Throughout the summer of 2017, the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Initiatives department solicited responses to the FY2016 United Arts Fund Campaign Survey. Surveys were distributed to a total of 45 united arts funds by email. A total of 37 UAFs participated in the survey. United Arts Funds (UAFs) are private organizations that raise money for the arts, work to broaden support for the arts, encourage arts attendance and participation, promote excellence in the arts and arts management, and ensure that arts organizations are financially stable. Americans for the Arts defines a UAF campaign as a combined or federated appeal for arts funding conducted annually to raise unrestricted money on behalf of three or more arts, culture, and/or science organizations.
In FY 2016, the 37 participating UAFs reported aggregate campaign revenue of $85.5 million during their campaigns that ended during 2016. Twenty-nine UAFs have provided their total campaign revenue annually since 2007, making them a reliable indicator of the year-to-year changes in UAF fundraising. The $116.7 total campaign revenue raised on behalf of the arts and culture by these 29 UAFs in FY2016 is $4.1 million more than the inflation adjusted total of $112.8 million they raised during FY2007. All together, these findings suggest that the united arts fundraising sector is continuing its recovery from the Great Recession.
A majority of United Arts Funds are working to address diversity, equity and inclusion goals in their grants programs and policies. Almost 75% of United Arts Funds have redesigned or plan to redesign their grantmaking practices to address diversity, equity and inclusion in their grant programs. 72% have made or plan to make changes or established new practices to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their grant review processes.
For more information, view the United Arts Funds Fiscal Year 2016 Fact Sheet.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2018 BCA 10 AWARDS
Every year, Americans for the Arts through its Business Committee for the Arts, honors the 10 best businesses partnering with the arts in America.
Submissions close January 19.
To nominate or learn more about eligibility, visit www.americansforthearts.org/events/bca-10/nominations
The arts help the business community
· Foster innovation
· Reach new customers
· Convey strategic messages
· Celebrate diversity
· Engage employees
All honorees will be celebrated at the BCA 10 black-tie gala in New York City on October 2, 2018
The arts are an economic driver. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity study, released by Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015, which comprised $63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in audience spending.
The arts are also a business. Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries report shows that 673,656 businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts and these businesses employ 3.48 million people. To put that in perspective, that is 4.01 percent of all U.S. businesses and 2.04 percent of all U.S. employees.
Businesses are taking note. In the survey Business Contributions to the Arts, produced by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, 67 percent of business leaders say they support the arts because they improve the economy and quality of life.
BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts honoree Guitar Center Inc. is one of those businesses. With 280 stores across the country, Guitar Center is the world’s largest seller of musical instruments, stage lighting, recording software, studio gear and more. The company embraces its role in both the arts and business sectors by supporting music education and musicians. Guitar Center’s support of music education makes it the largest source of music education outside the school system by providing lessons to over 100,000 students annually. Research from the Conference Board shows that a background in arts education provides the skills required by the 21st century workforce. The company also supports the artistic talents of its employees by providing discounts on gear and “Gig Leave,” so employees can go on music tours. Company sponsored “Jam Nights” at local venues give employees the opportunity to perform with coworkers for their families and friends. Guitar Center both supports the arts and employs artists.
The award-winning partnership between the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and clothing retailer UNIQLO shows how partnering with the arts can provide economic impact. UNIQLO’s flagship store occupies a prominent corner on Fifth Avenue in New York City, just across the street from MoMA. Since 2013, UNIQLO and MoMA have partnered to bring more than 1.6 million New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to MoMA through UNIQLO’s sponsorship of Free Friday Nights at the museum. The partnership enhances both organizations’ brands and fuels traffic across Manhattan’s 53rd Street.
These partnerships demonstrate what the businesses in our survey know: supporting the arts enhances the community, stimulates the economy, engages employees and provides the training needed for the future workforce.
Originally published on Giving Thoughts blog.
Known as one of the foremost concert promoters and festival producers in the United States, AC Entertainment celebrates the arts by bringing first-class live entertainment experiences to music lovers from around the world. Founded in 1991, AC Entertainment now produces over 700 concerts, events and festivals annually and has become a household name in the music and arts industries. The company also manages the historic Tennessee and Bijou Theaters in its headquarters of Knoxville; a second office is located in Nashville. As AC Entertainment has become a key player in these communities, supporting the arts—even beyond producing concerts and festivals—has become intertwined with the company’s core objectives.
AC Entertainment’s biggest annual festivals include Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Forecastle Music & Arts Festival and Big Ears. Each of these festivals has a meaningful philanthropic component, and attracts tens of thousands of patrons, exposing them to hundreds of musical performances and arts displays in unique settings throughout the US—redefining what an arts experience can be.
AC Entertainment’s most acclaimed event, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which the company co-founded, co-owns and co-produces with Superfly Presents, is known as the largest camping music event in North America and was listed in Rolling Stone’s “50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock & Roll.” The Bonnaroo Works Fund (BWF), the charitable division of the festival, supports organizations with a mission of making communities healthy in the areas of arts, education, and environmental sustainability, with the goal of local reinvestment and asset building. Since the inception of the festival, the BWF has given back upwards of $5 million to support the efforts of approximately 100 charitable causes. $2 from each ticket sold is dedicated to charitable giving. In 2013, the BWF allocated more than $360,000 to 20+ deserving organizations, with approximately one-third of the total designated to programs advancing the arts. AC Entertainment also donates dozens of tickets from each event to a variety of groups and causes.
AC Entertainment often constructs outdoor venues and creative situations to showcase art associated with its festivals and special events. The company has supported a series of skylight visual art displays at the Nashville International Airport as part of Arts at the Airport, a program designed to turn the terminal and surrounding facilities into a space for rotating public art exhibits and permanent acquisitions.
The arts are the fabric of AC Entertainment’s operations and company culture, and play a large role in recruitment and retention of employees. CEO Ashley Capps sits on the Board of Directors of the Americana Music Association, the David Lynch Foundation and Visit Knoxville, and the Board of Advisors for Eventbrite. In order to keep improving the AC Entertainment experiences, Capps and several key employees continue to develop strong relationships with both business and government leaders in the towns, cities and states that the company serves in order to promote the value of the arts.
Photo: Forecastle Music & Arts Festival
“Creative, innovative thinking, the hallmark of artists and writers, is fundamental to building economic strength, and new and better ways of seeing the world. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards validates the creativity of students in their teens to encourage them on a path to contribute great ideas that will benefit society.”
-Dick Robinson, President and CEO, Scholastic Inc.
For more than 90 years, Scholastic Inc., through financial support, in-kind donations, pro-bono services, and employee volunteer hours, has contributed to the literary talents, artistic works, and recognition of children and teens. As the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, Scholastic has contributed tens of millions of dollars to the arts since the company was founded in 1920. Scholastic further encourages a love of reading, writing and art in areas of need by donating millions of books and resources through book grants. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 Award, nominated by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.
In 1923, just three years after founding Scholastic, Maurice R. Robinson created the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize the exceptional creative talents of our nation’s youth. Mr. Robinson firmly believed it was important “to give those high school students who demonstrate superior talent and achievement in things of the spirit and of the mind at least a fraction of the honors and rewards accorded to their athletic classmates for demonstrating their bodily skills.”
Scholastic ran the Awards in-house until 1994, when a committed board of directors was assembled to start the nonprofit organization Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which broadened the scope of the program and raised more money for scholarships. Teens nationwide have submitted more than 900,000 original works, and more than $45 million in scholarships has been earmarked for top regional and national Awards winners by partnering colleges. Scholastic has published several novels by teen writers discovered through the Awards and a number of winners have gone on to successful publishing careers, many of them with Scholastic.
Each year in the program’s history, Scholastic employees have donated hundreds of thousands of hours to the Arts & Writing Awards. From the very first year and continuing to today, they give their time and expertise by judging art and writing submissions, as well as providing operational, technical, legal, and public relations support. In 2012 alone, more than 150 employees volunteered their time to regional and national judging. More volunteers assist in the production of the Awards ceremony, held each year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Scholastic has received tremendously positive feedback from staff involvement with the Alliance, finding that the partnership acts as a great tool to keep employees engaged in the workplace. Scholastic’s headquarters in New York City is lined with a collection of student artwork and the lobby of the building houses a rotating exhibition of current award-winning student work.
Beyond the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the company believes in the power of art to inspire children to further their literacy skills and embrace reading. This is embodied in the company’s global literacy campaign to support every child’s right to read, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., which includes engaging renowned children’s illustrators to create their artistic interpretation of the campaign message through posters.
Photo: National Portfolio Gold Medalists at Carnegie Hall with Alliance for Young Artists & Writers Executive Director Virginia McEnerney and special guests, Zac Posen, Terrance Hayes, Usher, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
“Duke Energy is committed to supporting the vitality of the communities we serve. That includes introducing our young people to the arts at an early age—study after study shows that children benefit immensely from exposure to the arts. Investing in the arts makes good sense, for our business and for our communities.”
–Lynn Good, Vice Chair and CEO, Duke Energy
For more than 100 years, Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States, has acted with the belief that providing access to and building an appreciation for the arts can have a powerful impact on the communities it serves.
As a true testament to Duke Energy’s appreciation of the arts, in 2010 the company moved its headquarters to the Levine Center for the Arts complex, one of Charlotte’s key cultural destinations. Duke Energy contributed $5 million toward the Levine Center’s construction and provided the Arts & Science Council with an $83 million endowment to fund operations. The Levine Center is home to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the John S. and James L. Knight Theater, and Mint Museum Uptown. In addition, Duke Energy’s support of The Mint Museum of Craft + Design resulted in the creation of the Duke Energy gallery at the museum.
In 2009, Duke Energy was recognized by Americans for the Arts as a BCA 10 honoree. That year, the company forged a partnership with the Charlotte Symphony (CSO) and Opera Carolina to create The Duke Energy Power of Music Opera/Symphony Partnership with a gift of $150,000. The grant enabled Opera Carolina and the CSO to continue a partnership that has provided live music for opera productions in Charlotte for more than 60 years.
In 2013, when arts organizations in Charlotte were experiencing a significant decline in funding support, the Duke Energy Foundation committed $10 million to the Foundation for the Carolinas’ THRIVE Fund, which was established to provide financial stability for Charlotte’s arts and culture sector.
In Raleigh, Duke Energy has naming rights for the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center, and in recent years, has annually provided more than $500,000 in grants to the North Carolina Symphony, Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Opera, North Carolina Theatre, and Pinecone. In Florida, a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation enabled the Florida Orchestra to create new youth concerts and launch Classical Kids, providing free tickets for youth from underrepresented communities. In Cincinnati, Duke Energy is the title sponsor of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, which has consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the world.
Working under the banner “Duke Energy In Action,” Duke Energy employees and retirees regularly volunteer for charitable projects and participate in the company’s contribution matching program. The company also involves its employees in its workplace giving campaigns. For more than 20 years, Duke Energy has ranked among the top 10 ArtsWave campaign contributors in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Photo: A performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Raleigh-based North Carolina Theater where Duke Energy funding supports program excellence and education. Duke Energy has supported the North Carolina Theater since 2006.
At Hallmark Cards, art is an essential component of the company’s DNA. From its founding in the early 20th century, Hallmark has fostered creative environments both inside and outside the workplace, and has been particularly instrumental in building the arts and culture community in Kansas City, Missouri, where the company is headquartered. Since the 1970s, Hallmark has contributed over $35 million in cash contributions to all of the major visual and performing arts organizations in the Kansas City area, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Beyond financial contributions, Hallmark displays a deep commitment to the arts through a number of arts-related initiatives. As early as 1940, Hallmark instituted a visiting artist program that continues today, bringing artists into the workplace to give presentations and hold workshops for employees. In 1969, Hallmark initiated the Kaleidoscope program, which has provided free creative art experiences to more than 8 million children and their families.
In addition , Hallmark has one of the earliest and most extensive corporate art collections in the United States. From 1949 to 1960, Hallmark sponsored the International Art Awards, instituted by Hallmark founder J.C. Hall to, in his own words, “sponsor a ‘laboratory of fine art’ in which artists would give their imaginations free rein and from which would come ideas to stimulate and inspire the world of design. Thus we could express the deep gratitude of Hallmark Cards to living painters everywhere for their constant elevation of the public’s taste.” These works became the genesis of today’s Hallmark Art Collection, which now contains over 4,000 pieces by over 1,000 artists, including Alexander Calder, Barbara Kruger, Norman Rockwell and Kehinde Wiley. Many notable pieces are displayed at Hallmark’s headquarters in Kansas City, providing fuel for inspiration and creativity among employees.
As a company dedicated to making cards for every life occasion, Hallmark values employees with unique artistic talents who are devoted to aesthetics and beauty. Hallmark’s internal creative staff is composed of over 900 members with different artistic talents, including designers, stylists, illustrators, writers, editors, calligraphers, web designers and photographers, who serve the company’s creative needs. Since 2010, Hallmark has held an annual artist’s fair, displaying the work of its staff artists as a way to celebrate their creativity and show the public the depth of talent that exists within the Hallmark family.
A significant portion of the estimated 48,000 volunteer hours Hallmark employees contribute to the community each year serves arts and culture organizations. These range from jazz museums and choral groups to dance troupes and improvisational theater, in addition to the Kansas City region’s high profile arts organizations. Hallmark encourages employee volunteerism through its VIP (Volunteer Involvement Pays) program, which awards a cash grant of up to $400 a year to nonprofit organizations, many arts groups among them, as a way to recognize employee commitment to volunteer service.
Hallmark’s cultivation of art and arts programming reflect the company’s regard for the arts as the key to human inspiration and creativity. A truly creative company at its core, Hallmark’s dedication to the arts both internally and externally reflects its passion for and belief in the power of the arts.
Photo: Don Ipock. Daniel Beaty as Paul Robeson in Tallest Tree in the Forest at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Hallmark supports the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, as well as all of Kansas City’s major performing arts organizations, with financial and volunteer support as well as an employee ticket match program.
“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.
“Microsoft is honored to support arts and culture organizations across the U.S. and around the world, which provide so much richness to all of our communities.”
-Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to support arts and culture includes donations totaling $353 million in cash and software to arts organizations since 1995. Through direct grants, in-kind donations, employee giving, matching programs, and volunteerism, Microsoft contributed $44 million to the arts in 2012 alone. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 award, nominated by ArtsFund.
In Washington State, Microsoft works to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for current and future citizens—including its 40,000 employees there—by making the arts one of the company’s top four priority areas of investment. The company believes that excellent, diverse, and accessible programming in the visual and performing arts, and high-quality public television and radio programming are essential for vibrant communities.
Giving and volunteerism is an integral part of Microsoft’s culture, thanks in part to an employee giving program that provides a dollar for dollar company match for contributions and a $17 per hour match for volunteer work to eligible organizations. Through this program, U.S. Microsoft employees gave more than $105 million and volunteered more than 480,000 hours in 2012, $7.5 million of which were in volunteer matching funds distributed to U.S. nonprofits.
In 1987, Microsoft began a workplace art collection whose mission was to create an inspiring work environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Today, this collection supports the mission through employee programming and collection stewardship practices designed to reflect and advance Microsoft’s culture, values, and corporate citizenship. Housed in 180 buildings around the world, the collection has expanded to include almost 5,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, studio glass, and multimedia works.
Microsoft is helping to increase access to arts education around the world through the company-wide initiative Microsoft YouthSpark, which creates opportunities for hundreds of millions of young people around the world to further their education, including arts education, gain employment, or start a business. In addition, arts and culture is one of the key project themes supported and promoted on Microsoft’s micro-giving portal, Give for Youth, focused solely on supporting youth globally via giving for youth causes.
Photo: Spock, Kirk, and McCoy Beaming-In (In-Between), 2007-2008, by artist Devorah Sperber, acquired by Microsoft in 2009.
Learn easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.
View The pARTnership Movement ad campaign and find ways to use the ads.
Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.
Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.
Get listed in our searchable directory.
Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.