In 2013 and 2014 Milton Home Depot provided in-kind materials to create two large-scale community art projects, which are now permanent fixtures at the Milton Centre for the Arts. Culture Days’ Elvira Truglia spoke to Pilar Andrulat, Merchandising Assistant Store Manager at Brampton Home Depot (previously Operations Assistant Store Manager at Milton Home Depot) about why Milton Home Depot partnered with Arts Milton.
Culture Days: Milton Home Depot has become the cornerstone for Culture Days in Milton. How did this happen?
Pilar Andrulat: The Home Depot is committed to giving back to the communities we serve. Team Depot is our associate volunteer force and each store across the country has a Team Depot Captain to lead its' community initiatives. We give back through grants and product donations, volunteer work, and through funding research and awareness projects.
Culture Days: Milton Home Depot is now in a long-term partnership with Arts Milton. Please describe your partnership.
Pilar Andrulat: At The Home Depot Milton store, I had the opportunity to lead my team in many Team Depot projects. When the artist of the mural, Aparna and Carly from the Milton Arts Centre approached the store regarding a donation of paint, I saw it as a great way for the associates and myself to do something a bit different than the building projects we are typically involved in. The whole community was getting involved and we wanted to be part of it. We were able to assist with not only paint, but tiles and other materials as well. Many associates were excited right away and wanted to help.
Culture Days: How important is it for businesses to partner with arts and cultural organizations, particularly in smaller communities?
Pilar Andrulat: It is very important for businesses to partner with community organizations so we can make a positive contribution to the area where we all live and work. Many of our associates are artists or students and we want to support initiatives that have personal meaning for them. We all live in this community and utilize the services offered by organizations like the Milton Arts Centre.
When the artist of the mural, Aparna and Carly from the Milton Arts Centre approached the store regarding a donation of paint, I saw it as a great way for the associates and myself to do something a bit different than the building projects we are typically involved in.
Culture Days: Your in-kind contributions supported a large scale community mosaic in 2014. How did you engage your employees in this project?
Pilar Andrulat: We engaged our associates through our Team Depot program. They were very excited to be involved in this project and we really had a wonderful time working on it.
Culture Days: Thanks to your in-kind contributions, over 2,000 community members participated in the creation of art works now displayed at the Milton Centre for the Arts. This public arts display was a catalyst for the creation of a public art policy for the Milton Centre. Did you foresee this kind of impact from your involvement in Milton Culture Days (ie. was this one of your goals)?
Pilar Andrulat: Looking at the mural now, we can reflect and speak about how the community came together on this project, and we are happy to have been a part of it. Of course, we didn’t expect this kind of recognition. “Giving Back” and “Doing the Right Thing” are two of our values at The Home Depot, so being a small part of this huge project was an easy decision that we knew would have a big impact on our city.