Duke Energy (NC)Say Thanks
Duke Energy Takes Employees Behind the Scenes For Art and Culture
For more than 100 years, 2015 BCA Hall of Fame honoree Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, has acted with the belief that providing access to and building an appreciation for the arts can have a powerful impact on the communities it serves, including its own community of employees.
By supporting arts organizations like the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Opera Carolina, the Mint Museum, and many others, Duke Energy is able to give employees behind the scenes access to some of the hottest arts events in the city.
During the company’s Lunch & Learns, employees have the opportunity to experience the arts during work hours. “Lunch and learn sessions for our employees featuring various aspects of the arts originated during the economic downturn when many arts organizations were hard-hit with budget cuts and fewer patrons attending performances and exhibits,” says Betsy Conway, Community Affairs Manager at Duke Energy. “The lunch and learn sessions are a great way to expose our employees to the arts.”
In 2015, the company has offered more than six Lunch & Learn sessions in Charlotte, including tours of neighboring museums – the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum Uptown, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Employees also attended a special presentation by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with an appearance by cast members from the Broadway musical “Annie.”
In 2014, employees were able to attend conversations with renowned visual artist Aurora Robinson (see invitation left), a Blumenthal presentation with a special appearance by cast members from “Peter and the Starcatcher,” and a conversation with a documentary filmmaker focusing on civil rights.
According to Duke Energy Foundation President Stick Williams, “Our employees have become even more engaged in the community as a result of our investments in the arts. Our employees get behind the scenes looks at exhibitions, they get to interact with Broadway actors that are in town, and as a result, they feel far more a part of the city and the community and all of the great things that are happening there. Our employees appreciate being part of a company that allows them to have that kind of engagement.”
As evidence of this community engagement, working under the banner “Duke Energy In Action,” Duke Energy employees and retirees regularly volunteer for charitable projects and participate in the company’s matching gifts program. The company also involves its employees in its workplace-giving campaigns.
Photos: Theater photo courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Invitation photo courtesy of Duke Energy.