On November 3, Portland-based Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) celebrated its 25th Anniversary with over 460 arts and business leaders during the annual Arts Breakfast of Champions. Historically an event to recognize the year’s Top Business Donors to the Arts, BCA took the opportunity to celebrate this milestone by highlighting pairs of exceptional arts and business partners. In further celebration of anniversaries, BCA compiled all ten years of its business donors research to celebrate over $50 Million given to the arts by the business community since 2001. As the business that contributed the most to the arts in 10 years, PGE accepted the award on stage with arts partner, “POWER!,” a character from a recently commissioned play by Oregon Children's Theatre that teaches children about electrical safety. Founding BCA Chair, Robert Ridgley presented a brief look back at why business leaders founded BCA, and why it remains a vital organization. Al Solheim, a primary developer of Portland’s Pearl District, and significant donor to the arts received the John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts. Two young leaders, Matt Edlen of Gerding Edlen Development and Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Executive Director of PHAME Academy, closed the event with look at the next generation of business and arts partnerships. BCA also thanked retiring Executive Director, Virginia Willard for her twelve years of service with a sing-a-long by the audience, accompanied by a band made up of BCA Board Members. Finally, Mayor Sam Adams officially declared November 3 as “Business-Arts” Partnership Day.
*Submitted by Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA)