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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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BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)

“As a company committed to improving lives, Phillips 66 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. It’s one important way we can make a difference in the places where our employees live and work.”

-Greg Garland, Chairman and CEO, Phillips 66

 

Phillips 66 debuted in 2012 as an independent energy company after a split from ConocoPhillips. Since then, the company has prioritized the arts as a part of its commitment to enriching the civic life of the communities in which it operates. Phillips 66 recognizes that the arts are a way to bring communities together, engage employees, and support youth.

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Phillips 66 at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

The company is present in its community through its support of arts and cultural events. Phillips 66 has been one of the Houston Symphony’s leading corporate donors for the past four years, by supporting the Houston Symphony Ball and programs such as Film With Live Orchestra performances. The organization is also a presenting sponsor of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre by Stages Repertory Theatre and the Society for the Performing Arts. 

 

Houston Symphony Ball, sponsored by Phillips 66; photo courtesy of Phillips 66

 

Internally, Phillips 66 understands the value of the arts and volunteer work when it comes to engaging its own employees. The company encourages their employees to volunteer at various organizations by offering up to two days of company-paid volunteer time. In addition to matching gifts to charities of up to $15,000, the company also donates $500 for every 20 hours an employee spends volunteering.

 

Last year, all Phillips 66 employees were invited to an orchestra performance by the Houston Symphony, led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz. Tickets to other performances were used as an incentive for participation in the company’s United Way Campaign, a charity dedicated to creating long-lasting community change. Phillips 66 also engages with employees’ children by hosting an art contest each year. Entrants create artwork that depicts something safety-related, and the winners are selected for Phillips 66’s annual Life Saving Rules Calendar.

 

Phillips 66 is also dedicated to increasing youth’s access to the arts. The company and its employees facilitated Camp Adventure!, a collaboration between the Houston Symphony and Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF). Due to the support of Phillips 66, Camp Adventure! was able to offer free music classes facilitated by the Symphony’s Community Embedded Musicians and an Instrument Petting Zoo, where children learned about various musical instruments.

 

As part of Phillips 66’s partnership with the Children’s Museum of Houston, the company has commissioned artist Jack Strutz to create interactive social media campaigns to advance literacy through the arts. The company has also sponsored field trips to Theatre Under the Stars, a nonprofit musical theatre production company, as well as family-friendly performances by the Houston Grand Opera. In addition, Phillips 66 sponsors Mercury Baroque’s Neighborhood Series, which holds affordable neighborhood concerts throughout Houston.  Through these successful arts partnership, Phillips 66 is breathing new energy into its communities and reinforcing its commitment to improving lives.

 

Nominated by Houston Symphony

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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

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

 

“Fostering an appreciation for the arts helps build a foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and learning. The Standard invests in the arts because a vibrant community of arts and artists brings energy to the larger community. The arts can attract the innovators and creative thinkers we need in the public and private sectors now more than ever.”

– Greg Ness, Chairman, President and CEO, The Standard

 

 

The Standard, an insurance company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, supports the arts because it believes arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in creating vibrant communities. Since its founding in 1906, the company has understood that the arts provide space for communities to come together to build understanding, appreciation, and empathy for others.

 

 The Standard and its employees donated more than $700,000 to arts and cultural organizations last year, which included $200,000 in direct corporate contributions and $167,000 in donations made by employees of The Standard during its annual employee giving campaign. The company matches all employee contributions 2:1 during the campaign, which resulted in an additional $330,000 in company arts contributions.  Additionally, The Standard gives paid time off for staff to volunteer in the community, as well as trains and places employees on arts and other nonprofit boards. Currently, 16 of The Standard’s senior executives serve on arts boards.  

 

A pop-up gallery in The Standard’s offices 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. As a part of long-term partnerships with a variety of arts organizations, The Standard offers employees tickets to local arts experiences which can be used for team building, entertaining customers, or family outings.

 

The Standard is an early funder of the Creating Connection initiative, a national movement that seeks to make arts and culture a recognized, valued, and expected part of everyday life. To raise awareness of the value of the arts, they also sponsored Everybody Reads, a city-wide shared reading experience, during which free copies of a featured novel are available at local libraries and Portlanders are invited to attend books discussions and community events.

 

The company has been a supporter of the Portland Opera for more than 50 years, and partners with its Opera-to-go program, which serves more than 14,000 students each year. In doing so, they provide access to high-quality performances for children across the region, regardless of geographic or economic barriers. In addition, The Standard also recently made a major in-kind donation of technology services and assessment to Portland Opera to improve its technology infrastructure and digital presence.

 

PCM Outdoor Adventure Opening, courtesy The Standard

 

In recognition of their support, The Standard has received numerous past awards including Top Corporate Donor the Arts and Philanthropic Leader in the Arts. Greg Ness, The Standard CEO, has been awarded The John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

 

Nominated by Portland Opera

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