Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce the BCA Leadership Award and the *new* BCA pARTnership Award honorees for 2017. The awards are presented annually by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts.
UNIQLO, casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer, and The Museum of Modern Art, the foremost museum of modern art in the world, will receive the new 2017 BCA pARTnership Award which recognizes a company and an arts organization for an exceptional project, program, or initiative that represents a true alliance, collaboration, or exchange between the two.
Raymond J. McGuire, Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking of Citi, will receive the 2017 BCA Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual for his/her extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow in his/her lead.
At Americans for the Arts, the Private Sector Initiatives team works to strengthen partnerships between the arts and businesses communities. Hear from the team about its favorite arts and biz partnerships from 2016.
Jessica Gaines, Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator
"A trend that we covered here on the pARTnership Movement was Midday Dance Breaks or Lunchtime Dance Parties. Not only is a midday movement session needed, it’s a great way for companies to recruit and retain their talent. In fact, my teammate Emma and I were able to attend a dance break sponsored by Perrier and Flavorpill where we received this fun light-up swag that we now use to celebrate team wins or successes."
Video courtesy of Jessica Gaines.
Emma Osore, Program Coordinator, Arts & Business Council of New York
"Not only does Con Edison financially subsidize the DIAL (Diversity in Arts Leadership) intern stipends and provide in-kind event space, their employees have volunteered their personal time to fill two-thirds of the business mentor roles. This business mentor commitment strengthens the capacity of the young leader but also strengthens Con Edison’s business goals and engages their employees in a meaningful way."
Emily Peck, Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives
"We featured this program in our pARTnership Movement essay on fostering critical thinking through the arts. We also got to hear about the program and how it benefits the artists involved and the company when Ruth Kohler joined us at our Sun Valley policy convening. Artists and Kohler associates work side by side on the factory floor."
Jordan Shue, Private Sector Initiatives Program Manager
Jordan’s pick: Austin Energy's collaboration with Forklift Danceworks
"Allen Small, Austin Energy Distribution Director, and Allison Orr, Forklift Danceworks Artistic Director, both participated in the BCA 10 webinar and it was clear that it was a true partnership in every sense of the word. Every time I need some inspiration I watch the videos of PowerUP performance!"
From the BCA 10 program book: In 2013, Austin Energy supported the Forklift Danceworks production of PowerUP—a free performance featuring more than 60 linemen, electrical technicians, and Austin Energy employees. The collaborative work showcased the work of numerous Austin artists such as award-winning choreographers Allison Orr and Krissie Marty and Peter Bay, conductor for the Austin Symphony. The production was presented to 6,000 people and thousands more through a nationally broadcast documentary.
Amy Webb, Director, Arts & Business Council of New York
"SPRZ NY (Surprise New York) is a project designed around the concept of 'a place where clothes and art meet.' It features a special collection of modern art-inspired fashion products intended to surprise, including a collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art. We've featured the partnership in the past (here) but it always a stand-out to me."
Conversations surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion are currently affecting almost every industry. From tech to home sharing, leaders are approaching new ways to engage employees, thwart exclusion, and consider people on the margins within their work environments and also within their communities.
So, how are leaders approaching this area as it effects the arts and culture sector?
MoMA’s president emerita, Agnes Gund, has worked to diversify the scope of the museum, stating, “We serve a population.” In other words, the works should reflect the range of the population served.
To fulfill this need for diverse works, Gund reached out to individuals like AC Hudgins, who joined the board of directors in 2012. He has since contributed his collected works, including pieces by David Hammons, Henry Taylor, Senga Nengudi, and more, and in doing so, has enhanced the exchange of ideas from those with differing backgrounds. By housing these works down the hall from those of Van Gogh and Dali, MoMA cultivates an environment of convergence. In this way, Hudgins’ additions are immensely appreciated; as his friend and colleague Marie-Josee Kravis frames it, “[W]e have three million visitors a year… We have to be an agora, not a temple.”
Volkswagen is distinguished for its success in auto engineering, but the German car manufacturer should also be celebrated for its engineering of arts education programming. In a five year partnership with MoMA and MoMA PS1, Volkswagen has provided invaluable opportunities to emerging leaders in the arts, especially with its VW Fellows Scholarship Programme.
Started in 2012, the program offers students the chance to work in New York at the Manhattan-based MoMA and the associated Queens MoMA PS1 with various museum departments. The three 2016 fellows, selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, are assisting this summer in conducting fundamental research and writing, event and exhibition production, archival documentation, and executive task management. The program was designed to give students an inside-look at museum operations in the hope that they will continue to use their skills in the arts world after their tenure at MoMA. Since the program’s formation, alumnus have moved on to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bard College, and other arts institutions.
Head of Volkswagen’s Cultural Engagement, Benita von Maltzahn, said, "there is a time-honoured principle which also applies to culture and the arts: you learn especially well from especially good ideas. Within the art world, MoMA stands for those ideas and that is why we are very pleased to be able to open MoMA’s doors to young and talented people. Here, they benefit from an outstanding opportunity to generate innovative ideas and new perspectives thanks to the VW Fellows Scholarship Programme."
Volkswagen’s arts education work and partnership with MoMA don’t stop there. Over the years, the partnership has created numerous programs catered towards teenagers and students, such as the recent “A Tale of Three Cities” initiative, a MoMA Teen Program which brought together students from London, Chicago, and New York to pioneer an online art course for teens by teens. The effort resulted in a four-week online course which has reached students in over 70 countries around the globe, engaging them with the international arts scene and teaching them about the politics, communities, and challenges that form the contemporary art world.
With the VW Fellows Scholarship Programme and numerous other education initiatives, Volkswagen’s role as MoMA’s Lead Corporate Partner of Education proves that the best road to success is one that supports a culture of artistic innovation.