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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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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fifth Third Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

“Fifth Third Bank is committed to building thriving and vibrant communities, and in many ways, so are the arts. The arts play a central role in creating economic prosperity as well as a rich social and cultural life. They create common bonds that connect cultures and neighborhoods, touching and engaging every single one of us.”

– Greg Carmichael Chairman, President and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp

 

Fifth Third Bank has a history of firsts. In 1948, it created the Fifth Third Foundation, the first corporate foundation established by a financial institution in the United States. Since then, the Bank has contributed funding, sponsorship, and leadership to the arts. In 2017, Cincinnati Fifth Third Bank President Tim Elsbrock chaired the ArtsWave campaign for the greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency, and raised $12.5 million for the organization. When it came time for the Cincinnati Music Hall to be renovated, Fifth Third Foundation stepped in as one of the first $1 million pledges to help launch the renovation.

 

As one of Cincinnati’s largest employers, Fifth Third Bank understands the importance of the arts when it comes to engaging employees. The company incentivizes donations to the arts through endorsed payroll deductions and encourages leadership opportunities for its employees. Last year, 4,213 members of the Cincinnatiworkforce donated to ArtsWave. 132 of these donations exceeded $1,500.

 

Additionally, Teresa Tanner, chief administrative officer of Fifth Third Bank, was named Chair of ArtsWave’s Board of Directors last fall. Many other executives at Fifth Third Bank also serve on the boards of arts and cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, as well as other arts organizations across its 10-state reach.

 

In partnership with ArtsWave, the Bank has promoted opportunities for employees to engage with the arts through showcases and performances. The two organizations are currently working collaboratively on an “Inclusive Arts” program with artist Brian Washington, whose work will be exhibited by the Bank and who will also design a mural for the headquarters in Cincinnati. The Bank’s first mural, designed by Eduardo Kobra, depicts Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who was an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati professor.

 

Fifth Third Bank’s connection to local arts fosters a sense of pride in its city. The Bank has sponsored “Transform Cincinnati,” a book detailing the ArtWorks Mural Program, which is a nonprofit public art initiative, and has also sponsored TIDAL, a hackathon in Cincinnati which brings together minds from the tech, design, and marketing industries to rethink issues in the arts.

 

Mural by artist Eduardo Kobra at its Cincinnati headquarters, courtesy Fifth Third Bank

 

Over the past 20 years, the Fifth Third Foundation has donated almost $7 million to the arts. Fifth Third Bank has branches across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina, where they are also engaged in their respective communities through their support of the arts.

 

 Nominated by ArtsWave

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)

“As a company committed to improving lives, Phillips 66 is proud to support the arts. Our communities are enriched by the arts, precisely because art touches and changes lives in ways that are positive and profound. It’s one important way we can make a difference in the places where our employees live and work.”

-Greg Garland, Chairman and CEO, Phillips 66

 

Phillips 66 debuted in 2012 as an independent energy company after a split from ConocoPhillips. Since then, the company has prioritized the arts as a part of its commitment to enriching the civic life of the communities in which it operates. Phillips 66 recognizes that the arts are a way to bring communities together, engage employees, and support youth.

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Phillips 66 at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.

 

The company is present in its community through its support of arts and cultural events. Phillips 66 has been one of the Houston Symphony’s leading corporate donors for the past four years, by supporting the Houston Symphony Ball and programs such as Film With Live Orchestra performances. The organization is also a presenting sponsor of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre by Stages Repertory Theatre and the Society for the Performing Arts. 

 

Houston Symphony Ball, sponsored by Phillips 66; photo courtesy of Phillips 66

 

Internally, Phillips 66 understands the value of the arts and volunteer work when it comes to engaging its own employees. The company encourages their employees to volunteer at various organizations by offering up to two days of company-paid volunteer time. In addition to matching gifts to charities of up to $15,000, the company also donates $500 for every 20 hours an employee spends volunteering.

 

Last year, all Phillips 66 employees were invited to an orchestra performance by the Houston Symphony, led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz. Tickets to other performances were used as an incentive for participation in the company’s United Way Campaign, a charity dedicated to creating long-lasting community change. Phillips 66 also engages with employees’ children by hosting an art contest each year. Entrants create artwork that depicts something safety-related, and the winners are selected for Phillips 66’s annual Life Saving Rules Calendar.

 

Phillips 66 is also dedicated to increasing youth’s access to the arts. The company and its employees facilitated Camp Adventure!, a collaboration between the Houston Symphony and Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF). Due to the support of Phillips 66, Camp Adventure! was able to offer free music classes facilitated by the Symphony’s Community Embedded Musicians and an Instrument Petting Zoo, where children learned about various musical instruments.

 

As part of Phillips 66’s partnership with the Children’s Museum of Houston, the company has commissioned artist Jack Strutz to create interactive social media campaigns to advance literacy through the arts. The company has also sponsored field trips to Theatre Under the Stars, a nonprofit musical theatre production company, as well as family-friendly performances by the Houston Grand Opera. In addition, Phillips 66 sponsors Mercury Baroque’s Neighborhood Series, which holds affordable neighborhood concerts throughout Houston.  Through these successful arts partnership, Phillips 66 is breathing new energy into its communities and reinforcing its commitment to improving lives.

 

Nominated by Houston Symphony

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Quaver Music Supports Arts Education

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Quaver Music Supports Arts Education

September 9-15 is National Arts in Education Week!

 

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.

 

Click on the video below to hear about the power of music from Quaver Music's President, David Mastran. As a business executive, veteran, and member of the Business Committee for the Arts, he has a nuanced understanding of the value of music in our society.

 

 

#BecauseofArtsEd

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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: The Standard (Portland, OR)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor The Standard at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“Fostering an appreciation for the arts helps build a foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and learning. The Standard invests in the arts because a vibrant community of arts and artists brings energy to the larger community. The arts can attract the innovators and creative thinkers we need in the public and private sectors now more than ever.”

– Greg Ness, Chairman, President and CEO, The Standard

 

 

The Standard, an insurance company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, supports the arts because it believes arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in creating vibrant communities. Since its founding in 1906, the company has understood that the arts provide space for communities to come together to build understanding, appreciation, and empathy for others.

 

 The Standard and its employees donated more than $700,000 to arts and cultural organizations last year, which included $200,000 in direct corporate contributions and $167,000 in donations made by employees of The Standard during its annual employee giving campaign. The company matches all employee contributions 2:1 during the campaign, which resulted in an additional $330,000 in company arts contributions.  Additionally, The Standard gives paid time off for staff to volunteer in the community, as well as trains and places employees on arts and other nonprofit boards. Currently, 16 of The Standard’s senior executives serve on arts boards.  

 

A pop-up gallery in The Standard’s offices showcases employees’ visual and textile art, jewelry, and fashion pieces. The show was designed to break down barriers among departments, foster better relationships among co-workers, and encourage innovation in the workplace. As a part of long-term partnerships with a variety of arts organizations, The Standard offers employees tickets to local arts experiences which can be used for team building, entertaining customers, or family outings.

 

The Standard is an early funder of the Creating Connection initiative, a national movement that seeks to make arts and culture a recognized, valued, and expected part of everyday life. To raise awareness of the value of the arts, they also sponsored Everybody Reads, a city-wide shared reading experience, during which free copies of a featured novel are available at local libraries and Portlanders are invited to attend books discussions and community events.

 

The company has been a supporter of the Portland Opera for more than 50 years, and partners with its Opera-to-go program, which serves more than 14,000 students each year. In doing so, they provide access to high-quality performances for children across the region, regardless of geographic or economic barriers. In addition, The Standard also recently made a major in-kind donation of technology services and assessment to Portland Opera to improve its technology infrastructure and digital presence.

 

PCM Outdoor Adventure Opening, courtesy The Standard

 

In recognition of their support, The Standard has received numerous past awards including Top Corporate Donor the Arts and Philanthropic Leader in the Arts. Greg Ness, The Standard CEO, has been awarded The John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

 

Nominated by Portland Opera

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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

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BCA Spotlight: VF Corporation (Greesnboro, NC)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor VF Corporation at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“VF has a proud history of supporting the arts in the communities where our associates live and work, because we believe that thriving communities also mean thriving employees. Empowering local arts organizations that inspire and positively impact people and societies will always remain a focus for us at VF.” 

- Steve Rendle, Chairman, President & CEO, VF Corporation

 

VF Corporation is one the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies with nearly 70,000 associates and operations in more than 170 countries. VF is committed to giving back to its local communities and believes that being an actively engaged citizen is valuable for both the community and for the business.

 

VF and its brands encourage associates to pursue volunteer opportunities, whether through corporate volunteer programs or on their own. During the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC, which took place each year from 2015 to 2017, hundreds of VF associates joined the more than 1,400 volunteers needed to execute the three-day event. As a lead financial contributor, VF brought its Wrangler brand to the festival by sponsoring the Wrangler Stage, one of the festival’s most popular destinations. Wrangler also contributed the use of its headquarters’ downtown grounds to the festival, which provided space for audience seating and a food and beverage marketplace.

 

VF regularly celebrates associates who volunteer their time. Through the VF 100 program—which honors the 100 associates company-wide who have accumulated the highest number of service hours each year—VF has donated $1,000 to each winner’s charity of choice via the VF Foundation, VF’s philanthropic organization. Since the VF 100 program’s inception in 2005, more than 1,100 associates have contributed over 295,000 hours and more than $1 million has been donated to community causes.

 

VF takes an active role in supporting arts initiatives in its hometown of Greensboro. The company is a long-time lead contributor to ArtsGreensboro’s annual community-wide ArtsFund Campaign, which supports more than 50 arts organizations, projects, and artist initiatives each year across Guilford County. VF’s senior management is also playing a strategic role in a Greensboro-based, art-focused task force that is spearheading the effort to create Greensboro’s “Cultural Arts Master Plan,” whichwill serve to advance and support creative life in Greensboro.

 

Wrangler Stage, courtesy of VF Corporation

 

Several of VF’s brands offer customers the ability to showcase their artistry by crafting custom products while also benefiting local nonprofits. For nine consecutive years, the Vans brand has hosted its Custom Culture arts competition, which supports high school arts programs around the country. Participating schools have the chance to win $75,000 towards art programming, and four runner-up schools can earn $10,000. Since 2012, Vans has partnered with Americans for the Arts to offer Custom Culture Grants to public high schools to support arts education. VF is grateful for the ways in which the arts have enriched the company, and will continue to give back to the arts in their communities.

 

Nominated by ArtsGreensboro

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fosun International Shanghai CN (New York Office)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Fosun International Shanghai CN (New York Office)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fosun at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“Fosun has been a champion of the arts for many years, both domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Shanghai, the city of our headquarters. We believe that the arts have the power to change lives. We proudly make the arts accessible at our premier properties in the communities in which we operate. It is a driving force behind our business strategy as a leader in placemaking.”

–Wei Bo, New York Executive Chief Representative, Fosun International and Vice President, Fosun Hive

 

Fosun International, a family-focused multinational company, believes that the arts are vital to creating vibrant communities in which people want to live and work. Since the 2013 acquisition of its premier Lower Manhattan property, the 28 Liberty banking skyscraper, the company has embodied these beliefs. The 60-floor office tower was the first modern skyscraper built in Lower Manhattan and the original headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank, under the leadership of Business Committee for the Arts Founder David Rockefeller. The property boasts a sprawling plaza and two public art pieces—the iconic sculpture “Group of Four Trees” by Jean Dubuffet and the “Sunken Garden” fountain by Isamu Noguchi, both of which enhance a space designed to bring the surrounding community together.

 

28 Liberty has served as an event space and workspace for many nonprofit arts organizations. For the past six years, Fosun has partnered with Sing for Hope at 28 Liberty, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing music to under-resourced New York City public schools, hospitals, and community centers. Each summer, 28 Liberty hosts the Sing for Hope Pianos program, during which pianos are created by teams of artists in a studio space within the building. The finished pianos are then debuted during a massive kick-off event for the public and displayed on the 28 Liberty plaza. At the end of the summer, the pianos are distributed around the city for a period of free play and eventually are sent to their permanent homes in NYC public schools.

 

More than 30 pianos gathered at 28 Liberty, courtesy of Fosun

 

In addition, 28 Liberty has hosted the inaugural NYC Math Festival in partnership with the National Museum of Mathematics; the River to River Festival and Workspace—an artist-in-residency program, both in collaboration with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; a free summer film series in partnership with the Alliance for Downtown New York; and Performa, the international visual arts biennial dedicated to exploring live performance. Year-round cultural programming offers opportunities for Fosun employees, employees of 28 Liberty tenant businesses, and the Lower Manhattan community to engage with and appreciate the arts.

 

To mark its 20th anniversary, Fosun founded The Fosun Foundation, which, among other charitable efforts, aims to promote the exchange of Chinese culture abroad. Fosun regularly celebrates Chinese arts and culture through festivals and events specifically for Fosun employees, including celebrations for the Autumn Harvest Festival and Lunar New Year.

 

With rotating exhibits and year-round cultural offerings, Fosun is proud to make 28 Liberty a hub for arts activity and accessibility.

 

Nominated by Sing for Hope

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Zions Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“There are many similarities between the arts and business.  Both push the envelope of human creativity, intellect, energy, and promise. Both seek to motivate, to produce, to achieve excellence, to grow, to unite. So, as we build an enduring platform for economic success in our communities, we need to ensure that both business and the arts flourish.” 

-- Scott Anderson, President and CEO, Zions Bank

 

Founded in Utah in 1873, Zions Bank began supporting cultural institutions in the 1890s. Nearly 150 years later, Zions Bank operates more than 120 branches in 3 different states and continues to be an integral part of the communities they serve. They are fortunate to be part of an environment where arts and culture are prioritized; according to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Utah ranks as the state with the highest attendance at museum and theatre events, and number two in art exhibit attendance. Given the state’s robust arts scene, it is only natural that businesses such as Zions Bank are allies of the arts themselves.

 

Among Zions Bank’s guiding principles is a commitment to creating value for the communities it serves, and the company understands that the arts are a way to achieve this goal. Traveling arts and cultural exhibits, often showcasing local artists, are displayed in branch offices. For 20 years, Zions Bank and the Natural History Museum of Utah have partnered to host a rotating exhibit highlighting native artwork and crafts. Zions Bank itself has an extensive collection of more than 3,800 original works by regional artists.

 

Employees engage with the arts through volunteer opportunities and workplace giving. Current staff sit on the boards of the Utah Arts Council, Ballet West, Utah Symphony |Utah Opera, Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Basque Museum in Idaho, The Leonardo Museum, Hale Centre Theatre, The Utah Film Center, Sun Valley Film Festival, Sundance Institute, and the Utah Anime Promotions, among many others. 

 

Private banking clients are invited to an exclusive annual art show, which features the work of local artists who are also clients of Zions Bank. After 20 years of successful art shows, branches in Boise, Idaho and Provo, Utah have begun hosting their own events. Customers can also win tickets to performances, Sundance Film Festival screenings, and other arts events. Community, Zions Bank’s lifestyle magazine, offers complimentary advertising to many of its arts partners, in addition to allocating space for arts-related articles. Other advertising and branding partnerships have formed over the years, with Ballet West appearing in an advertisement that aired at local movie theaters.

 

Utah Symphony performes in Moab, UT; courtesy, Zions Bank

 

The arts play a key role in Zions Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. The Diversity Business Forums gather at least quarterly, often to experience arts-related programming prior to a networking reception. Past sponsored events have included a multimedia poetry reading by “The Cosby Show” star Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who recited Langston Hughes’ epic poem “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.”

 

In recognition of their support, Zions Bank was a BCA 10 honoree in 2008. Since then, CEO Scott Anderson has also received arts awards from the Utah Cultural Alliance and the Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Zions Bank is committed to continuing its work as a strong supporter and advocate for the arts.

 

Nominated by Utah Cultural Alliance

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Tierney at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“Art is at the heart of everything we do and it inspires our creativity each and every day. We are proud to have partnered with many incredible organizations over the years, especially the Association for Public Art, BalletX, Musicopia, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and Please Touch Museum, as these organizations play a critical role in our community. It has been a long-standing Tierney tradition to support and give back to the arts in Philadelphia and beyond.”

-  Mary Stengel Austen, CEO, Tierney

 

As a firm that works within the creative realm of advertising, marketing, and public relations, having a strong passion for the arts is part of the company culture at Tierney, a communications agency. Tierney’s belief in the power of the arts guides their core philosophy: “Inspire Curiosity.” 

 

Tierney understands that exposure to and engagement with the arts is not only beneficial for the community, but for the productivity of the business as well. The agency provides free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, BalletX, and the Barnes Collection, while also actively encouraging staff to get out of the office and explore other cultural offerings in the city. They offer an annual mural arts walking tour each spring, which has been growing in popularity. In addition, their office is a gallery in and of itself, featuring over 100 pieces curated by art dealer Bridgette Mayer. Tierney and Mayer will be collaborating again to host a benefit art exhibition for the newly opened Philadelphia Rail Park.

 

The company has a dedicated committee of employees, “Team Tierney,” who organize philanthropic events, programs, and campaigns. Additionally, staff members are involved in many nonprofit leadership boards, including those of BalletX, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Art Reach, the Association for Public Art (APA), and Musicopia.  Tierney is also actively involved in the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. Through the council, Tierney employees have completed the Designing Leadership program, which serves leaders from organizations in the region by forging connections, encouraging engagement, and supporting a growing creative economy.

 

Tierney has also provided in-kind support to arts organizations, including the APA. To celebrate the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a boulevard in the heart of Philadelphia, APA collaborated with artist Cai Guo-Qiang to create “Fireflies,” 27 customized pedicabs adorned with hundreds of colorful lanterns which glided along the Parkway at night. The piece was inspired by memories from the artist’s childhood of traditional lantern festivals. Leading up to the unveiling of "Fireflies," Tierney donated their time and expertise to assist APA in promoting the project. Additionally, Tierney worked with the APA to help promote Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s public art project “Open Air.” This project involved 24 robotic searchlights that reacted to unique voices in Philadelphia, creating a one-of-kind light sculpture in the night sky. The project was named one of the 50 best public art projects by the 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review of Americans for the Arts.

 

Fireflies, Photo by Jeff Fusco Photography, courtesy of Association for Public Art (aPA)

 

In 2017, Tierney partnered with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs to redesign the iconic rainbow pride flag. Their new iteration contains black and brown stripes to represent the efforts for greater inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. In 2015, in honor of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia, Tierney designed “Popesicles,” tasty, organic, rainbow-colored frozen treats, and donated all proceeds to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ people under 25.

 

Over the past 20 years, Tierney has raised funds for United Way causes which support the arts, and also boasts 100% participation from staff through their annual giving campaign. Tierney has been recognized for the past five consecutive years as one of the most philanthropic businesses in the Philadelphia region and has contributed millions of dollars to various non-profits, arts and cultural organizations.

 

Nominated by Association for Public Art

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Churchill Downs at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.

 

“Louisville has long been aligned with horse racing, hospitality, bourbon and fine cuisine, all of which are celebrated at our flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. Our city’s vibrant arts community should be an attraction that makes Louisville a destination. By turning Churchill Downs Racetrack into a stage and a canvas upon which our local artists can perform, we provide a transformative experience to horse racing fans and extend the magic of the Kentucky Derby beyond the first Saturday in May.”

– Bill Carstanjen, CEO Churchill Downs, Incorporated

 

Churchill Downs Incorporated is a multi U.S.-state company best known for the Churchill Downs Racetrack, the home of the Kentucky Derby. For decades, Churchill Downs has been known in Louisville for its generosity to the community, which includes their steadfast support for the arts. The company prioritizes supporting arts because of their belief that immersion in the arts and opportunities for art education is a primary way to achieve prosperity in both their city and state.

 

Through a collaboration with Fund for the Arts and Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund, Churchill Downs transformed the Opening Night event, which kicks off Derby week, into a celebration of Greater Louisville’s arts community. By highlighting the artists of the Greater Louisville community, they have increased event attendance by 24.9 percent. In addition, the company works with Fund for the Arts to create a unique code for ticket purchasing, through which $1 of every ticket sold was donated back to Fund for the Arts. Each year, they commission a local artist to create the official poster for both the Kentucky Oaks race and Kentucky Derby. This year, Churchill Downs designated the Thursday before Kentucky Derby (Thurby) as “Kentucky Day,” and partnered with the Actors Theatre of Louisville to place Kentucky-centric art throughout the track. Working with Louisville Visual Art, Speed Art Museum, and Forecastle Foundation, they created neon light installations, fiber glass horse sculptures, and placed musical artists around the grounds.

 

Churchill Downs offers subsidized use of their facilities to arts organizations for holding events, campaign kickoffs, and other arts celebrations. The company also donates tickets to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks for nonprofits to use as auction items each year. On the flip side, through supporting various arts organizations, Churchill Downs can offer free and discounted arts events tickets to their staff.

 

 Churchill Downs corporate headquarters features a gallery which showcases locally-produced art on a rotating, quarterly schedule. Employees are given the opportunity to purchase the art at a discounted rate to encourage support of local artists, as well as engage employees in art appreciation. The company also encourages employees to serve on the boards of local arts organizations. Senior leaders currently sit on the Speed Museum Board of Governors and the Board of Kentucky Shakespeare. In addition to promoting corporate support for these organizations, CEO Bill Carstanjen is a personal advocate and financial supporter of Fund for the Arts and Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

 

Casey McKinney and Kacy Jackson paint murals in the paddock of Churchill Downs for Opening Night of Kentucky Derby week, courtesy Churchill Downs

 

Churchill Downs is the presenting sponsor of the Cultural Pass, which provides free summer access to approximately 40 venues, and expands access to summer learning opportunities for underserved populations. Through this program, over 31,000 people have gained access to cultural experiences.

 

By showcasing artists and working to increase accessibility to the arts, Churchill Downs has become more than a derby for its community. The company looks forward to serving as a supporter of the arts for many years to come.

 

Nominated by Fund for the Arts

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