Arts and business news from around the country.


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


Announcing the 2018 BCA 10 Honorees

Posted by Danielle Iwata
Announcing the 2018 BCA 10 Honorees
The Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) of Americans for the Arts is proud to present the BCA 10 awards on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
The awards honor 10 U.S. companies, a business leader, and an arts and business partnership for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.
We are excited to announce this year's winners:

Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)

Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH)

Fosun (New York, NY)

Phillips 66 (Houston, TX)

The Standard (Portland, OR)

Tierney (Philadelphia, PA)

UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO)

VF Corporation (Greensboro, NC)

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)

Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT)


In addition, Chandrika Tandon, chairman of Tandon Capital Associates and Soul Chants Music in New York City and Grammy-nominated musician, will be honored with the BCA Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals for their extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow their lead.


Square and Cheyenne River Youth Project of San Francisco, CA and Eagle Butte, SD, respectively, will receive the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award. This award recognizes a company and arts organization (or artist) for an exceptional project, program, or initiative that represents a true alliance, collaboration, or exchange between the two.


"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 – truly setting a standard for other businesses to follow."
Join us in celebrating these companies and their exceptional partnership with the arts by purchasing tickets, placing an ad in the BCA 10 journal, or sponsoring the gala celebration.





Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

Posted by Jessica Gaines
Arts and Tech in Philadelphia

2017 Philly Tech Week (PTW), a week-long celebration of technology and innovation happening throughout the Philadelphia Region, presented by Comcast and organized by, kicks off on April 28. Organized into seven tracks (Creative, Access, Dev, Civic, Business, Media and Sciences), some tracks have conference sessions to delve deeper into the content areas. The Creative Track “where art and technology collide,” encompasses projects ranging from video games, digital art, community initiatives, and more.


In an effort to involve more artists and creatives in the Creative Track and the overall event, PTW has launched a microgrant competition for artists to apply for funds to develop a creative display to showcase at the PTW Signature Closing Event. A few immersive, interactive or innovative creations will be selected and more information about the microgrant opportunity can be found here.


2016 PTW grants went to mission-minded community groups.


Photo: Aidan Un


Solving Problems and Challenging the Status Quo with pARTnerships

Posted by Jessica Gaines

When entering a new year, many individuals and businesses alike desire a fresh start.  In personal lives, the changes may appear in a new diet or workout routine while at work it may be goal setting or performance evaluations.  Keeping with the idea of crafting new habits and letting go of outdated approaches, there’s a space for the arts to help advance goals by solving some of yesterday’s problems and challenging the “modus operindi”.


These three highlights below are a quick reminder of the possibilities of art and business partnerships that are successful and purposeful.


In the work environment, consider that working solely for productivity can become lackluster.

A company or industry that is technology-heavy or project-focused, may find that team performance needs a boost. Altering a method, adding Arts into STEM to become STEAM, can improve the process for businesses grounded in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math. One thing that Denis Lacasse, leader in web, software, and gaming fields, and his team instituted was bringing together employees of different disciplines and backgrounds. When these new teams, comprised of artists, game designers, and engineers, worked together their productivity and zeal increased due to their common connection of being passionate gamers focused on an end goal.


Consider that people want to live and work in a vibrant community.

In one Philadelphia neighborhood, there was a general understanding that the area was not safe at night, even with street lights. Although near a bustling bar and cheesesteak restaurant scene, the late-night hours of the neighborhood were either extremely desolate or filled with prostitution, underage drinking and dumping trash. Lighting designer Drew Billiau and mural artist David Guinn were able to pilot glowing street-art-styled murals on a few homes which began a neighborhood transformation all its own. Although there was reluctance from some neighbors in the beginning, the success of the initial glowing murals cultivated enough support to add more on the street for increased safety.


Consider that internal culture and external messaging often get old and stale. 

When seeking a way to renew a message (either internally to employees or externally to the public), remember to integrate the arts as a business asset.  By using Arts-Based Initiatives, “businesses can generate value from existing relationships with the arts, as well as an opportunity to establish new relationships, by exploiting the knowledge and skills within the sector for their own competitive advantage.” Investment firm, Scottish Windows, did just that by developing an Arts@Work program that injected arts into company culture and employees reported increased productivity and business benefits.  ABI's are suited for enhancing company messaging and company culture to overall posivitely affect business objectives and strategies. 


More information on bringing the arts into a business approach can be found in the pARTnership Movement essays


If you know of a business successfully pARTnering with the arts, please nominate them for the 2017 BCA: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts. Nomiations close January 13, 2017.


Photo credit: Fast Company


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. 


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.


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