Wells Fargo’s role as a resource for financial services is rooted in the company’s desire to give back to the communities where its employees live and work. The company’s four key social responsibility focus areas include Arts and Culture, for which they were honored by Americans for the Arts with a BCA 10 Award in 2005.
In St. Louis, the company recently donated $50,000 in scholarship assistance to a new Arts and Education fund, managed by the local Arts and Education Council. This contribution is part of a larger $100,000 gift that will serve programs aiming to improve access to creative expression and arts opportunities for youth in underserved areas throughout the region.
Wells Fargo Senior VP of Community Affairs, Vanessa Cooksey, says that Wells Fargo Advisors “values maximizing human potential.” She claims, “studies increasingly show that youth participation in the arts improves overall academic achievement, school attendance, and acceptance of diverse cultures.”
According to a report in The St. Louis American, “The Fund will provide tuition scholarships and transportation subsidies intended to remove financial barriers that may prevent talented high school art students in underserved or low-income areas from expanding their creative training outside the traditional classroom setting. The Arts Education Fund will partner with new and existing A&E grantee organizations that offer classes and workshops in visual arts, craft, music, and dance disciplines.”
Another $30,000 will bolster the Arts Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA) – a professional development program that provides roundtables, workshops and peer learning opportunities to executives at arts and culture organizations. The contribution made by Wells Fargo allows ALMA to expand its’ services and removes price barriers for management workshops, allowing participants from a wide range of organizations to benefit from leadership training and other peer-to-peer learning.
The remaining portion of the money will be allocated to operating and programmatic costs associated with the Arts and Education Council’s network of roughly 70 arts and arts and education organizations that serve the region.
With this contribution, Wells Fargo is not only providing access to arts education opportunities, but contributing to more equitable and vibrant communities where its employees want to live and work.
Photo: The St. Louis American.