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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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Private Sector Takes a Stand

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Private Sector Takes a Stand

“Brand Impact,” “Brand Democracy,” “Brand Activism” – whatever you call it, you should get in on it.

 

In recent years, it might have seemed like taking a stand on social or political issues could spell disaster for a company. And yet, more and more often, we are seeing brands and their leaders speaking out.

 

Why would a company risk losing customers and profit if a stance could alienate significant portions of the country?

 

Stakeholders expect it.

 

As reported by eMarketer, two-thirds “want brands to take a stand on social and political issues.”  With over half of the respondents stating that companies should take a stand on human rights and labor laws, combined responses for “yes, all brands should take a stand” and “only if it relates to products/services” were all above 64%.

 

According to Edelman’s 2017 report: The Rise of the Belief-Driven Buyer, 1 in 2 people are belief-driven buyers, meaning “they choose, switch, avoid, or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.” In the 2018 survey, they found that 64% of respondents are belief-driven buyers. This stance is the majority across all ages, with the highest percentage among the 18-34 range. However, 35-54 and 55+ are steadily increasing at a faster rate.

 

Even internally, almost 57% of employees at Fortune 1000 “think corporations should play a more active role in addressing social issues,” as reported by Povaddo. 55% want the “company and/or CEO to be more vocal on important societal issues.” Employees want more outlets and resources to be engaged with political or social issues.

 

Why are brands expected to take stands?

 

The private sector has power.

 

Consumers are looking to corporations to lead the way. Per Edelman, 57% of respondents in the US believe “it is easier for people to get brands to address social problems than to get government to take action” and 53% believe “brands can do more to solve social ills than government.”

 

Likewise, according to GlobeScan and BSR’s State of Sustainable Business 2018 report, 71% of respondents believe that large global companies are “more effective than governments at advancing the sustainability agenda.”

 

 

What’s one way companies can take a stand?

 

The arts can make a difference.

 

Although the arts are not explicitly listed as an issue, they intersect with each category. As demonstrated in the Art + Social Impact explorer, the arts can play a significant role in all arenas. Through business partnerships with artists and arts organizations, we have seen the power of the arts in advancing human rights, the environment, gender equality, LGBTQIA+ rights, and more.

 

Here’s to hoping that an increase in expectation and effort from corporations to be mindful of and invested in social and political stances means an increase in engagement with the arts.

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2018 BCA 10 Honorees in Forbes Magazine

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2018 BCA 10 Honorees in Forbes Magazine

This year's BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees were in the September 30 issues of Forbes Magazine.

 

Read more about this year's honorees:

Churchill Downs

Fifth Third Bank

Fosun International Shanghai CN

Phillips 66

The Standard

Tierney

UMB Financial Corporation

VF Corporation

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

Zions Bank

 

David Rockefeller pARTnership Award: Square + Cheyenne River Youth Project

BCA Leadership Award: Chandrika Tandon

 

 

Special thanks to Christopher "Kip" Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes and winner of the 2011 BCA Leadership Award.

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What's so important about creativity?

Posted by Emily Peck
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What's so important about creativity?

We might work in the arts field, but our day-to-day work looks like any other business. We stare at Excel charts, spend hours on conference calls, write reports, and try to find the bottom of our never-ending email inboxes. Like every other industry, our work only succeeds if we are creative and innovative, if we try new things and look at old problems in new ways. As arts administrators, we are well versed in the role the arts can play in bringing creativity to the workforce—but we don’t always put this into practice.

However, this summer, we reminded ourselves of the importance of the arts and creativity to our daily work. Our inaugural Johnson Fellow, artist Tanya Aguiñiga, led Americans for the Arts’ New York office through a collaborative felting project. As a group, we explored the creative person that is inside of all of us and doesn’t always get a chance to escape at work. We had the opportunity to collaborate on a design process and experiment with new ideas and techniques. The project took us out of our usual way of working and collaborating, and it made us think about things in new ways. And, in the end, we created a piece of art that represented each of us individually and as a group.

 

No matter what industry you work in, Americans are seeing the value of creativity in their jobs. From our recent public opinion poll, Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018, 55% of employed Americans agree that their job requires them to be creative. And an even larger percentage, 60%, believe that the more creative and innovative they are at their job, the more successful they are in the workplace.

 

And how are they finding their inner creative spark? For many businesses, the answer lies in partnering with the arts. Our recently released Business Contributions to the Arts 2018 Survey, conducted in partnership with The Conference Board, asked business leaders if the arts contribute to stimulating creative thinking and problem solving—and 53% of them agreed that it does.

 

These trends align with the report Ready to Innovate, conducted ten years ago by The Conference Board, that explored the role of the arts in building creativity in the workforce. The report, aimed at business leaders, concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the third millennium.”

When asked about their current challenges, CEOs interviewed by The Conference Board talked about the importance of creativity and innovation. Less than 10% are extremely satisfied with their organization’s ability to innovate. These CEOs also said that as part of their long-term vision, the want to emphasize creativity and innovation as a part of their corporate values.

 

That might sound a little grim—but there are great examples across the country of businesses engaging with artists and arts organizations to bring creativity into their workplace.

 

At Milliken, employees are surrounded by art throughout their campus and in their day-to-day work. They even integrate art into their training sessions and encourage artistic endeavors through an employee band. CEO Joe Salley reports, “Innovation, art, and design are the heart of our corporation, and are inherent in our training. The arts open our minds to the seemingly impossible and help us think with fresh perspectives, which is what our nearly 7,000 associates worldwide do every day to bring the Milliken spirit of innovation to life.”

 

Hallmark’s #my5days program offers five work days per year for creative employees to renew, explore, learn, and think differently about the world and work around them by participating in their creative pursuits. According to CEO Don Hall, “As a creatively based company, Hallmark sees the arts as a source of renewal and inspiration for our employees and our business.”

 

Like our own experience, like that of Hallmark and Milliken, businesses and their employees are valuing creativity and innovation more and more as an integral part of their work experience to inspire new ideas and new ways of working that impact the bottom line. We want to provide the data and best practices to inspire even more businesses to engage with the arts.

 

Photo: Staff in the New York office making art with Tanya Aguiñiga

 

This blog originally appeared on ArtsBlog

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Business Contributions to the Arts Survey 2018

Posted by Emily Peck
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Business Contributions to the Arts Survey 2018

Business Contributions to the Arts: 2018 Edition is the second edition published by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts of the annual study. Conducted in the summer of 2018, the survey garnered 132 responses from small, midsize, and large U.S. businesses, 123 of which made a philanthropic contribution of some description in 2017 and are therefore included in this report. Here are some of the findings:

 

Business support for the arts is increasing. Nearly a quarter of companies expect to increase their funding for the arts in the next 12 months and only 7 percent expect a decrease. These increases will likely be driven by increased overall philanthropy budgets.

 

Creativity continues to drive business engagement with the arts. More than half of respondents overall (53 percent) reported that arts support contributes to stimulating creative thinking and problem solving. This aligns with data from Americans for the Arts’ recent public opinion poll, Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018, where 55 percent of employed adults say their job requires them to “be creative and come up with ideas that are new and unique.” An even greater proportion (60 percent) say that the more creative and innovative they are at their job, the more successful they are in the workplace.

 

The arts improve the economy and quality of life in communities. 79 percent of companies believe arts improve the quality of life in their community, and 63 percent of companies believe the arts contribute to the economy. Similarly, our recent public opinion poll found that 68 percent of Americans say the arts are good for the economy and support jobs.

 

Click to expandBusinesses are looking to the arts for their diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. 36 percent of all companies partner with the arts as a way to address diversity in the workplace. When looking at companies with over $25 billion in revenue, this increases to 50 percent of all companies surveyed. Additionally, 42 percent of all businesses say the arts provide an avenue to address challenging conversations in the workplace. This is an upward trend from past surveys.

 

Employees want to be engaged with their jobs and their communities. 63 percent of companies promote board service at arts organizations, and 60 percent of companies provide opportunities for their employees to volunteer at arts organizations on company time.

 

Arts education is a priority for businesses. Arts education programs are the most common area of the arts field supported by companies, with 69 percent indicating involvement in such programs. In addition to arts education, music, visual arts, theatre, and culturally specific arts organizations all receive support from more than 50 percent of companies.

 

When it comes to measuring impact, there is room to grow. 55 percent of companies do not measure the social impact of their arts support. This is an area for growth for arts organizations as the business community continues looking for data and a return on investment on their community partnerships.

 

A version of this post initially appeared on ArtsBlog

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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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