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How the Arts can Solve Top Concerns of CEOs

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How the Arts can Solve Top Concerns of CEOs

 

CNBC reported on The Conference Board’s latest study, C-Suite Challenge 2019™, which lists the top three internal concerns for CEOs as the following:

 

1.       Attracting and retaining top talent

2.       Creating new business models due to disruptive technology

3.       Developing the next generation of leaders

 

If these concern you, you should try the arts.

 

Attracting and retaining top talent

The arts stimulate positive company culture and conversation, foster employee well-being, and inspire a healthier work environment through unique and meaningful experiences for human connection. Who wouldn’t want to work at an organization that encourages a positive work environment?

 

The Standard, a past BCA 10 honoree, has been using the arts to create organizational culture through a pop-up gallery that showcases employees’ visual and textile art, jewelry, and fashion pieces. The show was designed to break down barriers among departments, foster better relationships among co-workers, and encourage innovation in the workplace.

 

Outside of the office, the arts are essential to the development of a vibrant and diverse community in which the best employees want to live, work, shop, create, and contribute. Businesses and its leaders understand the value of the arts in enriching community life. 79% of companies surveyed in study Business Contributions to the Arts, conducted in partnership with The Conference Board, support the arts to improve the quality of life.

 

2018 BCA 10 winner Phillips 66 has been involved in its community as supporters of Houston Symphony as a leading corporate donor, and as a presenting sponsor of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre by Stages Repertory Theater. Greg Garland, CEO said the company “is proud to support the arts. Our communities are enriched by the arts, precisely because art touches and changes lives in ways that are positive and profound.”

 

Creating new business models due to disruptive technology

The arts reveal and enhance the breadth of talent and creativity among employees and teams by cultivating the creative thinking skills your business needs. Take CopperPoint Insurance. The company’s commitment to integrating the arts into its operational culture has created opportunities to think outside the box. Since 2007, CopperPoint has engaged in a “drawing out loud process” known as Graphic Facilitation which features the use of large-scale imagery to lead group discussions and literally draw the company’s annual goals and initiatives.

 

The arts foster inspiration, empathy, and leadership —all which establish a platform to innovate in an ever-evolving economy. At Hallmark, creative employees can take part in the my5days program, which leads to “new ways of thinking, personal inspiration, and growth.” Through workshops, gallery shows, and collaborations with nonprofits, Hallmark is giving its employees opportunities “to renew, explore, learn, and think differently about the world and work around them.”

 

The arts can work beyond helping employees develope creative solutions around new technology - particularly if art is part of the tech. Nokia Bell Labs has been collaborating with artists as part of its Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T. Program). Working with New Museum's NEW INC and Stevens Institute of Technology, the company is exploring modes empathic communication in the latest technology. This partnership is not only trying to integrate a more beneficial human aspect to technologoy, but it is encouraging engineers and researches to look at their work from new persepctives.

 

 

Developing the next generation of leaders

According to Business Contributions to the Arts, 63 percent of companies promote board service at arts organizations. This data is supported by studies conducted by Korngold Consulting, which demonstrate that board experience creates stronger leaders, as summarized in this Forbes piece– Nonprofit Board Service Builds More Effective Business Leaders.

 

It’s no wonder that 2018 BCA 10 honoree Fifth Third Bank’s Teresa Tanner, chief administrative officer, was named Chair of ArtsWave’s Board of Directors last fall;  and the company has many other executives who serve on the boards of arts and cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, as well as other arts organizations across its 10-state reach. ArtsWave even started a program, BOARDwayBound, which selects board candidates and current board members for a two-month professional development session. In a post in BizJournals, President and CEO Alecia Kintner noted “Arts board leadership is one of the top professional development tools Cincinnati’s corporate community uses to groom high-performing employees into future leadership.”

 

Suffice it to say, the arts are pretty powerful. They can have remarkable effects on employees, companies, and communities. But that's not all - check out our Arts + Social Impact Explorer to see how they intersect every aspect of our lives. So the next time you encounter an issue, consider using the arts.

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Square Partners with Exit12 Dance Company

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Square Partners with Exit12 Dance Company

2018 David Rockefeller pARTnership Award winner Square released the next film in its remarkable series For Every Dream: Exit12: Moved by War.

 

The latest installment follows veteran and dancer Roman Baca and his company Exit12, as they create and perform pieces that speak to the experiences and effects of war.

 

"From the beginning, the artistic mission of their dance company, Exit12, has been to use choreography as a means of communicating the diverse and nuanced experiences of military veterans. Exit12 holds workshops with active duty and retired veterans, with the goal of coaxing out creative expression through movement of the body. For some, the more abstract form of dance allows them to communicate when words have failed them."

 

Exit 12: Moved by War from Square on Vimeo.

 

 

In 2018, Square won the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award in tandem with Cheyenne River Youth Project for their documentary Lakota in America. We had the honor of speaking with Justin Lomax, Head of Operations of Square and Malcolm Pullinger, Creative Director of Even/Odd Films in conversation with Julie Garreau of CRYP in November 2018. Check out the webinar on ArtsU to learn more about Square's partnerships and the incredible film series.

 

To nominate a business for the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award or the BCA 10, click here. Nominations are open until February 1.

 

To learn more about serving the health and well-being of our military populations through the arts, visit the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military at Americans for the Arts.

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Vans Custom Culture Announces 2019 Shoe Customization Contest

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Vans Custom Culture Announces 2019 Shoe Customization Contest

Today, Vans Custom Culture announced the opening of the 2019 Vans Custom Culture Shoe Customization Contest. From January 2-January 31, art teachers and administrators register their high schools on the Vans Custom Culture website to be one of the 500 schools in the running for the grand prize. Select schools will receive a box of arts supplies from partner Yoobi and will be tasked with transforming an unconvential canvas of 2 pairs of shoes into art. This year’s themes are “Local Flavor” and “Off The Wall.” From here, a top 50 will be determined based on the artwork and an impact document. The final phase will take place from April 22 – May 3 in the form of a public vote to select the five finalists. The grand-prize winner will be presented $75,000 at a surprise celebration with Vans and partners Americans for the Arts and Journey. Runner-ups will receive $10,000 and a gift from Vans.

 

Vans has partnered with Americans for the Arts since 2012 as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner. Together, these organizations are highlighting the value of arts education. Last month, Vans and Americans for the Arts announced its 10 grantees for the Vans Custom Culture grant, which awards public (and charter) high school programs that demonstrate commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education.

 

Vans is a VF Corporation brand. VF received a 2018 BCA 10 award for its outstanding support of the arts. Every year, Americans for the Arts, recognizes 10 businesses of all sizes for their exceptional involvement with the arts that enriches the workplace, education, and the community. To nominate a business for the 2019 BCA 10 awards, click here.

 

Photo: Entry from the Vans Custom Culture Competition, Fontainbleau High School

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BCA 10 Nominations Now Open!

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BCA 10 Nominations Now Open!

Every year, Americans for the Arts through its Business Committee for the Arts, honors the 10 best businesses partnering with the arts in America.

 

As today’s business landscape continues to shift, companies need talent that can respond to an ever-changing world of work. Participation in creative expression fosters and incubates the essential skills and leadership needed in today’s world. Innovation can be defined as applied creativity and partnering with arts organizations and artists unlocks pathways to that innovation.

 

Americans for the Arts believes that encouraging creative thinking, and leveraging creative expression through arts and business pARTnerships is essential for building healthy businesses and vibrant communities.

 

Sean Conrol of Square and Julie Garreau of Cheyenne River Youth Project accept the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award from Camilla Rockefeller at the BCA 10 Gala. Photo by Sylvain Gaboury.

 

NOMINATE A BUSINESS for their exceptional involvement with the arts that enrich the workplace, education, and the community.

 

NOMINATE A BUSINESS PERSON FOR THE LEADERSHIP AWARD, which recognizes an individual for his/her extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts.

 

NOMINATE A BUSINESS AND AN ARTS ORGANIZATION (OR ARTIST) FOR THE DAVID ROCKEFELLER PARTNERSHIP AWARD, which recognizes an exceptional project, program, or initiative that represents a true alliance, collaboration, or exchange between the two. 

 

Submissions close January 25.

 

To nominate or learn more about eligibility, visit www.americansforthearts.org/events/bca-10/nominations.

 

All honorees will be celebrated at the BCA 10 black-tie gala in New York City during the first week on October 2019.

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A Theatre Company in Good Company

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A Theatre Company in Good Company

Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company

 

The Tony Award-winning director founded the eponymous organization in 2002 with a mission “to celebrate the rich tradition of black storytelling while giving voice to bold new artists of all cultures.” Since its founding, the theatre company has not only produced remarkable shows, but it has become an integral part of Atlanta’s community. True Colors has partnered with businesses throughout the city, including past BCA 10 honoree Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, and State Farm.

 

Turner Broadcasting Systems

Turner Broadcasting has been a sponsor of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company since 2007. Through the Turner Voices Program, that “strategically invests in community arts and culture and youth development,” the company has become a vital part in “developing a pipeline of future storytellers and talent.”

 

Turner’s engagement with True Colors Theatre Company extends far beyond one hallmark program.  Three Turner employees sit on the Board of Directors, including the Board President. These connections inspire deeper involvement within the arts and the community. In addition to board leadership, the company promotes performances to their employee base through digital e-boards and a corporate responsibility newsletter, who then receive discounts to shows. True Colors even produces programming specifically for Turner Broadcasting: for one performance each season, they can invite up to 300 employees to attend a dress rehearsal. This is not only a way for the company to show gratitude to its staff by providing an opportunity to attend the rehearsal, but it helps promote the performance by word of mouth. Employees who see the show in previews spread the word among the office and the community.

 

The theatre company also partners with Business Resource Groups (BRG), particularly with Black Professionals at Turner (BP@T) to bring together local actors and directors with Turner Broadcasting Systems employees. By exposing the Turner creative teams to other creatives in the community, everyone can learn from each other’s experiences.

 

With an abundance of opportunities for the Atlanta staff to interact with artists, employees in the New York City office wanted a piece of the fun. This past spring, Kenny Leon directed the revival of Children of a Lesser God, which ran at Studio 54 from March-May 2018. Leon hosted a lunch and learn for the New York City Office, an exciting opportunity for employees to meet a Tony Award-winning director and a chance for Leon to spread the word about the production.

 

Turner Broadcasting Systems will receive the Abundance Award at True Colors Applauds Awards Brunch in 2019, given to a corporation for its outstanding support of the arts community.

 

Corporate BRGs

True Colors has also partnered with other companies like Coca-Cola to celebrate Black History Month. It presented a scene from August Wilson’s King Hedley II to the African American Resource Group at a gathering with foods celebrating the African American experience.

 

Jamil Jude, Associate Artistic Director, introducing the cast of King Hedley II at Coca-Cola. Photo by LaTeshia Ellerson, courtesy Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company

 

Community Engagement

Though not a sponsor, State Farm has been active in ensuring their employees are engaged in the local community. Director of Education, Nikki Toombs, will be directing a montage performance featuring some of our students from the August Wilson Monologue Competition. There will be singing, monologues and movement in the montage.

 

Main photo: Nina Simone: Four Women by Christiana Ham & Directed by Michele Shay. L-R: Wendy Fox Williams, Regina Marie Williams, Adrienne Reynolds, and Jordan Frazier. Photo by Greg Mooney, courtesy Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre

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David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project

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David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project

Square and Cheyenne River Youth Project will receive the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

"Our hope with the project, “Lakota in America,” is to shed some light on an organization that is providing young people access to fundamental tools that create opportunity for a vibrant and more secure future. Access is not purely a means of generating financial wealth. The program places strong emphasis on the value of cultural wealth through art in an apprenticeship model. By honoring heritage, CRYP is empowering the next generation of Lakota and fostering a collective sense of self-worth among the youth."

– Kevin Burke, CMO, Square

 

“We’re deeply grateful to Square for commissioning the ‘Lakota in America’ film project, and for working so closely with us to help raise awareness and generate support for Cheyenne River’s young people. They showed us so much respect, and they honored us by giving us the opportunity to tell our own story.”

– Julie Garreau, Executive Director, Cheyenne River Youth Project

 

Square, Inc., the payment and financial services company led by CEO Jack Dorsey, has changed the way businesses process transactions. Square products have become commonplace in many American businesses as point of sale hardware and software help businesses grow through managing inventory, locations, and employees—as well as providing access to financing, invoicing, appointments, and more.

 

Armed with an essential understanding of corporate responsibility and funding to make a difference, Square has been partnering with various organizations that aim to empower the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, Square launched a film series, “For Every Kind of Dream,” which highlighted the stories of small businesses that are working towards success. Thus far, the company has shared four stories: “Yassin Falafel,” “Made in Iowa,” “Sister Hearts,” and “Lakota in America.” The latter focuses on Genevieve Iron Lighting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and her participation in the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), a nonprofit on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation that provide youth and family services to its community.

 

 

Courtesy of Square

 

After years of discrimination and prejudiced policies against American Indians, Cheyenne River community members continue to be greatly impacted by poverty and unemployment.CRYP, founded by Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member Julie Garreau, intends to empower the next generation of community members while instilling a sense of pride in Lakota culture. Through its innovative teen internships in social enterprise, native food sovereignty, indigenous cooking, wellness and the arts, Cheyenne River teens learn critical job and life skills while also embracing Lakota culture and values. According to Garreau, “[The more] viable economic skills to go along with an appreciation for their powerful heritage [young people have], the better the odds are that this generation of young people will be able to pull the whole tribe up.”

 

Through economic and cultural empowerment, these teens are prepared to make a difference in both their own lives and in their community.  Due to her participation in CRYP’s teen internship program, Genevieve Iron Lighting was hired for her first job in the organization’s Keya Cafe (where they use Square) and continues to perform traditional Lakota dance. “I just feel like when I dance I can help keep my culture alive; I feel like I’m in touch with my ancestors and the past generations,” she explained.

 

In 2016, CRYP announced the opening of its Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. The Eagle Butte campus offers dance and art studios, regular classes and workshops with guest and local artists, and the public Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, which features an outdoor stage. CRYP also hosts the annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam, a celebration of both graffiti and Lakota culture. This groundbreaking event has received the Robert E. Gard Award, which is presented by Americans for the Arts to programs that are working at the intersection of arts and community life.

 

By collaborating with organizations such as CRYP, Square is able to share meaningful stories of the dreams of business owners across America. Square is using its platform to to spread awareness for the arts and to foster economic empowerment.

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BCA Leadership Award: Chandrika Tandon

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BCA Leadership Award: Chandrika Tandon

Chandrika Tandon will receive the Leadership Award at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

"Since ancient times, art has had the ability to transform every sphere of life: people, communities, education -- I discovered my whole self when returning to music, and my life is far richer because of that. I wish the same transformative experience for others. There’s no better place to start this process than education -- we’ve only scratched the surface.”

                                                                                              

Chandrika Tandon is an expert on the intersection of business and the arts, as both the Founder and Chairman of Tandon Capital Associates, and as a Grammy-nominated singer.

 

Prior to founding her own financial advisory firm in 1992, Tandon was the first Indian-American woman to make partner at McKinsey and Company. With her first paycheck from McKinsey, she purchased a guitar and stereo system rather than a bed – and slept on the floor of her apartment. Music has always played an important part in her life, and it was not until she became successful in business that she rediscovered her craft.

 

After training to become a musician, she recorded her album, Soul Call, which was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary World Music. She has released four albums under her nonprofit label, Soul Chants Music, which donates all proceeds to support community building, education, the arts, and well-being.

 

In an interview with the NYU Steinhardt school, she explained her late dive into professional music: “Music is what I am; everything else is what I did.” When traveling around the world for business, Tandon found music to be a form of communication. In describing the various dimensions of business, music, and meditation, she commented: “They all inform each other; they all affect each other.”

 

Tandon has performed many benefit concerts to support organizations such as the Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Wellness and Global Peace Initiatives, and the World Culture Festival. She will go on tour for her newest album, Shivoham – The Quest, in spring of 2019.

 

 9/11 Remembrance at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, courtesy Chandrika Tandon

 

Chandrika and her husband, Ranjan, are also philanthropists, and have donated $100 million to the NYU School of Engineering. She remains heavily involved with NYU as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the President’s Global Council, and Chair of the NYU Tandon Engineering School, as well as serving on boards of the Stern Business School and Langone Health System. Tandon is also a former Dean’s Council Member at NYU Wagner School of Public Policy, where she trains leaders to impact public well-being. 

 

She serves on the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, leading a major effort to attract new, diverse audiences, and chairing the Global Council. At Berklee School of Music, where she serves on the President’s Council, Berklee-Tandon Global Clinics connect underprivileged talent to distinguished faculty worldwide. As Chair of the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation, she has supported over 30 institutions which work in education, the arts, wellness, and community building.

 

As both a CEO and musician, Tandon has a unique understanding of the way business and the arts can influence each other, and how the intersections between the two can have a positive impact.

 

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BCA 10 Spotlight: UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO)

 

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor UMB at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“It is an honor to be recognized among this group of distinguished and innovative companies. UMB believes the arts to be a medium that permeates all areas of life and positively affects those it touches. Our commitment to the arts is a distinct part of our culture that truly contributes to the quality of our work life and environment.”

 – Mariner Kemper, CEO and chairman, UMB Financial Corporation

 

UMB Financial Corporation was founded by the Kemper family in 1913, and the arts have been an integral part of the character of the company. UMB believes all people can benefit from the power and positivity of the arts. Whether it’s through a creative outlet, therapeutic respite, expansion of viewpoints, or pure enjoyment, the arts impact communities and individuals in powerful ways. UMB’s commitment to the arts is equally visible from its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., to its offices spanning eight states.

 

On the first Friday of each month, Kansas City Crossroads Art District hosts “Kansas City First Fridays,” where the Art District transforms into a giant art gallery and street festival. UMB has a branch in the heart of the neighborhood and is a strong supporter of the event.

 

CEO Mariner Kemper was appointed campaign chairperson for the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Art, Culture & Film in the late 1990s, during which he was instrumental in integrating public art into the design of the Denver Center for Performing Arts and the Denver Public Library. He now sits on the board of the Denver Art Museum, where he serves as the Uncorked fundraising event co-chair, which UMB has sponsored for the past 15 years.

 

The company recognizes the value of the arts for associates and maintains the UMB Corporate Art Collection, one of the most highly regarded collections of American art in the Midwest. Established for the enjoyment of customers, guests, and associates, R. Crosby Kemper’s intent regarding the creation of the collection was to foster a knowledge of classic American art in all of UMB’s communities. New associates learn about the history of the company’s passion for the arts during a New Hire Art Tour on their first day.

 

ArtsKC Awards Luncheon FUSE, courtesy of UMB

 

Associates also have hands-on creative opportunities. Every year, UMB branches, departments, groups, and individual associates transform plain, ceramic piggy banks into creative works of art during the UMB Piggy Bank Parade and Auction. This annual fundraiser, benefiting ArtsKC, a nonprofit arts council in Kansas City, is a fun and exciting way for associates to show off their artistic talents. The 2017 campaign included more than 40 piggy banks and raised $3,346.

 

UMB also annually offers qualifying associates two paid volunteer days off to invest back into the community, as well as numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Regular email communication is sent to associates promoting local arts activities in Kansas City and throughout its regions.

 

Senior leaders in Texas and Arizona have won awards for their commitment to business and the arts. Across the eight states UMB serves, associates hold board positions with organizations such as the Denver Art Museum, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Wichita Art Museum, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, and Ballet Arizona.

 

In recognition of their partnerships with and contributions to arts organizations, UMB Financial Corporation was a BCA 10 honoree in 2008.

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BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor West Bend Mutual Insurance at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“The arts can have a profound impact on people of all ages. Whether it’s music, theater, or any other form of art, the value to our society cannot be understated. I’m proud of West Bend’s long history of supporting the arts both within our company and in our community.” 

- Kevin Steiner, President and CEO, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

 

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s mission is to provide peace of mind to its customers through sound insurance and superior service. The company is anchored by its core values of excellence, integrity, and responsibility. In 1995, West Bend Mutual Insurance established the West Bend Mutual Insturance Charitable Fund, which focuses its grant-making priorities on programs that support the arts, strengthen children and families, protect the environment, and enrich community life. The company supports the arts because of the importance of telling a story, of honoring a legacy, of preserving history, and of bringing people together to create something greater than themselves.

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance understands and harnesses the power the arts to create a positive culture and build meaningful relationships. In 2011, the company unveiled the Silver Lining ® Stage at Regner Park, an outdoor performance space in West Bend, Wisconsin. West Bend Mutual Insurance also sponsored the construction of the Silver Lining Arts Center at The West Bend High School and the Silver Lining Amphitheater at the Washington County Fair Grounds.

 

Beki Borman Painting, photo by Charlotte Reyes; courtesy of West Bend Mutual Insurance

 

The company has used the arts to create beneficial environments for both the communities it serves and its associates. West Bend Mutual Insurance began collecting artwork in the early 1970s and eventually implemented a policy to integrate art into all of its offices to provide a pleasant and stimulating working environment. Initially partnering with the Milwaukee Art Gallery, West Bend Mutual Insurance began leasing artwork for office spaces. Today, the company owns more than 600 art pieces and shares a strong relationship with the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

 

West Bend Mutual Insurance also hosts an “Art Among Us” gallery, which exhibits works by associates and their families, and encourages staff to participate in art activities during the annual “August is Art Month” program. For the duration of the month, the company displays artwork by associates’ children, hosts demonstrations on art techniques, and invites artists and photographers to share their artistic processes.  

 

Through corporate philanthropy programs, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company raised more than $63,000 for the 50th Anniversary Campaign of the United Performing Arts Fund, and has donated more than $100,000 to local arts organizations. They have been recognized for their support of local artists and for ultimately playing a role in making West Bend a vibrant, artistic community.

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fifth Third Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

“Fifth Third Bank is committed to building thriving and vibrant communities, and in many ways, so are the arts. The arts play a central role in creating economic prosperity as well as a rich social and cultural life. They create common bonds that connect cultures and neighborhoods, touching and engaging every single one of us.”

– Greg Carmichael Chairman, President and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp

 

Fifth Third Bank has a history of firsts. In 1948, it created the Fifth Third Foundation, the first corporate foundation established by a financial institution in the United States. Since then, the Bank has contributed funding, sponsorship, and leadership to the arts. In 2017, Cincinnati Fifth Third Bank President Tim Elsbrock chaired the ArtsWave campaign for the greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency, and raised $12.5 million for the organization. When it came time for the Cincinnati Music Hall to be renovated, Fifth Third Foundation stepped in as one of the first $1 million pledges to help launch the renovation.

 

As one of Cincinnati’s largest employers, Fifth Third Bank understands the importance of the arts when it comes to engaging employees. The company incentivizes donations to the arts through endorsed payroll deductions and encourages leadership opportunities for its employees. Last year, 4,213 members of the Cincinnatiworkforce donated to ArtsWave. 132 of these donations exceeded $1,500.

 

Additionally, Teresa Tanner, chief administrative officer of Fifth Third Bank, was named Chair of ArtsWave’s Board of Directors last fall. Many other executives at Fifth Third Bank also serve on the boards of arts and cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, as well as other arts organizations across its 10-state reach.

 

In partnership with ArtsWave, the Bank has promoted opportunities for employees to engage with the arts through showcases and performances. The two organizations are currently working collaboratively on an “Inclusive Arts” program with artist Brian Washington, whose work will be exhibited by the Bank and who will also design a mural for the headquarters in Cincinnati. The Bank’s first mural, designed by Eduardo Kobra, depicts Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who was an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati professor.

 

Fifth Third Bank’s connection to local arts fosters a sense of pride in its city. The Bank has sponsored “Transform Cincinnati,” a book detailing the ArtWorks Mural Program, which is a nonprofit public art initiative, and has also sponsored TIDAL, a hackathon in Cincinnati which brings together minds from the tech, design, and marketing industries to rethink issues in the arts.

 

Mural by artist Eduardo Kobra at its Cincinnati headquarters, courtesy Fifth Third Bank

 

Over the past 20 years, the Fifth Third Foundation has donated almost $7 million to the arts. Fifth Third Bank has branches across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina, where they are also engaged in their respective communities through their support of the arts.

 

 Nominated by ArtsWave

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