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Americans for the Arts Announces the Business Committee for the Arts 2013 BCA 10 Honorees

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Americans for the Arts officially announced yesterday those companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America for 2013. In addition, Michael B. McCallister, chairman of the Board of Humana Inc. (Louisville, KY) will receive the 2013 BCA Leadership Award, and Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee, WI) will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. The BCA 10 Awards, BCA Leadership Award and BCA Hall of Fame will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 2, 2013, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.

Every year, Americans for the Arts, through the BCA, recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership. The 2013 BCA 10 honorees are:

•    Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, CO
•    Atlantic Salt, Inc., Staten Island, NY
•    Bacardi USA Inc., Coral Gables, FL
•    M & T Bank, Buffalo, NY
•    Microsoft, Redmond, WA
•    PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
•    Premier Bank, Dubuque, IA
•    Scholastic Inc., New York, NY
•    Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Atlanta, GA
•    Yum! Brands Inc., Louisville, KY

“This year’s BCA 10 honorees recognize the value that the arts hold in workplaces, communities and local economies. They are shining examples of how partnering with the arts can enrich the communities in which people live and work as well as cultural organizations, office cultures and business performance,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Through their forward-thinking partnerships, community engagement and financial and in-kind support, these businesses are ensuring access to the arts for people across the country for years to come.”

“The inspiring commitment that this year’s BCA 10 honoree slate shows that the arts create lasting effects not only on the quality of life and the economies of the communities in which they serve, but also on the businesses themselves,” said Bill Kerr, chairman of the Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board and former president and CEO of Arbitron Inc. “Their exceptional level of partnerships with the arts sets a standard for others in the private sector to follow.”

Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, Colorado
Nominated by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts
Since its founding in 1947, The Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) has committed itself to investing in the cultural life of Aspen. Through unique initiatives and a partnership with the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen Skiing Company uses contemporary art and the outdoors to create cultural experiences. By placing public art in unexpected places, the institutions hope to reach diverse audience ranging from those who do not typically engage with the arts to others who are avid collectors. They invite the public to connect with the arts in a fundamentally different manner than they are used to—in a way that’s vibrant and immediate. Aspen Skiing hosts exhibitions and programming, commissions internationally renowned artists’ work for the design of lift tickets, displays art and commissions murals in businesses on the mountain, and offers programs for children to create their own art. Additionally, ASC employees are encouraged to volunteer at local community organizations through the company volunteer program.

 

Atlantic Salt, Inc., Staten Island, New York
Nominated by Staten Island Arts
Atlantic Salt, Inc., is a family-owned and operated marine terminal that unloads salt from vessels and distributes it for winter-time de-icing , and offers its unique resources for the arts community of Staten Island and beyond. In 2005, Atlantic Salt assisted the Noble Maritime Collection in developing an exhibition on the salt industry of New York City. Over the course of one year, the company provided financial and material resources to the project, and eventually purchased much of the art work, now on display in Atlantic Salt’s offices.  Since the exhibition, the company has become a frequent arts venue in the summer, hosting festivals and performances through partnerships with artists and organizations large and small, including the Guggenheim Museum and Staten Island Arts’ LUMEN film and performance art festival. The company ensures all events it hosts are free and accessible to anyone in the community, coordinating a network of businesses to donate in-kind gifts and also supply space, equipment, resources, and employee volunteers.

Bacardi USA Inc., Coral Gables, Florida
Nominated by the Coral Gables Museum
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. Supporting both visual and performing arts, Bacardi contributes cash and in-kind gifts for gallery openings and events.  In 2012, the company designated a significant portion of its philanthropic giving to the arts. The iconic brands in the Bacardi portfolio have coordinated design competitions, such as the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE “Artisan Series,” which attracts well-known designers and students alike. Winning designs are exhibited and often included in national ad campaigns and other promotional materials. Bacardi has partnered with the Coral Gables Museum on exhibitions and hosts 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. The company also hosts meetings and press events at arts venues and regularly offers its employees tickets to arts exhibitions, shows, and concerts.

M&T Bank, Buffalo, New York
Nominated by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Recognizing that vibrant cultural institutions are a particularly vital component of strong communities, M&T Bank has long supported the arts in the communities it serves. Beyond its $34.5 million in cash contributions to the arts over the last decade, M&T gives generously through in-kind gifts, pro-bono services and the engaged volunteerism of its employees.  Since 1969, M&T has presented its own daily concert series called the M&T Plaza Event Series, believed to be the longest running corporate-sponsored event of its kind in the country. The bank features local art in its facilities and on the cover of its corporate annual report. M&T recently provided lead funding for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s spring performance at Carnegie Hall, which set a record with 1,500 in hometown attendance and, in partnership with the United Way, brought more than 300 students from schools in low-income neighborhoods.

Microsoft, Redmond, Washington
Nominated by ArtsFund
Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to supporting arts and culture organizations, evident through their donation of $353 million in cash and software to arts-focused organizations since 1995, given through direct grants, employee giving, matching programs, and volunteerism. To enhance the quality of life for its 40,000 employees in Washington State, Microsoft works to ensure healthy and nourishing communities with excellent, diverse, and accessible programming in the visual and performing arts, museums, and high quality public television and radio programming. The software giant also hosts a corporate art collection that includes almost 5,000 pieces of painting, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, studio glass, and multimedia works.  The collection is housed in 180 buildings around the world.  

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nominated by African Musical Arts Inc., the Saint Louis Symphony, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
PNC believes that the arts are an economic driver—creating jobs, boosting tourism and connecting with broader audiences. The company also believes that the arts help children develop cognitive skills important to long-term learning and prepare them to become part of a creative workforce. In 2009, PNC introduced PNC Arts Alive! in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. The program’s goal is to broaden arts audiences through new programming, marketing and use of technology. In its initial year, the program helped increase audiences by an average of 70%. PNC Arts Alive! has since expanded to Columbus and Central Ohio, and the St. Louis/Southern Illinois area, with total program funding of $9.5 million from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group. In addition, PNC permits 40 hours a year of paid time off for employees to volunteer for PNC Grow Up Great, its early childhood education initiative. Employees also volunteer at celebrations for Head Start students, where the work the students completed with the cultural partners is on display and the students participate in end-of-year activities such as the Saint Louis Symphony’s “Instrument Playground.”

Premier Bank, Dubuque, Iowa
Nominated by Matter Creative Center
Premier Bank is dedicated to the arts and culture of its local community, believing the arts not only improve a community’s broader economic outlook, but also are essential to the creativity needed for growing businesses and spurring innovation. Since its inception 15 years ago, Premier Bank has allocated 40% of the company’s annual philanthropic budget to support arts and culture, giving through monetary contributions, in-kind donations, volunteerism, advertising, sponsorship, and marketing support. Devoting hundreds of volunteer hours to arts and culture initiatives, each Premier Bank employee has a volunteer hour goal, which they all willingly surpass. The Bank has found that its commitment to participation, education, and cultural enlightenment keeps employees engaged on an academic level and creates high employee retention. The company is particularly enthusiastic about promoting arts and cultural education for youths. As an exemplary example, Jeffrey Mozena, President and CEO of Premier Bank, welcomed Zambian artist Mwamba Mulangala into his home for one month so students would be able to experience what Mulangala had to offer face-to-face.

Scholastic Inc., New York, New York
Nominated by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers
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. In 1923, Maurice R. Robinson created the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize the exceptional creative talents of our nation’s youth. Scholastic ran the Awards in-house until 1994, when the nonprofit organization Alliance for Young Artists & Writers was created, which broadened the scope of the program and raised more money for scholarships. In the past five years alone, teens nationwide have submitted more than 900,000 original works, and more than $45 million in scholarships has been earmarked for Awards winners by partnering colleges. Scholastic employees volunteer their time and expertise by judging art and writing submissions, as well as providing operational, technical, legal, and public relations support. The company also has a 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.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia
Nominated by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. believes that a community filled with the arts fosters creativity in the workplace and drives business. Dedicating 50% of its philanthropic support to the arts, Turner Broadcasting has made over $25 million in financial contributions over the last 15 years, and regularly gives back through volunteerism, in-kind gifts, and promotions. Turner Broadcasting has hosted performances from the Atlanta Symphony, guest speakers from the “Atlanta Celebrates Photography” exhibit, and an annual holiday performance by local theatre groups on its main campus. The company also holds employee events and outings at area arts organizations and uses artwork from VSA Arts of Georgia to line the hallways of its headquarters. Turner Broadcasting actively seeks volunteer opportunities for its employees with its arts partners, and through a board placement program, offers training in nonprofit board service, matching each participant with an area organization. The company also has a Matching Grants Program, matching each employee’s contribution to arts organizations.

Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky
Nominated by Fund for the Arts
Believing a diverse and energetic city helps to attract and retain top talent from all over the world, Yum! Brands, Inc. is a strong supporter of the arts in Louisville, KY. In addition to annually donating more than $700,000 to local arts organizations, Yum! also provides marketing and advertising support, and pro-bono leadership and expertise to the organizations receiving support from the Yum! Brands Foundation. The Yum! Family Series, which provides family-friendly programming through a partnership with the Fund for the Arts and seven local arts organizations, allows families outside of the company to experience arts programs at a greatly reduced cost, particularly those at an economic disadvantage.  The Yum! Family Series also provides field trips and after school programs for local students. The company also generously matches employee gifts to the arts, allows employees time off to volunteer for arts organizations, and provides board support on behalf of employees serving on local arts and culture boards.

Michael B. McCallister, BCA Leadership Award Recipient
The Leadership Award was established by the BCA in 1993 to recognize individuals whose vision, commitment and leadership champion the arts. This year’s recipient is Michael B. McCallister, Chairman of the Board of Humana Inc. McCallister has served as board chairman since 2010 and was Humana’s chief executive officer from 2000 until his retirement from the position on Dec. 31, 2012. He has been a philanthropic leader in Louisville, KY, serving on the executive committee of the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts and chairing the overall community-wide Fund campaign in 2003. McCallister is also a major personal donor to the Fund for the Arts, and under his leadership, Humana has consistently been the top local corporate donor to the Fund. In 2006, during McCallister’s tenure as Humana’s CEO, Humana was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.

Northwestern Mutual, BCA Hall of Fame
Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual is the largest corporate contributor to the arts in the state of Wisconsin. The company believes that the arts are important to attract and retain talented employees, and that they contribute positively to economic development. In 2008, the company was a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree. Each year, Northwestern Mutual sponsors a workplace giving campaign for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) of Milwaukee, mobilizing its employees through volunteer and fundraising opportunities. Northwestern Mutual offers Student Inspiration grants, which provide opportunities for students to overcome obstacles to achieve academic success through arts education. The company has sponsored exhibits at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) as well as MAM After Dark, a monthly event that gives after-hours access to the museum. At the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, the company sponsors “The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD”—an exhibit designed to help children ages three-to-eight develop school readiness and academic skills. Even the company’s home office serves as a museum, with paintings lining the many walls of the business.


Presenting sponsorship of the BCA 10 is provided by Aspen Skiing Company, and sustaining sponsorship is provided by Bacardi USA Inc.

For information regarding the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America, please contact Patrick O’Herron, Business Committee for the Arts coordinator at (212) 223-2787or via e-mail at poherron@artsusa.org.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

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