“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.