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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Past BCA Leadership Winner Opens Museum

When the BCA honored Tom James in 2009 with the Leadership Award, he already had quite an impressive resume of sustained arts support between the Salvador Dali Museum, the American Stage Theatre Company, and the Tom and Mary James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection. The majority of the latter were displayed in the corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, earning the workplace awards for having a creative environment.

 

James once said of headquarters, “office space is the next best thing to a museum because we have a high traffic area with about a million square feet here.” Now, these works have made their way to the best thing – The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

 

What was once an annual art show entitled “The Wildlife & Western Visions” hosted at the headquarters has developed into its own museum. Housed in a building with an exterior inspired by the American Southwest and an interior by cubism, the museum has over 400 pieces on display. Many of these works are by living artists, from whom Tom and Mary have made a conscious effort to buy. The museum features six exhibits: Early West, Native Life, Native Artists, Frontier, Wildlife, and New West spread throughout 84,000 square feet.

 

The grand opening celebration weekend will be April 28th and 29th.

 

Photo: Tom and Mary James at the BCA 10 Gala in 2009

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Jacksonville's Public Art Week

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Jacksonville's Public Art Week

From April 1-7, Public Art Week will be “Building a Better Community” in Jacksonville, Florida. Hosted by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, this event is “an annual, week-long initiative that celebrates Jacksonville’s public art and highlights the benefits that are created when investments are made in art that is accessible by all.”

With over 25 presenters and 25 events, this week is proving to be a strong show of support for the arts.

 

A panel moderated by Emily Peck (Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives, Americans for the Arts) featured Hugh Greene (president and CEO of Baptist Health), Audra Wallace (CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority), Steven Grossman (CEO of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority), and Alicia Somers (financial wellness director for Regions Bank). Each discussed the value of private sector support for the arts and its transformative power.

 

While it might not seem that a hospital, an airport, and a bank would have much in common, all of them use the arts to create vibrant spaces for their staff, patients, and clients. Baptist Hospitals have long displayed artwork at each location, but are currently in talks with representatives from the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art & Garden, and a sculptor to consult for pieces to be displayed in the newest site. Likewise, the Jacksonville International Airport (JIA) has a permanent collection, two galleries, and eight cases. Grossman also shared that there will also be regular performances by members of the Jacksonville Symphony. Regions Bank works with Fogle Fine Art and Accessories to find works for display in each branch.

 

In addition to support from the private sector, Greene and others encouraged the local government to provide more funding for the arts. After a drastic cut in January, the city has much work ahead to continue and develop the arts. In a city that is struggling with the implications of existing public art (memorials and statues of controversial histories), using art to create vibrant spaces is a step forward.

 

 

Photos by Toni Smailagic of Cre8Jax, courtesy of Jacksonville Cultural Council. 

Music and Resilience in Osceola County

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Music and Resilience in Osceola County

In the aftermath of the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, over 2,300 students have been relocated to Florida. In Osceola County, arts educators and business leaders are partnering to provide support for some of these displaced students. Live Music Tutor, Inc. – run by Ted Gee – is an online service that provides interactive musical instruction and has been a strategic partner of the School District for three years. Working in tandem with the heads of the Fine and Performing Arts Department of the School District, Debbie Fahmie and Pam Haas, they are using music to heal.

 

Many of the young students entering the district are not only removed from their homes, but from their immediate families as well. Through inclusion in music programs during and after school, they can find new communities. They are able to connect with their new peers even if they do not speak the language. Moreover, participating in the arts provides an outlet – a way for students to express themselves and engage with themselves on an emotional level. During this time of transition and the unknown, access to these programs has been essential. 

 

Through the project Music Helps Heal, Live Music Tutor, Inc. has been helping the school district acquire more instruments and bilingual instructors. Live Music Tutor, Inc. proves that when businesses understand the transformative power of music, the whole community can band together. 

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Bacardi in Coral Gables, Florida

Posted by Mariama Holman
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BCA 10 Spotlight: Bacardi in Coral Gables, Florida

Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi. This sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 151 years ago.  Arts programming enriches the lives of our employees and their families, our neighbors, and our business partners. The realm of the arts crosses borders and languages to bring all people together in the name of beauty, knowledge and community.

-Robert Furniss-Roe, Regional President, Bacardi North America

 

Since its founding in Santiago de Cuba in 1862, Bacardi has shown a strong commitment to the arts in the communities in which its employees live and work. The company believes exposure to the arts stimulates inquisitiveness and creativity. The Coral Gables Museum, which shares its hometown with the Bacardi Americas headquarters, nominated the company for the 2013 BCA 10 Award.

 

Supporting both visual and performing arts, Bacardi contributes cash and in-kind gifts including beverages, raffle prize items, and marketing and advertising for gallery openings and events.  In 2012, the company designated a significant portion of its philanthropic giving to the arts.

 

The Bacardi commitment to the arts is evident in its corporate offices and corporate culture. In its main office in the United States, Bacardi has a workplace art collection focused on Latin American and Caribbean art, which it displays in public spaces, hallways and collaboration areas for employees to enjoy. Working to expose employees to partnering arts organizations, Bacardi holds company meetings and press events at local arts venues and regularly offers employees tickets to exhibitions, shows, concerts, and award dinners at organizations the company sponsors.

 

The iconic brands in the Bacardi portfolio have partnered with the arts, as well. The brands often coordinate design competitions that attract well-known designers and students alike. Winning designs are exhibited and often included in national ad campaigns and other promotional materials. The Bacardi brand of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin developed a design and film competition called “Artisan Series,” a nationwide search that aims to spot the next big names in the visual arts. The competition brought in more than 3,000 submissions in its second year, and the 2012 winner was exhibited at Art Basel in Miami.

 

Bacardi utilizes partnerships with arts organizations as a way to reach its core audience. Through a partnership with the Coral Gables Museum, Bacardi spearheaded an exhibition called “Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art and Identity.” Curated by Allan Shulman, professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, the exhibit tells the story of Bacardi through the lens of the architecture and artworks it has commissioned and championed over a century and a half. Bacardi also identifies opportunities to support arts activities through marketing efforts, including music, documentary, painting, and dance.

 

Photo: Jessica Busse Lastra, a Bacardi USA team member, leading an art class at Abriendo Puertas, a food canteen in Little Havana with programs for youth and elderly.

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2012 BCA 10 Winning Tampa Bay Times Spreads Joy of Literature with Times Festival of Reading

Posted by Mariama Holman
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2012 BCA 10 Winning Tampa Bay Times Spreads Joy of Literature with Times Festival of Reading

Every fall, the Tampa Bay Times marketing department produces a celebration of the literary arts known as the Times Festival of Reading. This one day event draws thousands of book lovers, as well as famous authors from across the country who come to discuss their work, meet fans and sell books.

 

“Like an orchestra or museum or concert hall, a fine newspaper is a creative enterprise and a community asset. Through fat times and lean, we have tried to nourish the creative arts because they help make our community more vibrant. Our investments have paid dividends for the Tampa Bay region, and therefore for our enterprise,” says Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times.

 

The Tampa Bay Times believes the arts help fuel the economy and creativity, and that fostering and supporting the arts is crucial to the health of the community. By increasing awareness, creating discussion, providing economic support and driving audience, the Tampa Bay Times continues to help the area’s vibrant arts community.

Since 2005, the Times has given more than $865,000 in cash and approximately $1 million of in-kind support through print and web advertising to dozens of arts organization throughout Tampa Bay. In 2011, the Times gave more than $62,000 to the arts in Tampa Bay and provided more than $100,000 in discounts on advertising and in-kind space.

 

Acting as an arts leader in the community, the Times makes its senior leaders available to serve on the boards of nonprofit arts groups. Times staffers have served on the boards of Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Dali Museum, and the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (TBBCA).

 

Through its support of the TBBCA, the Times has helped fund scholarships for local high school students to pursue a secondary education in the arts. Over the past four years, more than $60,000 in scholarships has been awarded.

 

For more than 20 years, the Tampa Bay Times has supported dozens of diverse arts and cultural organizations throughout Florida. Currently, the Times has been the media sponsor of some of the largest, most renowned venues and arts festivals in Florida, including the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the Gasparilla Arts Festival. The Times also proudly supports many smaller, local arts groups and events such as Studio@620, Tampa Theatre, and the Morean Arts Center.

 

Photo: A child reading a book at the 21st annual Times Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg, Florida. This image is sourced from the October 2013 edition of HarborNotes Weekly.

 

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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Walt Disney World Resort, Helps Communities Shine with the Arts

Posted by Mariama Holman
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2011 BCA 10 Winner, Walt Disney World Resort, Helps Communities Shine with the Arts

Disney is an avid supporter of the local community, with grant programs such as Helping Kids Shine, which has awarded $10,000 to $100,000 to support programs that inspire creativity, encourage compassion and promote health and well-being of families.

 

A 2012 beneficiary of the program was Quest Inc., which is using the Disney grant to introduce children with special needs to media arts.

 

Quest Kids is based in Orlando, Florida and for over 50 years, has supported Central Floridians with developmental disabilities by offering choices and opportunities to live, learn, work and play.  

 

Since the Walt Disney World Resort’s 1971 opening, it has honored the spirit of corporate citizenship by giving back to the local arts initiatives and the arts community, as a whole.

 

Disney uses a multifaceted approach in supporting the arts—from donating cash sponsorships and in-kind products to sharing the knowledge and expertise of its cast members—in order to make the most meaningful impact. Among these contributions is a $12.5 million capital investment in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, one of Disney’s largest gift to a Central Florida arts organization.

 

In 2010, the Walt Disney World Resort gave more than $350,000 in cash and more than $215,000 in in-kind products to the local arts community, including $107,000 in grants through the Disney Helping Kids Shine program.

In promoting employee volunteerism, in 2010  Disney catalogued more than 6,700 volunteer service hours for arts and cultural organizations, with hundreds more in board of directors and pro bono service. Disney also offered cast members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes; this “cast club” was known as Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra.

 

Founded in 2002 and including several hundred singers, musicians, dancers and production team members, at least half of the group has jobs outside of the company’s entertainment division and aren’t performers by trade. In addition, Encore! donated funds from its ticket sales to local arts charities, raising more than $150,000 by 2011.

 

Disney also assists arts and cultural organizations with fundraising opportunities. Housed in a permanent theater located at the Walt Disney World Resort, Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba company and Orlando Ballet teamed up for a project in which performers from both organizations worked together to choreograph 10 original movements. Presented as an evening fundraiser, the production’s proceeds benefited the Ballet and donations were matched by Cirque up to $10,000.

 

Committed to promoting arts education and youth programming, Disney’s trustee investment in United Arts of Central Florida helps ensure that nearly 550,000 public school students in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties benefit from arts and cultural field trips and immersive experiences. Disney further invests in the children of its community as the primary sponsor of A Gift For Music, an afterschool program. Since its 1999 inception the program has provided free instruction on stringed instruments to 7,200 students, and is currently offered in six Title I schools.   

 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

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2011 BCA Awardee, Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Supports Arts to the Core

Posted by Mariama Holman
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2011 BCA Awardee, Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Supports Arts to the Core

Wilde is located in Sarasota County, FL—a community known for its wealth of cultural amenities, organizations, initiatives, and events. In providing service to its community, Wilde Lexus of Sarasota has made community involvement with the arts a vital part of its core values and mission.

 

According to Mark Wilde, President of the Wilde Automotive Family, “The diversity and exceptional quality of cultural and performance arts are why many people have chosen this area.  The Wilde Automotive Family actively supports those who live, work and visit this community and the values most important to them.  The arts are fundamental to our humanity… they inspire us, foster creativity, and help us learn about ourselves and the world around us.”

 

The company recognizes the importance of the arts to the economy and character of Sarasota, and bolsters its community by maintaining substantial partnerships with arts and cultural organizations throughout the year. As an active member of Sarasota County, Wilde Automotive Family has donated approximately $3 million to the arts since it opened its doors more than 20 years ago.

 

The Wilde Automotive Family has supported more than 50 nonprofit organizations, efforts, and initiatives annually, including the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Film Festival, and Season of Sculpture—five of the area’s largest arts organizations.  Wilde’s partnerships have been based on cash donations as well as time donated by willing employees. The Wilde Automotive Family gave nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the arts in 2010, approximately 85 percent of its annual philanthropic giving.

 

The Wilde Automotive Family has supported the Van Wezel, sponsoring the diverse group of performing arts that comprise the “Broadway Series” for the past nine years.  Van Wezel attendees are welcomed with a Wilde display of new Lexus models outside and a product specialist and literature inside.

 

Wilde is especially interested in community arts groupsthat foster strong arts education programs,working closely with underserved schools and at-risk youth groups.The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall offers acclaimed programs that introduce public school students to the world’s great thinkers, performers, and artists. Some of these programs offer residency programs in area schools, participatory workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and master classes for both students and teachers. Wilde firmly believes that the arts are a vital, life-affirming force in society and that all children should be given the opportunity to experience the arts in a personal way.  

 

Wilde has designed partnership campaigns that creatively mix interactions between area-based arts and culture organizations. Wilde Automotive integrated the efforts of multiple groups by hosting special fundraisers for topical issues and concerns at arts venues. Wilde has raised funds at arts events for hurricane victims, low income children with medical needs, underserved school programs, and other charitable efforts, helping to make the arts a solution to contemporary problems.

 

More about Wilde's 2011 BCA 10 Award here.

 

Photo: Performance of “Kinky Boots” at the Van Wezel Performance Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, an organization supported by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Image sourced from broadwayworld.com

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Top 10 States for Arts and Business Arts Partnerships

Posted by Mariama Holman
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Americans for the Arts has been honoring businesses that uniquely partner with arts organizations within their communities over the last decade through the annual BCA10 awards, receiving nominees of both large, small and mid-sized companies across a dozens of industries and over 47 states.

 

We are taking a moment to call attention to the top 10 states that have celebrated business and arts partnerships by number of BCA10 nominees from 2005 to 2017, with pro-arts quotes from iconic awardees from the respective cities.  

 

1.     New York

 

Time Warner Inc., New York,

At the announcement of Time Warner’s recognition in the BCA Hall of Fame Award for the 2007 BCA10 gala, Richard Parsons, then CEO and Chairman stated that, “Creativity is as important to the communities we serve as it is to the businesses we run. That’s why we’re committed to supporting the arts. By giving young people a chance to develop their talents and interests through media and arts programs, enabling more people to experience world-class theater, and nurturing diverse new artists and new works, we strive to help keep the arts rich and accessible.”

 

 

2.     California

Wells Fargo, San Francisco, CA

Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Company went on record during their 2005 BCA10 awardee announcement saying that “the arts make communities great places to live, work and play. Supporting the arts is simply the right thing to do.”

 

 

3.     Texas

American Airlines, Dallas, TX

Bella Goren, American’s Vice President of Interactive Marketing and Reservations at Americans for the Arts as well as a member of the board of North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, accepted the 2005 BCA10 award in New York on the company’s behalf. “American and our people have a long-standing record of supporting the arts and enhancing what the arts bring to our communities,” said Goren afterward. “Hundreds of American and American Eagle employees volunteer in many positions and capacities in local and national arts organizations, and this commitment has been ongoing.  We’re proud of them, and grateful for their contributions.”

 

 

4.     Florida

Bacardi North America, Coral Gables, FL

 

According to Robert Furniss-Roe, the former Regional President of Bacardi North America, “Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi, and this sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 150 years ago. Arts programming enriches the lives of our employees and their families, our neighbors, and our business partners. The realm of the arts cross borders and languages to bring all people together in the name of beauty, knowledge and community.”

 

 

5.     Pennsylvania

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

 

“The arts can bring a community to life and influence its economic development. That is why PNC has long supported creative programs and initiatives that make the arts more accessible to our employees and everyone we serve,” said James E. Rohr, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

 

 

6.     Missouri

Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO

“Hallmark’s mission is to inspire meaningful connections, which enhance relationships and enrich lives. We feel the arts are central to this purpose,” said Donald Hall, Jr., President and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc during the 2014 BCA10 awards at the Central Park Boathouse in New York.

 

 

7.     Wisconsin

Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, WI

At the 2013 BCA10 announcement, John E. Schlifske, Chairman, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, stated that “Northwestern Mutual believes in the long-term benefits of sponsoring arts in the community. The arts inspire us to think differently and use new skills in all kinds of work. Our Foundation takes great pride in fostering and supporting an arts scene that not only provides entertainment, but also economic growth.”

 

 

8.   Tennessee

HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN

"The arts nourish the spirit, challenge the mind, bring joy to the soul and enhance our communities. HCA's support of the arts is consistent with our mission to improve the quality of human life,” said Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Chairman and CEO of HCA in light of the company’s recognition for the 2006 BCA10 award.

 

 

9.   Illinois

Deere & Company, Moline, IL

"Support of the arts is integral to Deere's long-standing commitment to our communities,” said Robert W. Lane, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  Deere & Company. “We are pleased to make major contributions to the arts that enhance the quality of life.”

 

 

10.  Ohio

Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

“Every day at P&G we strive to improve people’s lives with our brands and products, as well as improve the communities where we live and work. Supporting the arts produces ripple effects of benefits that help communities thrive and make them great places to live,” said Proctor & Gamble CEO, David Taylor upon the 2016 BCA10 announcement.

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St. Petersburg’s New Art Scene

Posted by Melyssa Muro
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St. Petersburg’s New Art Scene

Amid the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, the private and tourist sectors alike have recently seen an explosion of revenue due to utilizing one simple lifehack—the arts. These reciprocal relationships of business, tourism, and arts in St. Petersburg stand living testament to the many ways any business can use the arts and not just boost sales, but improve the entire community.

 

Steve Westphal, St. Petersburg local entrepreneur and restaurant owner says, “without a doubt, collaborating with the arts, whether individual artists, arts organizations or arts festivals, is a good decision for businesses.” Westphal features etched glass, metal sculpture, marine life prints, and iconic grouper paintings by the late Bill Woo in his restaurant —and business is booming as a result.

 

More specifically, small businesses like his have been part of an astounding economic impact of over $200 million generated by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, according to a 2015 Arts & Culture Economic Impact Report produced by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

 

Staybridge Suites is getting in on the action, as well. Partnering with ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing, the hotel has converted its dining area and lobby into a gallery space where artists can display their work. In addition to having pieces on display at all times, Staybridge hosts Art Night every three months, each bringing up to 100 people in. As artists revel in the exposure and hotel guests are more satisfied with their stay, it is easy to see why the show’s curator, Nathan Beard, refers to the partnership as “a mutually beneficial relationship.” Beard explained how the partnership goes even further than this, “we are always referring people who stop by ARTicles to the hotel and the hotel is referring guests to our gallery.”

 

Additionally, the City of St. Petersburg itself has collaborated with the local Chamber of Commerce to establish the St. Pete Store & Visitors Center, which displays the work of many artists and crafters on a rotating showcase. With a cycle of 40 artists being represented, the Chamber has reported the collective artists’ return to be nearly $20,000.

 

With all of the opportunities created and partnerships listed above, it is easy to agree with director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, John Collin’s statement, “Art is great for business.”

 

 

 

 

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Building Up, Building Art

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Building Up, Building Art

Many real estate developers have come to see the value in including art in buildings and spaces. Opportunities to bring not only art concepts but also artists into the early stages of projects can lead to developments that are brilliantly unique and inclusive. These developments support great design, inspirational concepts, and more importantly, local community.

 

In recent years, with real estate development planning, there’s been a strong lean towards artist residencies, community listening sessions, and ideas to turn neglected properties into town centers. With increased access to and desire for art among residents, real estate developers have become more tuned into the benefit of these partnerships. In Creative Exchange’s “Lessons from RARE: Engaging Artists in Real Estate Development”, several points are offered about these artist-development relationships:

 

  • Give artists the freedom to create open-ended work
  • Provide practical support for creative engagement
  • Allow for chance encounters and unexpected shifts

 

When incorporating the points above, sometimes having a third party or “translator” involved in the process comes out as a win. In Orlando, the Novare Group partnered with curatorial team, Dashboard, to produce 1,400 cubic feet of vibrant color at their luxury high-rise apartment community, SkyHouse Orlando. The eye-catching artwork,  designed by The Young Never Sleep, showcases some of Central Florida’s most exotic and native plant life in exaggerated colors for a striking and education street-scape experience.

 

In addition to the points above, the potential of new artist-developer driven projects is a chance for blossoming and building a legacy. In Miami Jorge Pérez, 2015 BCA 10 Leadership Award winner and chairman of The Related Group, has built a legacy and continues to transform Miami into an international tourist and cultural destination with beautiful and inspiring developments. The Related Group’s mixed-use building, the SLS Brickell showcases a ”drip painting” style mural on its eight-story parking garage that gives artist Markus Linnenbrink 40,000 square foot of surface to cover. 

 

Investment in brilliant collaborations will continue to build brilliant, vibrant communities where art and business are both victorious.

 

 

Photo credit: Paper Gardens, www.dashboard.us.

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