Arts and business news from around the country.


Announcing our 2019 Arts and Business Partnership Awards Honorees!

Posted by Danielle Iwata
Announcing our 2019 Arts and Business Partnership Awards Honorees!

The BCA 10 awards program launched 15 years ago and since that time more than 150 companies have been recognized for their support of the arts through the program. In 2019, the program’s 15th anniversary year, Americans for the Arts is excited to be unveiling a new name and look for the awards which shall be known in future as the Arts and Business Partnership Awards.


The Arts and Business Partnership Award is a national recognition given annually to businesses that have mutually beneficial, innovative, and sustained partnerships with the arts. Each year, winners of this award are celebrated at the Arts and Business Partnership Awards Gala in New York City and become part of a network of like-minded businesses and leaders. These companies set the standard for excellence and serve as role models for others to follow.


For outstanding contributions, we also honor an individual arts-champion with the Leadership Award and an extraordinary collaboration between a business and its arts partner is awarded the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award.


The honorees and their partnerships are promoted nationally as exemplars in creating dynamic arts and business partnerships. We are honored to announce the awardees below.


David Machado Restaurants (Portland, OR)

Doyle Coffin Architecture (Ridgefield, CT)

Erie Insurance (Erie, PA)

Grounds for Thought (Bowling Green, OH)

Jiffy Lube of Indiana (Fort Wayne, IN)

Nokia Bell Labs (New Providence, NJ)

Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee, WI)

Omaha Steaks (Omaha, NE)

The Marcus Corporation (Milwaukee, WI)

Warby Parker (New York, NY)


The recipients of the 2019 David Rockefeller pARTnership Award are Gensler + Access Gallery in Denver, CO.


Image: 2018 Leadership Award Winner Chandrika Tandon and Business Committee for the Arts Chair Edgar Smith


The Leadership Award goes to Michael Martella, President of Boar’s Head and Chairman of the Van Wezel Foundation.


“We are grateful to honor these businesses and individuals for their exceptional involvement in ensuring that the arts thrive in their communities," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “They provide the arts with significant financial and in-kind support, and they incorporate meaningful arts-related programs into their employee, customer, and community relations activities. They enrich the lives of millions of Americans and truly set a standard for other businesses to follow.”


Click here for more information and for tickets & tables and journal ads.

BCA 10 Spotlight: Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)

Posted by Danielle Iwata
BCA 10 Spotlight: Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)

Americans for the Arts is excited to honor Tierney at the BCA 10 Gala on October 2, 2018 in New York City. Click here to learn more about the BCA10.


“Art is at the heart of everything we do and it inspires our creativity each and every day. We are proud to have partnered with many incredible organizations over the years, especially the Association for Public Art, BalletX, Musicopia, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and Please Touch Museum, as these organizations play a critical role in our community. It has been a long-standing Tierney tradition to support and give back to the arts in Philadelphia and beyond.”

-  Mary Stengel Austen, CEO, Tierney


As a firm that works within the creative realm of advertising, marketing, and public relations, having a strong passion for the arts is part of the company culture at Tierney, a communications agency. Tierney’s belief in the power of the arts guides their core philosophy: “Inspire Curiosity.” 


Tierney understands that exposure to and engagement with the arts is not only beneficial for the community, but for the productivity of the business as well. The agency provides free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, BalletX, and the Barnes Collection, while also actively encouraging staff to get out of the office and explore other cultural offerings in the city. They offer an annual mural arts walking tour each spring, which has been growing in popularity. In addition, their office is a gallery in and of itself, featuring over 100 pieces curated by art dealer Bridgette Mayer. Tierney and Mayer will be collaborating again to host a benefit art exhibition for the newly opened Philadelphia Rail Park.


The company has a dedicated committee of employees, “Team Tierney,” who organize philanthropic events, programs, and campaigns. Additionally, staff members are involved in many nonprofit leadership boards, including those of BalletX, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Art Reach, the Association for Public Art (APA), and Musicopia.  Tierney is also actively involved in the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. Through the council, Tierney employees have completed the Designing Leadership program, which serves leaders from organizations in the region by forging connections, encouraging engagement, and supporting a growing creative economy.


Tierney has also provided in-kind support to arts organizations, including the APA. To celebrate the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a boulevard in the heart of Philadelphia, APA collaborated with artist Cai Guo-Qiang to create “Fireflies,” 27 customized pedicabs adorned with hundreds of colorful lanterns which glided along the Parkway at night. The piece was inspired by memories from the artist’s childhood of traditional lantern festivals. Leading up to the unveiling of "Fireflies," Tierney donated their time and expertise to assist APA in promoting the project. Additionally, Tierney worked with the APA to help promote Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s public art project “Open Air.” This project involved 24 robotic searchlights that reacted to unique voices in Philadelphia, creating a one-of-kind light sculpture in the night sky. The project was named one of the 50 best public art projects by the 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review of Americans for the Arts.


Fireflies, Photo by Jeff Fusco Photography, courtesy of Association for Public Art (aPA)


In 2017, Tierney partnered with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs to redesign the iconic rainbow pride flag. Their new iteration contains black and brown stripes to represent the efforts for greater inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. In 2015, in honor of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia, Tierney designed “Popesicles,” tasty, organic, rainbow-colored frozen treats, and donated all proceeds to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ people under 25.


Over the past 20 years, Tierney has raised funds for United Way causes which support the arts, and also boasts 100% participation from staff through their annual giving campaign. Tierney has been recognized for the past five consecutive years as one of the most philanthropic businesses in the Philadelphia region and has contributed millions of dollars to various non-profits, arts and cultural organizations.


Nominated by Association for Public Art


PNC Keeping Arts Alive in its Communities

Posted by Danielle Iwata
PNC Keeping Arts Alive in its Communities

BCA 10 Honoree PNC continues to use the arts to bring its communities together. Through PNC Arts Alive, the company’s foundation is supporting access to arts experiences through affordable pricing, mobile studios, sensory friendly performances, and more.


PNC Arts Alive! Was introduced in 2009 to expose new audiences to the arts and increased audiences by 70% in its first year. Building on that success, they have since supporter over 200 programs and 60 organizations with $10 million.


The company’s investment and partnership with the arts has not only enhanced the community’s vibrancy, but it has had a notable effect on the economy. When the arts prosper, communities prosper.


According to their release, “PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative of the PNC Foundation dedicated to supporting visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways. The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture.”


List of Grant Recipients in Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey:

African American Museum of Philadelphia
Bay Atlantic Symphony
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Brandywine River Museum
Cape May Stage
The Clay Studio
First Person Arts, Inc.
Fleisher Art Memorial
Kimmel Center
Mural Arts
Opera Philadelphia

Perkins Center for the Arts

Philadelphia Clef Club
Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA)
Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia Theatre Company
Taller Puertorriqueño
Theatre Horizon
Walnut Street Theatre
WheatonArts & Cultural Center


Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer

Posted by Danielle Iwata
Cool Globes in a Pittsburgh Summer

Since 2006, Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, an offshoot of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative, has placed globes around the world to combat climate change. Using public art, Cool Globes has brought messages of awareness to Washington DC, California, Texas, and Copenhagen, Geneva, Marseilles, Amsterdam, and Jerusalem.


Last month, they unveiled the latest exhibit in Pittsburgh, with support from 2013 BCA 10 honoree PNC Foundation. In a news release, Greg Jordan, PNC General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer said:

The Cool Globes exhibit is internationally recognized not only for its artistry but also for shining a light on the environment. The exhibit, and the globe we selected for installation at Triangle Park that represents green building, couldn’t be a more natural fit with PNC’s commitment to sustainability initiatives. We can think of no better place to showcase this exhibit and the work of local artists than our hometown.


In 2013, at the time of PNC’s BCA honor, then Executive Vice President and Director of Community Affairs said, “The PNC Foundation has always believed that engagement in the arts enriches lives and builds stronger, more vibrant communities.” Through this partnership with Cool Globes, PNC Foundation continues to use the arts to create strong, engaged communities.


Cool Globes in Pittsburgh is also made possible by the City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office, Heinz Endowments, and the Pittsburgh Penguin Foundations.


Check out a sample of the globes on their site.


Top 10 States for Arts and Business Arts Partnerships

Posted by Mariama Holman

Americans for the Arts has been honoring businesses that uniquely partner with arts organizations within their communities over the last decade through the annual BCA10 awards, receiving nominees of both large, small and mid-sized companies across a dozens of industries and over 47 states.


We are taking a moment to call attention to the top 10 states that have celebrated business and arts partnerships by number of BCA10 nominees from 2005 to 2017, with pro-arts quotes from iconic awardees from the respective cities.  


1.     New York


Time Warner Inc., New York,

At the announcement of Time Warner’s recognition in the BCA Hall of Fame Award for the 2007 BCA10 gala, Richard Parsons, then CEO and Chairman stated that, “Creativity is as important to the communities we serve as it is to the businesses we run. That’s why we’re committed to supporting the arts. By giving young people a chance to develop their talents and interests through media and arts programs, enabling more people to experience world-class theater, and nurturing diverse new artists and new works, we strive to help keep the arts rich and accessible.”



2.     California

Wells Fargo, San Francisco, CA

Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Company went on record during their 2005 BCA10 awardee announcement saying that “the arts make communities great places to live, work and play. Supporting the arts is simply the right thing to do.”



3.     Texas

American Airlines, Dallas, TX

Bella Goren, American’s Vice President of Interactive Marketing and Reservations at Americans for the Arts as well as a member of the board of North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, accepted the 2005 BCA10 award in New York on the company’s behalf. “American and our people have a long-standing record of supporting the arts and enhancing what the arts bring to our communities,” said Goren afterward. “Hundreds of American and American Eagle employees volunteer in many positions and capacities in local and national arts organizations, and this commitment has been ongoing.  We’re proud of them, and grateful for their contributions.”



4.     Florida

Bacardi North America, Coral Gables, FL


According to Robert Furniss-Roe, the former Regional President of Bacardi North America, “Supporting the arts within the cities and towns where we live and work is our way of giving back at Bacardi, and this sense of corporate responsibility has been at our foundation since the Bacardi company was created more than 150 years ago. Arts programming enriches the lives of our employees and their families, our neighbors, and our business partners. The realm of the arts cross borders and languages to bring all people together in the name of beauty, knowledge and community.”



5.     Pennsylvania

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA


“The arts can bring a community to life and influence its economic development. That is why PNC has long supported creative programs and initiatives that make the arts more accessible to our employees and everyone we serve,” said James E. Rohr, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.



6.     Missouri

Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO

“Hallmark’s mission is to inspire meaningful connections, which enhance relationships and enrich lives. We feel the arts are central to this purpose,” said Donald Hall, Jr., President and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc during the 2014 BCA10 awards at the Central Park Boathouse in New York.



7.     Wisconsin

Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, WI

At the 2013 BCA10 announcement, John E. Schlifske, Chairman, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, stated that “Northwestern Mutual believes in the long-term benefits of sponsoring arts in the community. The arts inspire us to think differently and use new skills in all kinds of work. Our Foundation takes great pride in fostering and supporting an arts scene that not only provides entertainment, but also economic growth.”



8.   Tennessee

HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN

"The arts nourish the spirit, challenge the mind, bring joy to the soul and enhance our communities. HCA's support of the arts is consistent with our mission to improve the quality of human life,” said Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Chairman and CEO of HCA in light of the company’s recognition for the 2006 BCA10 award.



9.   Illinois

Deere & Company, Moline, IL

"Support of the arts is integral to Deere's long-standing commitment to our communities,” said Robert W. Lane, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  Deere & Company. “We are pleased to make major contributions to the arts that enhance the quality of life.”



10.  Ohio

Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

“Every day at P&G we strive to improve people’s lives with our brands and products, as well as improve the communities where we live and work. Supporting the arts produces ripple effects of benefits that help communities thrive and make them great places to live,” said Proctor & Gamble CEO, David Taylor upon the 2016 BCA10 announcement.


Zipcar-Philadelphia Transports Mobile Murals

Posted by Chris Zheng

Everyone wants a car that turns heads when it drives by, so why not drive an actual work of art? For the third year in a row, Zipcar has partnered with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to celebrate the arts, raise money, and promote the services it offers by wrapping a car in a beautiful mural for Zipcar members to drive.


Each year during its Mural Arts Month, the car share and car service company selects an artist to cover one of their cars in an intricate mural. This year, outdoor abstract artist MOMO worked with the Arts Education Department at Mural Arts to create the work “Practical Geometry” on a VW Golf. For every hour the car is reserved, Zipcar will donate one dollar to the Mural Arts Program.


Zipcar-Philadelphia Marketing Manager Kristina Matthews captures the company’s commitment to the arts: “Whenever we discuss Zipcar-Philadelphia with our counterparts, the art that lives and breathes in the city is one of the first topics that is raised. Everybody knows Philadelphia for the beautiful murals that surround the city, and we are thrilled to say that we partner with Mural Arts.”


This partnership demonstrates Zipcar’s commitment to enriching the communities in which it operates and supporting the vibrant culture of public art. With beautiful murals now zipping through the city, it is truly a mobile masterpiece. 


Q and A: BNY Mellon Jazz and the Community

Posted by Emily Peck
Q and A: BNY Mellon Jazz and the Community

An interview with Stephanie Babich Mihleder, Global Citizenship and Sustainability, BNY Mellon


Americans for the Arts is proud to present an interview with Stephanie Babich Mihleder, Global Citizenship and Sustainability for BNY Mellon. BNY Mellon was named a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree in 2015.


Q) Can you give us an overview of BNY Mellon’s arts support?


Over the course of its more than 230 year history, our company has supported and worked with many leading art and cultural institutions around the world. BNY Mellon’s support of the arts is an extension of the company's rich cultural heritage. In 2015, our company provided more than $2 million in corporate grants and sponsorships to support the arts.  


BNY Mellon's art collection serves to enhance the workplace, stimulate creativity and reinforce the company's longstanding support for the arts. Through an active loan program with museums and galleries across the world, the collection creates positive visibility and strategic opportunities to connect with clients and employees.  


The company matches donations for arts organizations at 50 percent with a cap of $10,000 for all eligible charities. Employees also receive matching donations for their volunteer time and paid time off to volunteer for eligible charities, including arts organizations. 


There are numerous art related programs for employees, including occasional workplace performances.


Q) How did the jazz program first come about at BNY Mellon?


Pittsburgh has had a huge influence on the jazz world and is one of the foremost cities for developing jazz artists. Many of the jazz greats were from Pittsburgh and, due to the rich jazz culture, Pittsburgh had a thriving jazz scene and was always a tour stop for performers. BNY Mellon has always had a major focus on the arts, and so BNY Mellon Jazz was created in the Pittsburgh region to give back to the community.


Q) How has the program evolved over the years?


This year (2016) BNY Mellon Jazz celebrates its 30th year in Pittsburgh. Throughout that time, numerous local nonprofits have received support from this initiative and thousands of artists have played under its banner, including Tony Bennett, George Benson, Diana Krall, and Al Jarreau. By partnering with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, BNY Mellon Jazz underwrites jazz concerts and concert series, CDs, educational initiatives, and scholarships. This year-round focus provides cultural and educational institutions with exceptional opportunities to offer the best in jazz artistry under the BNY Mellon Jazz brand.  BNY Mellon Jazz started with a Festival for the Pittsburgh community that has transitioned over time to a robust program where presently 13 different organizations are involved.


Q) What are some of the organizations you partner with on your jazz programs?


The 13 organizations we work with are very diverse. For example, we work with the University of Pittsburgh facilitating an annual scholarship for a jazz student. We work with organizations like Citiparks and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust who facilitate community jazz shows. We are the title sponsor of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s JazzLive. This program has a weekly jazz show in the downtown area that is free to the public. We partner with Manchester Craftmen’s Guild for the MCG Jazz series at their concert hall. They are the most popular jazz subscription series in the United States and bring high caliber performers to the Pittsburgh area. We have also partnered with the Grammy Award winning MCG production team to produce CDs. One of the most interesting organizations we have worked with is City of Asylum. This organization provides sanctuary to endangered artists. Each year they organize a jazz poetry concert that showcases these artists’ talents and stories.  Every year seems to bring something new as there are always new opportunities. For example, in 2014 we worked with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to be the title sponsor of a Tony Bennett performance.


Q) Did your partners approach you first or did you find them?


Most of our partners approached us with sponsorship requests.


Q) How does the jazz program help BNY Mellon to put your company in the spotlight?


Supporting the arts creates positive visibility for the company’s brand and demonstrates goodwill in the communities where BNY Mellon operates. Many of our sponsorship benefits include tickets to performances or special events that we can use for client-entertainment.


Q) What do you love about BNY Mellon’s jazz program?


People in Pittsburgh are extremely passionate about jazz and I am proud to be part of an organization that brings so many jazz related opportunities to the community. My personal favorite is all of the free concerts that we sponsor. Anyone can partake in those and they are spread all throughout the city.


Photo: Sean Jones plays at a JazzLive show, a free year-round weekly concert for the Pittsburgh community sponsored by BNY Mellon in partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.


Programs by Design

Posted by Kate Reese
Programs by Design

Here at the pARTnership Movement, we talk a lot about how experience in the arts fosters creativity, problem solving skills, and strategic thinking. In Philadelphia, an industrial designer-turned-executive is living this truth, as covered in a recent article on


Karin Copeland says her attention to product design fostered her aptitude for program design in her current role as Executive Director at the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC). When she first started the job, she noticed a handful of improvement areas and set to work sculpting programs the same way one might sculpt clay.


When she arrived at the organization, its reputation hinged largely on an annual luncheon that gathers more than 1400 each year. While the event drew crowds, Copeland saw an opportunity for expansion and “wanted ABC to be recognized as a source of valuable programs of mutual benefit to the business and arts communities.”


Since then, Copeland has tripled participation in existing programs such as Business on Board, which educates professionals about good nonprofit arts board behavior like fundraising. The Kennet Symphony orchestra is one example of success – it’s gained two engaged board members through participation in the program.


Among the new programs Copeland’s vision has brought to fruition is a speaker series that routinely sells out; notable professionals such as Malcolm Gladwell and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg rank among past speakers.


ABC has also launched a program called Designing Leadership, which partners with IBM and The Wharton School of Business to provide executive development for arts, culture, and creatives sectors.


Through these new strategic initiatives, the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia has expanded reach and demonstrated the ultimate value arts can have for business community. At the helm, Karin Copeland is perfect example of how exposure to the arts enables entrepreneurs to envision change, take a leap and bring lofty ideas to fruition.


Arts Groups Make Strong Chamber Allies

Posted by Stacy Lasner

Across the country, Chambers of Commerce and arts organizations are partnering to advance business and community goals. In a recent article in Chamber Executive, the membership magazine for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Americans for the Arts' Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives Emily Peck and Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC Philadelphia) Executive Director Karin Copeland discuss the unique partnership between arts organizations and Chambers of Commerce.


"In 1981, ABC Philadelphia was started by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the National Arts & Business Council (now part of Americans for the Arts), and housed within the chamber.


The Greater Philadelphia Chamber and the national Arts & Business Council realized that this entity would be a valuable tool in leveraging new funds, funneling new resources, and  cultivating new leadership from the business community to support nonprofit arts and cultural institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area. ABC Philadelphia is the only local arts agency in the U.S. that is directly affiliated with a chamber, and for 35 years this partnership has led to unique and important work in advancing both the arts and business sectors."


Read more (p21).


The article also spotlights a partnership between ArtsinStark, Canton, Ohio's local arts agency, and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, which partnered on the creation of the Canton Arts District, "the Best Arts District in Ohio."


Learn more about the relationship between ABC Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.


Do you know of another great Arts-Chamber partnership? Tell us on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at


Shake Shack Reaches New Heights in Center City

Posted by Brooke LaRue
Shake Shack Reaches New Heights in Center City

At Americans for the Arts, we know that public art instills meaning—a greater sense of identity and understanding of where we live, work, and visit—creating memorable experiences for all. Throughout the United States, businesses are participating in public art projects as a way to partner with the whole city.


Philadelphia’s Center City Shake Shack and the city’s Mural Arts program joined forces in summer 2014 to bring a large public mural to the previously blank wall above the restaurant. Mural Arts has been the official charity partner of the Shake Shack location since it opened three years ago, with 5 percent of the sale of the Center City Pretzel frozen custard concrete going to Mural Arts, but through this project, the partnership reached new heights.


David Guinn, a Philadelphia based artist, was commissioned to create the mural entitled Summer Rendezvous, which depicts a colorful green-space featuring a young boy on a ladder handing an ice cream cone to a girl in a window. Guinn drew inspiration from the original wall of greenery that surrounded the location during Shake Shack’s construction and the plants that grow on the restaurant’s roof. Shake Shack’s press release states, “Reinforced by the plantings that decorate the roof year-round, the mural presents a fantasy of plants growing up the building wall, framing the whimsical encounter between the children.”


According to Mural Arts’ website, the organization “was first established in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network’s effort to eradicate the city’s graffiti crisis. Artist Jane Golden was hired to reach out to graffiti writers and redirect their energies to constructive public art projects. In addition to addressing the problem of graffiti, Mural Arts’ collective mural-making processes proved to be a powerful tool for generating dialogue, building relationships, empowering communities, and sparking economic revitalization.”


Shake Shack’s arts and business partnership brought community members together. Philadelphians were invited to take part in a public paint day to help create this new must-see destination in the city, and a public dedication ceremony was held in December.


Is there a local business that helped bring public art to your community? We want to hear from you. Share your story by email or by using #ArtsandBiz on Twitter.


Learn more about public art throughout the United States.


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