Monday, March 20, 2017

Americans for the Arts mourns the loss of philanthropist David Rockefeller, who died today at age 101.

Rockefeller has been a profound influence and great friend to Americans for the Arts. In 1966, he helped found the Business Committee for the Arts when he gave a now-famous speech to The Conference Board with the goal of increasing business support for the arts. Since 2004, the BCA has annually recognized 10 outstanding businesses that exemplify support of and partnership with the arts through Americans for the Arts’ BCA 10 Awards.

“David Rockefeller’s leadership was instrumental to the work of the Americans for the Arts' Business Committee for the Arts by helping businesses and business leaders to understand the value of the arts,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As founder of our Business Committee for the Arts and as a leader with his brothers in creating Americans for the Arts, his ideas from 50 years ago were so prescient that they still guide our work in developing strong partnerships between the arts and business sectors today.”

Rockefeller was a longtime trustee, chairman, and then chairman emeritus of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he donated over $150M during his lifetime and designated an additional $100M bequest in 2005. In 1989, Rockefeller and his wife Peggy established the David Rockefeller Fund, which seeks to foster and embody a more just, creative, and flourishing world. The Arts Program focuses on cultivating, showcasing and disseminating the stories of innovative art for social change.

In honor of his legacy, Americans for the Arts presents the David Rockefeller Lecture on Arts and Business, an annual event in New York City featuring prominent business leaders addressing the vital connection between the arts and business. Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein gave the inaugural Rockefeller Lecture in 2016.

Our thoughts are with the entire Rockefeller family during this time of loss.