Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Fifth Third Bank at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA 10.
“Fifth Third Bank is committed to building thriving and vibrant communities, and in many ways, so are the arts. The arts play a central role in creating economic prosperity as well as a rich social and cultural life. They create common bonds that connect cultures and neighborhoods, touching and engaging every single one of us.”
– Greg Carmichael Chairman, President and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp
Fifth Third Bank has a history of firsts. In 1948, it created the Fifth Third Foundation, the first corporate foundation established by a financial institution in the United States. Since then, the Bank has contributed funding, sponsorship, and leadership to the arts. In 2017, Cincinnati Fifth Third Bank President Tim Elsbrock chaired the ArtsWave campaign for the greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency, and raised $12.5 million for the organization. When it came time for the Cincinnati Music Hall to be renovated, Fifth Third Foundation stepped in as one of the first $1 million pledges to help launch the renovation.
As one of Cincinnati’s largest employers, Fifth Third Bank understands the importance of the arts when it comes to engaging employees. The company incentivizes donations to the arts through endorsed payroll deductions and encourages leadership opportunities for its employees. Last year, 4,213 members of the Cincinnatiworkforce donated to ArtsWave. 132 of these donations exceeded $1,500.
Additionally, Teresa Tanner, chief administrative officer of Fifth Third Bank, was named Chair of ArtsWave’s Board of Directors last fall. Many other executives at Fifth Third Bank also serve on the boards of arts and cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, as well as other arts organizations across its 10-state reach.
In partnership with ArtsWave, the Bank has promoted opportunities for employees to engage with the arts through showcases and performances. The two organizations are currently working collaboratively on an “Inclusive Arts” program with artist Brian Washington, whose work will be exhibited by the Bank and who will also design a mural for the headquarters in Cincinnati. The Bank’s first mural, designed by Eduardo Kobra, depicts Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who was an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati professor.
Fifth Third Bank’s connection to local arts fosters a sense of pride in its city. The Bank has sponsored “Transform Cincinnati,” a book detailing the ArtWorks Mural Program, which is a nonprofit public art initiative, and has also sponsored TIDAL, a hackathon in Cincinnati which brings together minds from the tech, design, and marketing industries to rethink issues in the arts.
Mural by artist Eduardo Kobra at its Cincinnati headquarters, courtesy Fifth Third Bank
Over the past 20 years, the Fifth Third Foundation has donated almost $7 million to the arts. Fifth Third Bank has branches across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina, where they are also engaged in their respective communities through their support of the arts.
Nominated by ArtsWave