This is the story of a successful collaboration between a printing house and an organization of young artists, told from the company’s perspective which chose to support a very innovative arts project with high impact in the community. Also, the story encourages NGOs to reach companies for collaboration – the case shows that sometimes the organization does not even need to meet face-to-face the supporters – honest, transparent online or phone communication can be enough for such collaboration, if the organization manages to clearly explain objectives, results and risks, and then to stay in touch constantly with the company.
Daisler Print House (Cluj-Napoca) was contacted in 2017 by the artists from Art Factory Transylvania Association, who were organizing the third edition of an international street art festival in Sibiu (a city from Transylvania region) – Sibiu International Street Art Festival (SISAF).
“In our company we have a rule – everyone that approaches us gets the “five minutes” to be listened and replied to. We did the same in the case of SISAF, we read their emails, we checked their background, we exchanged other emails and we agreed to become their partner. We did not meet them, as our business is in Cluj, and their festival is in Sibiu, and we did not have yet the chance and the time to meet them face-to-face – and yet we sponsored the second time their event, this year.”Andi Daiszler, one of the owners of the Daisler Print House
Why did Daisler Print House decide to support Sibiu International Street Art Festival?
Andi Daiszler: They reached and convinced us by being completely honest about their results, about their plans, and about the risks of the festival. We appreciate that in our partners – to come honestly to us, say what you want, say what you expect and tell us what could be the risk we could face and share as partners in such a project. We saw the risks of the project – this was something new, you never know how people will perceive the street art, and the messages it sends out there. Still we did it, because this project also checked another very important thing to us: to be a pioneer in what you do, to push the limits of the comfort zone with project’s objectives, activities and target groups. And SISAF did that. They created something unique in Romania, and something unique in the world – they developed a mural paintings tour in Sibiu, involving schools and high-schools from the city and putting colors and important and strong messages out there, to be seen by people and to change mentalities. Also, they involved well known artists, they did not play around – they dreamed big, and delivered big. For us, culture is an area which we are very keen to support, because through art and culture you can change mentalities, you educate people. People see and feel, and understand, and then change. Finally, also, their project matched our interest to reach as many people as possible, to have high impact on a great number of people – they reached Sibiu community and all the tourists coming to visit the kind of street art tours that can be seen only in big cities from Europe.
How did you collaborate with the Art Factory Transylvania Association?
Andi Daiszler: The collaboration was very simple. They told us what they need, and we agreed on the materials, and we delivered them. We always keep our promises, and we provide high quality services and products, no matter the type of partnership. And before, during, and after the festival, they always were in contact with us, sending us updates on the festival, results and reviews; they kept us involved in their project. Also, they kept all the promises they made to us before starting the collaboration, and that was very important as well, for continuing the collaboration with them. This year they involved us in developing the concept of the festival packages for the artists. And we came up with some special festival goody bags, high quality material, designed by a local artist we specially hired for this task. Of course, we also provided merchandise materials, bean bags, etc., needed for the regular activities of an outdoor festival. We are committed to continue the partnership. As long as the festival will take place, we will be there with them, for better or worse – a real partner.
How did the collaboration with Sibiu International Street Art Festival benefit Daisler Print House?
Andi Daiszler: We do not run our business in Sibiu, as we are a Cluj-based company, but we chose to support this festival for visibility. We were there supporting this innovative, pioneer event in Romania. And it always pays off, and we were approached by other similar events, and it opened for us a new network of artists we could involve in our business or community projects we have here in Cluj or internationally. It is amazing for us that we started as a family business, with only one shop, and now we are a supporter of these incredible events, or, for instance, this year we were the sponsor of the team of artists that represented Romania at The Venice Biennale 2018.
Here is our favorite review we got from our clients, a review that motivates us to continue the good work in the community:
“At Daisler is always busy, but the staff deals very well with their job, and usually you do not have to wait too long for prints. The printing quality is really high, and the prices are competitive. The atmosphere from the print shop is very nice, a lot of creative people, from different sectors, come here to print stuff. Moreover, Daisler gets involved in all kinds of social programs, provides sponsorship for NGOs. This is a local business I want to support for sure.”Review added on Google by one of Daisler’s clients.
We need to add that we were happy to support SISAF as a model to follow by other cities from Romania. Last year, they participated, here in Cluj, in the conference of Best Practices in Public Administration. The City Council of Sibiu and Sibiu Municipality, which supported the festival, presented it as a best practice for urban renewal, and Cluj took the model and this year a school from our city got one mural painting changing the face of the school, making it a nicer place for the students, being a “cool” school. Romania has a lot of potential for development, the country is full of potential, there are so many things to do, and cities can learn from each other, they do not have to invent or reinvent each time the “wheel”. And we want to promote this idea, and also to push and support projects that get very visible, reach many people, and change for better what people think and do for their community. Innovative arts and culture projects, reaching audiences that usually do not get to be reached by classic arts and culture, these are the projects we are interested to support.
Daisler Print House: Daisler supported two editions of the street art festival through artistic design and printing of branded merchandise products, bean bags, and other printed products used in the festival. However, Daisler did more, they decided to support an innovative project, visible and with immediate impact in the community, and also give it as an example to follow to other cities. Daisler introduced the festival from Sibiu to other municipalities from the country, through a conference of best practices in public administration, and the model was already implemented in Cluj – this autumn, a school from the city benefited from the support of the artists from Sibiu and got one of the school walls painted. The conference of best practices was the idea of one of the owners of Daisler, Andi Daiszler – who is also in charge with the community responsibility programs of the company, and who is also actively involved in other community programs, projects and associations, running also Daisler Association (the nonprofit association developed by Daisler, the company).
Art Factory Transilvania initiated Sibiu International Street Art Festival, running so far four editions; they convinced Sibiu Local City Council and Sibiu Municipality of the importance of this project, and also schools and artists; they developed the international connections with other street art festivals and street artists, and they brought more than 20 business partners and many more media partners to support the festival and the artistic messages. In four years, they developed a unique street art tour in the world, including 12 schools and 48 mural paintings of 3500 square meters of colors. The tour is free to be visited by locals or tourists, but the association also provides guided tours, making the experience more powerful, supporting or emphasizing the artistic messages.
The interview from this case study was edited for educational purposes, and it does not follow completely the structure of the interview took to Andi Daiszler in the autumn of 2018. The ideas and thoughts expressed follow exactly the original interview, which was taken in Romania.
The photos used in this article are from www.daisler.ro and used with the company’s agreement.