart. The first begins at 6 p.m. at Gallery M. 238 Park Ave. N. (above Timothy’s Gallery), and features the sculptures of John Petrey. The title of this collection is “Undressed.” (Hmm.) The second event is huge. It begins at 7 and officially ends at 10, but I have known it to go on a bit later. Yes, my art-aholic friends, it’s time for another of the legendary chART Loft parties! The par-tay is in the Lofts of Winter Park (above the Cheesecake Factory). These parties always have lots of great art, live entertainment, food, wine, etc. The event is free, but there is a VIP-area reserved for subscribers to kNOW, chART’s quarterly full-color magazine. You can subscribe while there. Call ___.
Orlando Sentinel, Sept. 26, 2008, Visual Arts by Terry Hummel, Charity and art mix, mingle in Maitland Join the fun gang from chART tonight, 7-10p.m. at the Mercedes Benz dealership in Maitland (on U.S. Highway 17-92). chART produces a quarterly magazine that unites local charities, artists and donors / art collectors (chART = charity + art). The magazine gives info about various charities, their activities in the community and their own fundraisers. About once a month, chART hosts a free event in various locations to sell art, bring together cool people, listen to live music, enjoy some libations and nibble on great hors d’oeuvres. Subscribers to chART’s full-color magazine can enter the parties’ VIP areas for even more delectable goodies, and (like tonight) are often followed by an “after party” at a sponsoring restaurant. For more info or to subscribe, call ___.
+++ Palm Beach Florida Weekly, week of Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, 2019, page A26 Society page, Chart Palm Beach published the first Palm Beach issue Sept. 2018 for the season of 2018-19. The sensational Chart Live celebrations bringing the magazine to life at events gained quickly in popularity among readers interested in charities and arts.