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Announcing the 2014 BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce the honoree 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 2014.

 

Each year, Americans for the Arts, through the Business Committee for the Arts, recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through local partnerships with artists and arts organizations, arts and culture grants and sponsorships, matching gift and corporate giving campaigns, volunteer programs and pro bono services, initiatives that engage employees and evoke creativity in the workplace, and board membership and leadership.

 

In addition, Frederic C. Hamilton, chairman of The Hamilton Companies (Denver, CO) and chairman emeritus of the Denver Art Museum will receive the 2014 BCA Leadership Award and John Deere (Moline, IL) 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 1, 2014, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.

 

The 2014 BCA 10 honorees are:

 

AC Entertainment (Knoxville, TN)
BBVA Compass (Birmingham, AL)
Brookfield (New York, NY)
Brooks Resources Corporation (Bend, OR)
Classical Movements, Inc. (Alexandria, VA)
Edward Jones (St. Louis, MO)
Hallmark Cards (Kansas City, MO)
Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC)
PECO (Philadelphia, PA)
Thrivent Financial (Appleton, WI)

 

BCA LEADERSHIP AWARD
Frederic C. Hamilton, Chairman, The Hamilton Companies (Denver, CO)

 

BCA HALL OF FAME
John Deere
(Moline, IL)

 

“I am once again pleased to celebrate such an impressive array of BCA 10 honorees that span business size, industry and geographic locations,” says Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Each year, the BCA 10 sets the standard for other businesses by upholding the arts as an integral part of office culture, the community, and the economy. Through financial and in-kind support, employee volunteer hours, and workplace arts initiatives, these businesses ensure arts access for current and future generations and serve as successful and inspiring models of business arts support.”

 

Edgar Smith, chairman of the Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board and chairman and CEO of World Pac Paper shares a similar sentiment: “As a business leader, I continue to be inspired by the outstanding partnerships with the arts that the BCA 10 showcases each year. The exceptional partnerships this year’s honoree companies have forged both locally and nationally, truly highlight the benefits of arts to business, as well as the benefits that arts and business partnerships bring to the communities in which they operate, spend time, visit, live, work and play.”

 

Presenting Sponsors of the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America 2014 gala are Frederic C. Hamilton and Lanny and Sharon Martin. Sustaining Sponsors are BBVA Compass, Brookfield, and Thrivent Financial.

 

ABOUT THE HONOREES

AC Entertainment
Known as one of the foremost concert promoters and festival producers in the United States, AC Entertainment produces over 700 concerts, events and festivals annually and has become a household name in the music and arts industries. AC Entertainment’s most acclaimed event, the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, 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, 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 Bonnaroo Works Fund allocated more than $360,000 to 20+ deserving organizations, with approximately one-third of the total designated to programs advancing the arts. In addition, AC Entertainment often constructs outdoor venues and creative situations to showcase art associated with its festivals and special events. Supporting the arts—even beyond producing concerts and festivals—has become intertwined with the company’s core objectives.

 

BBVA Compass, nominated by the Houston Symphony Orchestra
BBVA Compass aims to build a better future for its communities by fostering an appreciation for the arts among its employees, clients and neighbors. A 36-piece collection of abstract sculptures and paintings is displayed throughout BBVA Compass Plaza in Houston. In 2013, a Volkswagen Beetle decorated with more than 2 million beads by Mexico’s Huichol Indians, on loan from Mexico City’s Museo de Arte Popular, was on display inside the banking center’s lobby as a way to enhance the experiences of employees, clients and visitors. The bank has initiated diversity programs in partnership with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the New Mexico Dance Institute, among other cultural institutions. BBVA Compass Charity, the bank’s employee charitable giving program, allows employees to make charitable contributions via payroll deduction to nonprofit organizations. In 2013, employees donated more than $1.3 million to qualified nonprofits through this program, a portion of which supported arts organizations. Additionally, more than 1,600 BBVA Compass employees contributed more than 72,000 hours of volunteer service.

 

Brookfield, nominated by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts
Since its launch in 1988, Arts Brookfield, the cultural arm of Brookfield Office Properties, has invigorated public spaces through the presentation of free cultural experiences in Brookfield’s premier buildings around the world. Signature programs include the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan and the FIGat7th Downtown Festival in Downtown Los Angeles. For clients and employees, the emphasis on arts and culture within the workplace enlivens the corporate office environment. For neighboring residents and the general public, Brookfield’s public spaces become untraditional-yet-welcoming venues through which to experience the arts.In celebration of its 25th anniversary this year, Arts Brookfield launched Art Set Free, a global online showcase that will create a large collection of public art, raise awareness about the importance of public art, and highlight local artists.

 

Brooks Resources Corporation, nominated by Campbell Consulting
In its over 45-year history serving the city of Bend, Oregon, Brooks Resources has made community enrichment through art and design one of its primary goals. One of the major public initiatives the company supports is Art in Public Places, which has placed over $1 million worth of public art throughout the city. Brooks Resources also supports local arts organizations such as Nature of Words, Arts Central, BendFilm and Caldera, which help at-risk youth gain access to the arts. Brooks Resources employees offer free marketing and accounting services as well as leadership mentoring to arts organizations throughout the city of Bend. In addition, over $100,000 of Brooks Resources’ marketing dollars are used to advertise and promote local arts and cultural festivals, concerts and films. At its neighborhood center at NorthWest Crossing, Brooks Resources annually hosts “The Hullabaloo,” a free summer festival and concert. The company encourages volunteerism and several staff members are involved on a volunteer-basis with arts organizations, including serving in board or advisory roles with those organizations.

 

Classical Movements, Inc., nominated by the Dallas Symphony Association, the Miami Children's Chorus, and the Pacific Boychoir Academy
Driven by a love for music and the performing arts, Classical Movements, Inc. arranges over 50 concert tours per year for choirs, youth orchestras and professional ensembles to over 140 countries around the world. In 2013, all of the company’s philanthropic efforts were allocated to the arts. Beyond financial contributions, Classical Movements provides pro bono support to arts organizations in the form of volunteerism, workplace giving, and advertising and marketing services. Classical Movements hosts the Serenade! International Choral Series and the Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival, free and open to the public. Classical Movements is also dedicated to sharing music internationally. In South America, Classical Movements has donated funds for teachers’ salaries at the Escola de Música de Rochinha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and established the Melodia! South American Music Festival to bring classical music to the region. In addition, Classical Movements has donated dozens of instruments to music schools across the globe, arranged various sponsorships for foreign music students to attend universities, and sent many touring choirs to perform in underprivileged areas around the world.  

 

Edward Jones, nominated by the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis
Edward Jones views art as essential to building strong, stable communities and to enriching the lives of the members of the communities it serves. For more than 20 years, Edward Jones has supported the Arts and Education (A&E) Council of Greater St. Louis through a corporate match to the A&E campaign, ensuring the vibrancy of more than 70 local arts organizations. In addition to supporting the A&E Council, Edward Jones also supports many individual arts events and organizations in the St. Louis area. Edward Jones covered the full cost of two performances by the Angel Band in St. Louis, which raises awareness against sexual violence. The concerts were a huge success, raising more than $47,000, which will go to support a new music-based therapy program for survivors of sexual assault at Maryville University in St. Louis. In addition to financial support, volunteerism at Edward Jones has increased substantially over the past two years, thanks in large part to the firm’s Day of Caring policy, which gives home-office associates one full paid day per calendar year to volunteer at the charity of his or her choice, which include many arts organizations.

 

Hallmark Cards, Inc., nominated by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
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. In 1969, Hallmark initiated the Kaleidoscope program, which has provided free creative art experiences to more than 8 million children and their families.A significant portion of the estimated 48,000 volunteer hours Hallmark employees contribute to the community each year serve arts and culture organizations. These range from jazz museums and choral groups to dance troupes and improvisational theater. 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 as a way to recognize employee commitment to volunteerism.

 

Milliken & Company, nominated by the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg
Milliken & Company is dedicated to “doing well by doing good.” Over the years, this effort has manifested itself through the company’s support of the arts. Many sculptures and works of art decorate both the interior and exterior of Milliken’s facilities, the grounds of which are open to the public. The hope is that Milliken’s collection will engage customers and guests by exposing them to a broad range of art and design. Aside from the artwork on campus, Milliken & Company reaches beyond its own workplace to support the arts in its community. Through its support of the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, Milliken helps to provide over 40 professional artist residencies per year, as well as performances of music, dance, theatre and opera in the schools throughout Spartanburg County. Milliken is now exploring the option of integrating the arts into the work of Milliken scientists in order to invoke creative and scientific learning in the workplace. Milliken also funds the STEAM Teacher’s Institute, which promotes arts integration in STEM (science, technology, education, math) education.

 

PECO, nominated by Brownstone PR
PECO supports programs that have a meaningful impact on arts and culture because these programs are a crucial part of the economic and cultural well-being of the communities it serves. In 2013, PECO provided $1 million for performing and visual arts organizations in Philadelphia and its surrounding regions. PECO sponsors Crossing Boundaries with the Barnes Foundation, an interdisciplinary outreach program for middle school students that combines in-class learning led by Barnes educators with a structured tour of the Barnes collection, one of the most famous art collections in the world. PECO has also contributed to arts education initiatives such as ArtsRising, a community-wide effort to improve and expand equitable access to high-quality arts education. In addition to financial contributions, PECO encourages its employees to give back by volunteering their time and talent to arts organizations. In 2013, PECO employees volunteered nearly 12,000 hours to nonprofit organizations, many of which were arts and culture organizations, and many PECO employees serve on the boards of regional arts nonprofits.

 

Thrivent Financial, nominated by Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Thrivent Financial recognizes that strengthening arts organizations and arts programming helps to build and sustain healthy and vibrant communities in which its members and employees live and work. Over the past 10 years, Thrivent has donated approximately $17.8 million to local arts organizations. Thrivent has maintained support for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center annually since 2004, including title sponsorship of its Education Series. Beyond financial contributions, Thrivent boasts one of the finest corporate religious art collections in the United States, making much of its vast collection available for public viewing. The company has also allowed certain artworks to be circulated internationally to museums, educators, and historians for various exhibitions, lectures and scholarly publications. In addition, Thrivent has a generous corporate gift-matching program and also encourages employees to share their creative talents by participating in the Thrivent Choir or by submitting original artwork to online auctions as part of the company’s annual giving campaign.

 

Frederic C Hamilton, chairman, The Hamilton Companies, 2014 BCA Leadership Award
A Denver Arts Museum (DAM) board member since 1977 and chairman since 1994 (now chairman emeritus), Frederic C. Hamilton has played an integral role in the realization of the DAM’s expansion and in their institutional growth and sustainability. Hamilton led the first two endowment campaigns for the Museum, raising more than $100 million. His commitment to the Museum’s many initiatives, including collecting, hosting major traveling exhibitions, engaging community business leaders and providing a strong financial platform for the future, has directly influenced its success and reputation. In January 2014, Hamilton bequeathed a gift of 22 paintings worth more than $100 million to the DAM, nearly tripling the size of its Impressionist collection. It is the largest donation in the museum’s history. Hamilton has served as a member of the Trustees’ Council of the National Gallery of Art and is a Trustee Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Clyfford Still Museum, the Boy Scouts of America, Denver-based Graland Country Day School, and leads the endowment for the Boys and Girls Club of Denver.

 

John Deere, 2014 BCA Hall of Fame
Throughout its 177 year history, John Deere, a 2005 BCA 10 honoree, has purposefully incorporated and promoted arts and culture to both strengthen its business as well as enrich the quality of life in communities where its nearly 70,000 employees live and work. To enhance the environment of the world headquarters building for employees and visitors alike, the company began dramatically expanding its art collection in the 1960s, starting with the commissioning of “Reflections of an Era” by Alexander Girard, a three-dimensional mural depicting rural Americana from 1937-1918. The unique mural is just one of approximately 2,300 fine artworks, including pieces by Henry Moore and Grant Wood, now on display throughout the company’s global facilities. John Deere is a long-time supporter of the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Series, in which professional musicians, actors, singers and dancers share their talents through school educational presentations, reaching nearly 45,000 students each year. On a global basis, Fundação John Deere—the John Deere Foundation in Brazil—invests in numerous arts and culture programs for children in John Deere home communities and throughout the country.

 

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) 223-2787 or via e-mail at poherron@artsusa.org.

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