Up to the minute news on arts and business partnerships.


National Air and Space Museum Soars with a Gift from Boeing

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

Early this month, Boeing announced a gift of $30 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to renovate and expand its main exhibition hall on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The 2-year renovation plan will be completed in time for the museum’s 40th anniversary in 2016, which is also the aerospace company’s 100th anniversary.


The contribution is the largest the Smithsonian has ever received from a corporation. This recent Boeing gift brings the total to $58 million the company has given the National Air and Space Museum. In addition to the renovations, the funds will be used to enhance educational programs and other exhibits at the museum, which is largely federally funded.


In appreciation of the gift, the museum will rename the gallery the “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.” The Milestones exhibition, which is the museum’s central and largest space, has looked much the same since the museum opened July 1, 1976. More than 310 million people have passed through the exhibition during the museum’s 38 years of operation. The new installation will give the hall a streamlined 21st century look and features themes and displays suited to today’s visitors. The square footage of the exhibition will be enlarged, and the displays will take full advantage of the atrium’s two-story height.


"A big focus of ours as a company is to enhance education and develop a future workforce by helping students, helping educators, helping parents embrace 21st-century skills and inspire innovation," said Steve Lott, Boeing's Head of Communications, North America.


“We’re honored to help preserve the legacy of pioneers who transformed an industry and influenced generations of innovators,” said Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney, according to a press release issued by the National Air and Space Museum. “By supporting the National Air and Space Museum with the renovation and expansion of the gallery, we hope to inspire others to dream, design and build the next game changers in aerospace history.”


The following video entitled, "Inspiring the Next Generation," details Boeing's partnership with the National Air and Space Museum, and how the company is educating and inspiring the next generation to become the air and space visionaries of the future.



For more information on Boeing's partnership with the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, visit and



Announcing the 2014 BCA Leadership Award and Hall of Fame Honorees

Posted by Patrick O'Herron


Americans for the Arts and the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) Executive Board are pleased to announce this year's BCA Leadership Award and Hall of Fame honorees.


Frederic C. Hamilton, chairman of Denver-based Hamilton Oil Companies LLC and chairman emeritus of the Denver Art Museum, will receive the 2014 BCA Leadership Award, given to a business leader who has shown strong support of the arts. In addition, Deere & Company (Moline, IL) will receive induction into the BCA Hall of Fame, bestowed to a company who continues to forge outstanding arts partnerships. Deere was a past BCA 10 honoree in 2005. Samuel R. Allen, CEO of Deere & Company, will accept the award on the company's behalf. Both awards, nominated and voted by the BCA Executive Board, will be administered at the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America Gala on October 1, 2014 in New York City. Please join us in celebrating these tremendous arts partners!


About the BCA 10:
Every year, Americans for the Arts, through the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership. 2014 BCA 10 nominations are currently under review by the BCA 10 judging panel. A formal announcement of the 2014 honoree slate will be made in June. For information on the BCA 10, including sponsorship information and details on purchasing an advertisement in the event program to celebrate these incredible arts partners, visit


About Frederic C. Hamilton:

Frederic C. Hamilton founded Hamilton Oil Corporation in the late 1960s and built it into an international oil company. He is now chairman of The Hamilton Companies, which is active in venture capital, private equity, oil and gas, real estate, mortgage lending, securities and acquisitions operations. He has been called one of America’s oil pioneers.


A Denver Arts Museum (DAM) board member since 1977 and chairman since 1994 (now chairman emeritus), Hamilton has played an integral role in the realization of the DAM’s expansion and in their institutional growth and sustainability, leading both of its endowment campaigns. In January 2014, Hamilton bequeathed a gift of 22 paintings worth more than $100 million to DAM, nearly tripling the size of its Impressionist collection. It is the largest donation in the museum’s history. The breadth of donated works, which increases the museum's tally of Monet canvases to six, makes this one of the strongest Impressionist collections in the West. Hamilton remains an avid art collector and arts supporter.


Hamilton was recently awarded National Western’s 2014 Citizen of the West. The award, sponsored by the National Western Stock Show, was bestowed to him for his leadership in philanthropy. He is singularly responsible for the development of the arts in Denver—from not only the DAM, but also the cultural complex of Denver, including the Clyfford Still Museum. Hamilton serves as a member of the Trustee’s Council of the National Gallery of Art and Trustee Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution, both in Washington, D.C. He also serves as a director of the Board of Trustees of the Clyfford Still Museum, the Boy Scouts of America and Denver-based Graland Country Day School, and leads the endowment for the Boys and Girls Club of Denver.


About Deere & Company:

Deere & Company is the leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the world. The company supports the arts as part of its strategic goal to enhance quality of life and to be in a better position to attract and retain employees in the many communities in which it operates worldwide. 


Deere’s support of the arts began in 1884 when the company underwrote the Deere Cornet Band, comprised of employee musicians who performed for fellow employees and the community. The company began a corporate art collection in 1964 by commissioning Reflections for an Era by Alexander Girard, now on display in the company’s headquarters. The collection and the company’s Eero Saarinen designed buildings on its Moline campus are enjoyed by employees and their families and thousands of community members. Deere now supports myriad arts and cultural institutions and arts festivals throughout Illinois. In addition, Deere employees provide countless volunteer hours annually by serving on the boards of arts organizations. Deere also provides grants, marketing and advertising support, as well as in-kind assistance to arts organizations large and small in its operating communities. 


Deere’s support of the arts has helped the company build employee and customer loyalty, encouraged other businesses to follow its lead and continues to enrich the arts and the quality of life in many communities throughout the United States and the world.


WEBINAR: Engaging Business Advocates

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, April 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET.


Engaging your community’s business and philanthropic leaders as arts advocates and advisors is a goal many arts organizations aspire to but don’t always accomplish. Learn by example with a case study from Dan Bowers, president of ArtsBuild in Chattanooga, who recently spearheaded the creation of a community-wide cultural plan with input from local artists and business leaders. Hear from the two community advocates—artist and Lyndhurst Foundation Program Officer Karen “Rudy” Rudolph and ArtsBuild Board Member and Vice President of Global Programs at Unum Cissy Williams—who each played a role in the plan’s development and are actively involved in its implementation today. Visit for more information and to register.


This webinar is presented in partnership with the Arts and Business Council of New York.



BayCoast Bank Supports Local Artists in Corporate Collection

Posted by Linda Murphy
BayCoast Bank Supports Local Artists in Corporate Collection
(Ann Ramos Desrosier and Christina Leigh stand next to a Ron Lister painting in BayCoast Bank's conference room, photo courtesy of The Herald News.)
When one thinks of a bank, it’s not likely the next thought would be artwork, but that’s not the case for several local artists, whose work adorns the walls of BayCoast Bank’s corporate offices, conference room, and branch lobbies.
Supporting local artists with an expansive corporate art collection was the brainchild of BayCoast Bank President and CEO Nicholas M. Christ, said Ann M. Ramos Desrosier, senior vice president, chief community banking officer.
Ramos Desrosier, who was put in charge of procuring the artwork, worked with Christina Leigh, an art consultant with East Greenwich, R.I.-based Corporate Art Group, Inc.
When the bank moved to its new corporate headquarters on Swansea Mall Drive in 2012, Ramos Desrosier said they had a lot of bare walls in the three-story building. “BayCoast is very focused on supporting the communities that we serve, so we felt it was only right to support the artists who live in those communities,” she said.
With that goal in mind, the two women set upon a nearly year-long project of meeting with local artists and narrowing down the field in search of artwork focusing on local landscapes. They selected four well-known area artists: Tony Henriques, Chuck Boucher, Ron Lister and John Eddy.
“We wanted to be able to showcase the kind of artwork that you wouldn’t typically find in a bank,” said Ramos Desrosier.
Initially they purchased about 35 pieces from the four artists, which were installed in various places in the building including the conference room, halls, and in each of the offices.
Ramos Desrosier, who inherited a painting she “hated” in her former office, made sure that the BayCoast employees had the opportunity to select a piece of artwork for their office from the 35 or so initial pieces.
Some of the pieces are original paintings, such as the landscapes by Ron Lister in the conference room, and others are prints on canvas of original pieces, said Leigh. And rather than the unfamiliar scenes and non-descript artwork one expects to find in offices, the collection at the BayCoast Bank features scenes that are well known to those who live or work in Greater Fall River including the Braga Bridge, Mount Hope Bay, and the Swansea dam.
The value of the collection, they said, isn’t in its monetary worth, but with the fact that it supports the local arts community.
Since the original pieces, they have procured even more artwork from more local artists including Sarah Desjardins, Arthur Moniz and Molly Pettengill.

“The employees definitely appreciate being able to pick out the art in their offices,” said Ramos Desrosiers, “and in the areas that are open to customers, they do comment on the local artists, so it gives them some recognition, too.”


(This article was originally posted at The Herald News.)


Energy Companies Help Fuel the Houston Arts Scene

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
Energy Companies Help Fuel the Houston Arts Scene

(Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan visits Houston in April, presented by Society for the Performing Arts, whose 2013-14 season is underwritten by Reliant Energy. Photo courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.)


The following article from The Houston Chronicle takes a look at Houston-based energy companies Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others who have helped to establish the city's biggest arts organizations and the major foundations that still support them. ExxonMobil and Chevron, for example, encourage employees to volunteer and donate as individuals by offering matching grants, while Shell sponsors the free admission and extended hours on Thursdays at the Museum of Fine Arts. Regardless of the partnership, it is clear that the vibrant arts scene in Houston is being "fueled" by a few friendly energy giants. Click the link below to read the full article.


Energy Companies Help Fuel the Arts Scene


"When I hear that there's a milestone or a chance to innovate, it opens my brain. And when I'm around these creative people, magic happens."


-Joni Baird, Houston Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Chevron


It's National Volunteer Week!

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

National Volunteer Week is this week -- April 6-12, 2014. A program of Points of Light and sponsored by Advil® as a part of the Advil® Relief in Action campaign, National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change. This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, demonstrating the enduring importance of recognizing our country’s volunteers for their vital contributions. We encourage everyone to celebrate volunteers' dedication to helping others this week, and encouraging others to join the movement.


Inspired to begin a volunteer program in your community, or to find out how you can get involved? Check out Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA), which matches skills-based business volunteers with projects at arts organizations, and our tool-kit, "Working with Volunteers."


For more information on National Volunteer Week, visit


Blue Moon Shines Brightly on Americans for the Arts

Posted by Luke Woods

On March 1, Blue Moon Brewing Company took to the skies of Brooklyn, NY, to celebrate the lunar new moon, promote their “artfully crafted” brand of beer, and raise money for Americans for the Arts through a Twitter campaign. The Colorado-based company, easily recognized by its orange-colored Belgian White ale, enlisted artist Heather Gabel and Johalla Projects, a team of Chicago-based creatives, to bring public art to the people of Brooklyn's DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood. The installation was designed to call on art and beer-lovers alike to support a mutual cause.


Heather and her team created a multi-faceted art display, which featured complete indoor and outdoor attractions. The first feature, a compilation of ambient music emitting from a set of speakers in Old Fulton Plaza, setting the mood for the event. This mood was then reinforced by the cosmic graphics display that danced on the walls of the DUMBO Archway and Archway Café. The centerpiece for the event was an enormous, glowing sphere suspended overhead in the Plaza.


The idea—a fairly new and untapped social engagement strategy—was simple: Throughout the day on March 1, Americans for the Arts would receive a $5 donation from Blue Moon on behalf of anyone who re-tweeted a message from @BlueMoonBrewCo, using the hashtag “#RaiseAMoon”. For every $5 that was donated, the gigantic moon-like shape would be raised a few more inches into the air.


Click to view the following video from the "Raise a Moon" event:



As a result of Blue Moon’s generosity toward the arts, Heather’s creativity, and a social media following eager to make a difference in our country’s arts landscape, Americans for the Arts received over $4,000 in donations from more than 800 re-tweets.


This type of donation-yielding event is important to the sustainability and support of the recipient organization and equally important to the mission of the partnering company. In this case, Blue Moon not only strived to increase their social media and beverage consumer base, but to inform their followers that art is an integral part of their business model. The company slogan—“artfully crafted”—is indicative of their appreciation for craft beer and their dedication to art as a key component of success. Blue Moon truly put belief into practice as they made art and artists the focal point of the evening.


It was amazing to bear witness to the combined efforts of local arts activists and a national network of social media followers who came together to support the arts. Three cheers to Blue Moon, Heather Gabel, Johalla Projects, and arts supporters across America!


Luke Woods is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Americans for the Arts. He is responsible for planning, development, and execution of print and online sales and marketing strategies for the organization's programs and services.


Introducing Delta Airlines Innovation Class

Posted by Patrick O'Herron

Introducing Delta Airlines Innovation Class, a mentoring program at 35,000 feet! Delta is using its time up in the air to connect an innovator of today in the fields of business, art and technology with a leader of tomorrow. Could YOU be next to sit beside a great mind and mentor?


"We have customers flying with us who are big thinkers and innovators and are changing the world," Mauricio Parise, Delta's director of worldwide marketing communications, told CNBC. "We want to bring the ones succeeding in their field together with people who aspire to follow them."


Check out the video below for full details.



For further information on Delta Innovation Class, visit


Bank of Tennessee Supports the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Posted by Nicole Glotzer

Bank of Tennessee recently pledged $100,000 to a new museum being built by the Birthplace of Country Music, a nonprofit music organization in Bristol, VA/TN. The museum is scheduled to open this August in downtown Bristol.


The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will give visitors a profile of Bristol’s place in the history of country music. The 24,000 square foot museum will feature 12,000 square feet of exhibit space with a rotating exhibit gallery, music mixing and listening stations, a theater, and interactive media. The museum will also host live performances and educational programming.


Roy Harmon, CEO of Bank of Tennessee, commented that the Bank has given to fundraising programs such as BCM’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and Friends of 1927 concerts. He has expressed hope that the Bank’s pledge will be the first of many to help support the museum. Bank of Tennessee has been a consistent supporter of BCM for many years. “We appreciate the opportunity to promote music and promote heritage,” Harmon said.


David Wagner, executive vice president and market president of the Bank, agreed with the CEO, explaining that the $100,000 is “part of our strategic plan to give back, but it’s also the right thing to do. Anything we can do to help the community be more successful, in the end is good for all of us.”


Bank of Tennessee, a community bank that includes six branches in Carter County, TN (which includes Bristol), is dedicated to development in the communities it serves. To learn more, visit


Business and the arts: Why they need each other

Posted by Karin Copeland

The goals of the arts, culture and creative sectors are often viewed as separate from or counter to those of the business community. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia is working hard to change this perception and build a wide, two-way bridge between these communities by creating awareness around the impact of creativity in the workplace and the contributions of arts and culture to a thriving economy.


The creative sector fuels exciting, vibrant lifestyles for citizens in the Philadelphia region; and the colorful, intriguing cultural life of Philadelphia drives people to move into the city, building a stronger hiring pool. Likewise, the business communities feed critical experience and resources into the lives of artists and art-making institutions. This is why the Arts & Business Council envisions a vibrant creative sector with strong leadership — in terms of professional staff and volunteer board leaders — and a cultural scene that continues to be one of our region’s greatest assets. Through our capacity-building services, we work every day to strengthen a creative sector that is already valued for how it enriches the quality of life in our region, the jobs it creates, the visitors it attracts, and the impact is has on our children. And we champion the cause of a creative sector that has the support of audiences, businesses, donors, volunteers and government agencies.


According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year — $63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences across the nation. According to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s 2012 report, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s cultural organizations and their audiences have a combined impact of $3.3 billion on the region’s economy. With such a massive amount of revenue generated by arts and culture; more attention should be paid to future planning in these sectors. The benefits of strong artistic sectors stretch beyond revenue, as recent studies from Greater Good show that involvement in the arts helps increase critical and creative thinking. Cities that have implemented creative sector plans have seen an increase in growth and support, including support from the private sector, according to research by the city of Chicago.


Creating a unified plan toward arts, cultural and creative economy improvement for our region would not only benefit the arts communities—it would improve local business and economy as well. Programs such as the pARTnership movement, an initiative of Americans for the Arts, support the partnering of the arts and business communities to promote strength between two differing groups. The pARTnership movement points out that when the arts prosper in a community, the citizens of that community prosper as well. Notably, employers look for creative individuals who can approach problems in different ways and employees are more likely to work in areas where the arts and culture thrive.


Our vision is to keep working toward a time when this unified plan can be realized by continuing our work to unite the arts and business sectors in the Greater Philadelphia through shared experiences and resources; creating a solid foundation for the future of the creative economy in Philadelphia. We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years through skills-based volunteer programs that have delivered high-impact management and technology consulting projects—Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) and Technology Connectors; through the region’s most comprehensive nonprofit board-training program for business and legal professionals—Business On Board; and through the pro bono legal services delivered to arts groups and individual artists through Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. We know from experience that great things happen when arts and business people get together—problems are solved, eyes are opened, long-lasting relationships are forged:


  • Ask Andrew Kurtz, General & Artistic Director of Center City Opera Theater, how much his organization has benefited from the wisdom of BVA Volunteer and recently retired business executive Dorien Smithsonin rethinking his organization’s business model. Or ask Dorien, already an opera-goer, how much she enjoys flexing her business muscles in a whole new setting, knowing she’s having a positive impact on an arts group whose work she appreciates.
  • Ask Christine Cox, Co-Artistic Director of BalletX, how much she values the addition of a professional CPA to her board, someone who took the time to learn what board service means and has quickly stepped up to a leadership role as board treasurer. Or ask 2013 Business On Board graduate Frances Sperling Feldbaum, Principal at St. Clair CPA Solutions, what a great time her clients and business associates had when she hosted them at a BalletX dress rehearsal last month.
  • Ask Ricardo Torres, Senior Manager with North Highland, Technology Connectors volunteer and amateur photographer, how inspiring it was to work on behalf of one of our region’s premier visual arts organizations, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Or ask Executive Director Jane Goldenhow much it mattered to have Ric working with her staff to help them with a new constituent database, guiding the needs assessment, RFP process, vendor bidding and contract negotiations.
  • Ask BVA Volunteer Mindy Mazer, Senior Manager of Corporate Staffing at Ametek, how much fun she has had readings books to children at Mighty Writers. Or ask Executive Director Tim Whitakerwhat it meant to his young organization to have someone with Mindy’s skills help them formalize employee policies and procedures. Someone who believes so much in the work of the organization that she recently joined its board.
  • Ask PVLA Volunteer Hans Smith, Intellectual Property Associate at BakerHostetler, how satisfying it was to defend local photographer Harry Saffren in a fair use dispute with a national media company. Or ask Saffren about the “above and beyond” impact that Smith had on Saffren’s ability to sort out his artistic rights and responsibilities in a nebulous area of law and move forward with his career.


Recently, we’ve been taking steps to engage even more arts and business professionals in conversations that have the potential to strengthen our region’s creative economy. We’ve added speaker forums and other special events that underscore themes of creativity and innovation, this year we’re hosting top TED speakers like Simon Sinekand Dan Pallottaand iconic media leaders like Arianna Huffington. These events often blur the lines between what has traditionally been considered arts or business thinking. This spring we will launch Designing Leadership, a professional development program, in partnership with IBM and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, for emerging leaders from both the nonprofit and for-profit creative communities. We believe programs like these — and the conversations they engender – are essential to the success of our region as a whole.


(This article was originally posted at the Philadelphia Business Journal.)


*This article was posted on ARTSblog.


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