“One of the goals of BEST seeking art from The Art Connection was to expose our job seeker clients to the professional atmosphere they’ll encounter at our luxury employer properties. Mission accomplished!,” exclaims Assistant Director Joan Abbot. Through art placement, BEST has received 20 works of art in a variety of mediums thanks to the thoughtfulness of their client based selection committee. Their constructive banter about potential interpretations and questions that could be generated by the subjects and messages in the art, set the tone for community building they wanted the works to foster.
“BEST’s first floor reception area has large windows looking out onto Dudley Square’s busy Washington Street. Passersby can see Renu O’Connell’s Earth hanging on the wall. Many people come in to BEST looking for The Department of Transitional Assistance, located in the same building as BEST, right around the corner. The original artwork from The Art Connection helps BEST create a warm, welcoming, professional environment for the neighborhood, many of whom could use a dose of beauty. There have even been people who ask we are a museum,” shares Joan.
Even leaders in the hospitality industry like Executive Director of the Mass Convention Center Authority David Gibbons and David Colella, General Manager of the Colonnade Hotel have come to visit and left in awe of the prestigious artworks like Erte’s Diva Suites that adorn BEST’s facilities. The grandeur of the artwork within mirrors of the wealth of services provided to support those in need of a fresh start.
BEST’s mission is to provide individuals with the education, skills, and training to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives. Classes include soft skills training in the areas of professionalism, customer service, conflict resolution, diversity in the workplace and non-harassment. Hard skills training includes safety and blood-borne pathogens, ergonomics and computer skills. Additionally, a series of guest speakers from partner hotels visit the class to speak on a variety of topics. Students also tour partner hotels and participate in job shadowing. Recently their offerings have grown to include GED, adult basic literacy, computer and citizenship classes, as well as ESOL.
We saw the strength of support systems they offer clients in action at the ribbon cutting at Dudley Square last year. Among Mayor Marty Walsh and esteemed community Activist Mel King, stood BEST client Katrina Hines being honored for her journey from unemployment to financially stable employee in the hospitality industry, eager to share advice and give thanks for all that others have blessed her with along the way.
Overall, it seems that BEST is helping people in Boston flourish and it’s exciting to know that art placed through The Art Connection is there to accompany their growth. To learn more about BEST visit them online at http://besthtc.org/