Honoring Exceptional Businesses
Tonight, Americans for the Arts will be recognizing 10 of the best companies supporting the arts in America at the annual BCA 10 gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City. These companies vary by industry, geography, and size, and are all united in their outstanding support for the arts across the nation. This year, Americans for the Arts will induct Kohler Co. into the BCA Hall of Fame and will present Vice Chairman at Forbes, Inc. Christopher Forbes with the BCA Leadership Award. You can find the full list of BCA 10 award recipients at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/BCA10.
The pARTnership Movement
The pARTnership Movement is an Americans for the Arts initiative designed to show businesses that the arts can be a profitable investment. Making use of real-world examples, the program highlights the ways in which supporting the arts can actually give businesses a competitive advantage. Collaborating with MTV, the pARTnership Movement ads are being screened this week, October 3–9, on MTV's 44.5-foot screen in Times Square. Learn how you can successfully link art and business by watching our webinars here: http://eo2.commpartners.com and http://eo2.commpartners.com/users/afta/session.php?id=7256.
Generation Divide: Younger Givers Are Connecting Differently, and Organizations Are Adapting to Survive
As a new generation of arts patrons comes of age, arts organizations across the country are changing the ways in which they raise money. Unlike previous philanthropists, who typically prefer traditional performances, galas, and personalized letters, today’s young givers are looking for cutting-edge performances tied to social issues and connect through social networking. According to CEO of the Sarasota Orchestra Joe McKenna, any organization unable to adapt to a new strategy of fundraising is going to disappear: “That’s going to be the defining element, and whoever guesses right will own the future.” For information, www.heraldtribune.com.
Fox Gives Funding to Arts Programs With Glee Campaign
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has joined with the National Association for Music Education to give $1 million in grants to more than 70 high school music programs. Fox will donate $1 for each copy of Glee sold, with a minimum donation of $1 million. Michael Butera, executive director of the National Association for Music Education, stressed the positive social impact of Glee, which promotes music in education. A role all the more important since “millions of kids are attending schools where music programs have been cut.” For information, www.homemediamagazine.com.
San Bernardino Leaders Working to Restart Arts Council
Arts leaders in San Bernardino County, CA are working to reestablish an arts council. San Bernardino, the largest county in California, dissolved its arts council in 2006. As a result, while most California arts foundations spend $119 per person, San Bernardino only spends $3 per person. Daniel Foster, director of the Community Foundation, believes that the lack of funding carries a silver lining, as many foundations prefer to invest in areas with the highest need. Increased funding has benefits far beyond the artistic, Foster argues, citing the “importance of the arts in attracting the highly skilled workforce of the future.” For information, www.pe.com
Board Room Titans Battle It Out Onstage
More than 1,000 spectators turned up to cheer on eight musical groups in the fifth-annual Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands. Since 2006, the Battle of the Bands has raised more than $300,000 to support charities in North Carolina. This year, the proceeds will be donated to Arts in Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts education. “It’s an opportunity to raise money for a great cause and take a breather from corporate life,” said Greg Bower, the guitarist for the band Counting CRO’s and a senior infrastructure analyst at Quintiles. For information, www.heraldsun.com.
Facts and Figures
Foundation Leaders Address the State Budget Crises
In response to high unemployment, a stagnate economy, and depressed real estate markets, many state governments are turning to austerity measures to balance the budget. According to a Foundation Center Survey, 95 percent of foundations reported that some of their grantees had been affected by the budget reductions. The arts were among the top areas identified as being vulnerable to budget cuts, with 85 percent of arts foundations listing concern for the future of their programs. A full 30 percent of those foundations responded as “extremely concerned” about the future of the artistic programs. For many of these foundations there is little hope in the immediate future, with 81 percent of responders expecting budget difficulties through 2013. For information, http://foundationcenter.org.
Charity Fundraising Results See No Change in First Half of 2011
According to a report released from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), only 44 percent of surveyed nonprofits reported increases in donations from the year before. A full 30 percent reported a decline in charitable contributions, while 25 percent reported that giving remained level. These numbers remain largely unchanged from the NRC's end of the year, 2010 survey. The surveys reveal that the relatively low percentage of nonprofits reporting growth is a trend that began with the 2008 recession. "With many economists predicting a flat economy for several more years, charities face a very challenging environment in the near future,” says Andrew Watt, president and CEO of AFP. For information, http://foundationcenter.org.
Minnesota Grants to the Arts Still Declining
According to figures released by the Minnesota Council on Foundations, corporate, private, and family giving for the arts declined 19 percent since 2004; with a 10 percent decrease in 2009 alone. Patricia Mitchell, president and CEO of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, worried that shifting priorities away from the arts could result in decreased funding over the long-term; a trend that could hurt a thriving arts scene often compared to Chicago or San Francisco. Mitchell stressed the need for arts organizations to “adapt in this new environment.” For information, www.startribune.com.
Private Sector Network
Honoring Commitment to the Arts
The St. Louis Arts and Education Council has announced the 2012 St. Louis Arts Awards honorees. Since 1992, this award has honored those individuals, organizations, and businesses that have enriched the artistic community in the greater St. Louis area. This year’s award recipients include Novus International, Inc. for Corporate Support of the Arts and the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation for Excellence in Philanthropy. “These honorees represent the breadth of the arts community and the exceptional creative work happening across the St. Louis region,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. For the full list of honorees and more information, www.keeparthappening.org.
Speaking from Experience
“The works of John Ruskin are ingrained in the fabric of this company. ‘Life without labor is guilt. Labor without art is brutality.’ We literally bring a sense of the arts to everything we do—from KOHLER plumbing and power, hospitality and golf, from Baker and McGuire furniture to the Arts/Industry program on our factory floor. The arts refresh lives and inspire distinction.” –Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Kohler Co. and 2011 BCA Hall of Fame Inductee