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Energizing the Arts in Houston

Posted by Emily Peck
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Energizing the Arts in Houston

Oil and Gas Financial Journal recognizes the power of the arts to transform communities.  The journal recently featured Baker Botts LLP based in Houston, one of the 2011 BCA 10 winners.  Here is an excerpt:

 

Baker Botts LLP has been an integral part of Houston's business community since 1840 when the firm's founder, Peter Gray, launched his law practice in the Republic of Texas. As Houston's economy grew, so did the firm. Today, lawyers at Baker Botts are experienced in a wide range of areas, including corporate, environmental, global projects, intellectual property, litigation and tax and work for companies across many industries. Deeply ingrained in Houston, Baker Botts does work for many companies in industries integral to Houston: banking, finance, and energy are key.

 

But to Baker Botts, doing business in Houston means more. The company has been a major supporter of the arts since the 19th century and was recently honored for its continued commitment by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts, when it was named as one of 2011's Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America.

 

Ten companies were selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2011. A black-tie gala was held at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City on October 5, 2011.

 

"These businesses have demonstrated an unwavering dedication to supporting the arts through financial and in-kind support, innovative partnerships and community involvement," said Joseph C. Dilg, chairman, BCA executive board and managing partner of Houston's Vinson & Elkins LLP. "Because of their enduring support for the arts, citizens across the country have access to the arts through education, exhibitions and performances."

 

For years, Baker Botts has been committed to this effort. The firm provides pro bono legal services and financial contributions to a variety of arts organizations, including Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and Rice University, among others.

 

The firm is also dedicated to providing opportunities for employees and clients to increase their involvement and exposure to the arts. Each winter, the Houston office hosts a family holiday event tied to its support of local performing arts organizations. These events have taken place in conjunction with productions such as The Nutcracker at Houston Ballet, and The Grinch at Theater Under The Stars followed by an exclusive on-stage reception.

 

Baker Botts understands the importance of exposing youth to the arts, and they provide arts education opportunities for K-12 students. The firm's Dallas office has sponsored Julius H. Dorsey Elementary School in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas since 1993 in conjunction with the Dallas Independent School District Partners in Education Program. Among other activities, Baker Botts participates in the arts and crafts program that addresses the artistic needs of kindergartners who do not have access to art classes.

 

Baker Botts also incorporates the arts in conjunction with its diversity initiatives. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2011, Baker Botts plans to display an art exhibit by Artists of the Americas. The exhibit will include original artworks by distinguished, internationally emerging artists from Latin America whose works have been recognized by prominent cultural institutions and will be featured in several of Baker Botts' domestic offices.

 

Read the entire article in Oil and Gas Financial Journal.

 

*Photo: Joseph Dilg, partner, Vinson & Elkins and chairman emerita of the BCA Executive Board; Josh Davidson, partner at Baker Botts. Photo courtesy of Glen Davis.

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