LGBT-owned and operated, Antarctic is more than just a digital agency. Growth-focused on brand development, digital fundraising and web development, Antarctic works mainly with nonprofits and cause-based organizations that are mission-driven and that give back to the community. In their own words, “We’re a group of designers, technologists, and digital strategists focused on helping cause-based organizations and nonprofits innovate and grow. We embrace growth as a central theme as well as strategic planning, thoughtful design and a robust understanding of web technologies that help place our clients ahead of the competition.”
Antarctic often works closely with other LGBTQ community partners, including God’s Love We Deliver, the Ali Forney Center, and SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Specifically, in the current COVID-19 pandemic, Antarctic’s work is more important than ever before. Using their skills and talents, Antarctic has helped SAGE create an immediate response fundraising campaign, called “Taking Care of Our Own,” which raised $12,000 for GLBT elder services. The Antarctic team also assisted God’s Love We Deliver, raising enough funds to provide 210,000 shelf-stable meals. They created the hashtag #WhoAreYouCookingFor which inspired dozens of celebrities (including Michael Kors and Gwyneth Paltrow) to cook and share their virtual meals and donations with the organization.
The entrepreneurial spirit comes from Michael Yuasa, the founder and executive creative director of Antarctic. Initially created as a record label, Michael began working with companies and corporations to integrate their brands into events. This led to a path of more formal advertising and brand activation, ultimately leading to the rebirth of Antarctic as a digital agency. Michael had an “aha moment” when he realized that he could use his talents and skills with nonprofit organizations. “Maybe there’s a place for me,” Michael reflected, “to help build nonprofits to build their brands, to make them great.”
|Michael Yuasa, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Antarctic|
As an LGBT-owned business, Yuasa thought it was important to join nglccNY and become an officially Certified LGBT Business Enterprise ®. Yuasa was initially invited to the Chamber in 2016 and was impressed by the strong business network, but also, but the fun that everyone seemed to be having at the monthly M3 mixers. In his own words, “Everyone is always having a good time!” When asked why it was important to join nglccNY and to become a Certified LGBTBE ®, Yuasa responded, “We wanted to have deep ties in the organization, but also, because of the business potential.” Since joining the Chamber, Yuasa has had the opportunity to work with other Chamber members, including the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art and the National LGBT Bar Association. In fact, building a network and community is one of Yuasa’s main pieces of advice for other businesses: “Be involved. Show up. Meet people. Work on building those relationships.”
This connection to the community is a large part of what makes the work so meaningful. “As an agency, I think we’re one of the best,” Yuasa explains. “We take a lot of time, there’s a lot of education, there’s a lot of intensity that goes into the work. And we’re making the conscious choice to put that energy towards nonprofits and organizations that give back to the community.”
Yuasa and the Antarctic team are choosing to give back to the community in serving organizations that also give back to the community, creating an uplifting environment of goodwill.
To learn more about Antarctic and their work, you can visit antarcticagency.com or check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Michael Venturiello is the founder of Christopher Street Tours, an LGBTQ history walking tour company. He is a proud member and Ambassador of nglccNY and sits on the Media and Communications committee.