Business Committee for the Arts Announces 2010 BCA TEN

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

press releaseContact:
202.371.2830
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NEW YORK, NY - October 20, 2010- Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts in America, announces THE BCA TEN: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America. Every year, BCA recognizes ten companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts in the United States. These companies have exhibited exemplary support for the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.

THE BCA TEN – 2010 companies are:

  • BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Capital Bank, Raleigh, NC
  • Con Edison, New York, NY
  • ConocoPhillips, Houston, TX
  • Devon Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Halifax EMC, Enfield, NC
  • M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers and Objects of Art, Iowa City, IA
  • Northeast Utilities, Hartford, CT
  • Portland General Electric, Portland, OR
  • Strata-G Communications, Cincinnati, OH

“These businesses lead by example and set a standard of arts support for other companies to follow,” said Joseph C. Dilg, chairman, BCA executive board and managing partner Vinson & Elkins LLP. “They have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the arts through financial and in-kind support, innovative partnerships and community involvement. Their unwavering commitment to the arts ensures that citizens in communities both urban and rural across the country have access to the arts through education, exhibitions and performances.”

“Americans for the Arts is proud to honor businesses that recognize the value of the arts and show their commitment through involvement with the arts in the workplace and in their communities. These business leaders bring the arts into lives of millions of people across the nation through financial and in-kind support and arts based programs,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “This year’s honorees are a remarkable inspiration to others as they work to ensure that the arts thrive in their communities. And we are thrilled to celebrate THE BCA TEN honorees for their exceptional support of the arts and their community through direct funding and creative collaborations with local institutions.”

The BCA TEN awards will be presented by Americans for the Arts on November 4, 2010, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City. Business and arts leaders from throughout the country are slated to attend the ceremony, during which the BCA Leadership Award and BCA Hall of Fame Award will also be presented.

BCA Leadership Award
Clarence Otis, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants in Orlando, FL will receive the BCA Leadership Award. The Leadership Award was established by BCA in 1993 to recognize individuals whose vision, commitment and leadership champion the arts.

BCA Hall of Fame
This year United Technologies Corporation, of Hartford, CT, will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. BCA established the BCA Hall of Fame in 1992 to recognize companies that demonstrate exceptional long-term support to the arts.

The Media Sponsor of THE BCA TEN is USA TODAY and the Presenting Sponsor is Darden Restaurants Inc. The Leadership supporters are BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Devon Energy Corporation, Martha and Bronson Ingram Foundation, Principal Financial Group, United Technologies Corporation and Vinson & Elkins LLP.

ABOUT THE BCA TEN, LEADERSHIP AWARD, AND HALL OF FAME HONOREES

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina recognizes that the arts help create thriving and dynamic communities that in turn contribute to South Carolina’s economic development. BlueCross clearly demonstrates its strong commitment to the arts not only through monetary donations but also through in-kind gifts and employee involvement programs. Employees at all levels are also engaged in supporting the South Carolina arts community, from a workplace campaign to support the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties to board service at numerous area arts organizations. Since 2004, BlueCross BlueShield has donated over $4.7 million to South Carolina arts organizations.

Capital Bank, Raleigh, NC
Capital Bank has given millions of dollars to arts organizations across North Carolina since 2003. Capital Bank’s diverse support of the arts includes efforts to bring the arts to underserved communities; collecting the work of local artists for display at branch locations and the bank’s Raleigh headquarters; and sponsorship of the Capital Awards, which recognize excellence in musical productions and performances in high schools. This year, the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce awarded Capital Bank with the Business Support of the Arts Award. In 2008, they also received the Medal of Arts, the City of Raleigh’s highest arts award.

Con Edison, New York, NY
Over the past forty years, Con Edison has been a proud supporter of the arts in New York City and has donated over $100 million. Arts education and diversity are at the heart of Con Edison’s commitment to the arts. The company’s dedication continues to be shown through their sponsorship of the Arts and Business Council of New York’s Multicultural Arts Management Internship Program and also as the founding sponsor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Education Program. The company supports nearly 200 arts and cultural organizations of diverse missions and sizes, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, El Museo del Barrio, The Chocolate Factory Theater, St. Luke’s Orchestra, The Joyce Theater Foundation, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Queens Symphony Orchestra and Roundabout Theater Company.

ConocoPhillips, Houston, TX
For over 100 years, the arts have been an essential area of community support for ConocoPhillips. In 2009, ConocoPhillips’ donations totaled $3 million, in addition to hundreds of volunteer hours, international marketing sponsorships and in-kind support. ConocoPhillips supports innovative efforts to connect communities to the arts, such as the Society for the Performing Arts’ ConocoPhillips Transportation Assistance Program, which underwrites the cost of transporting school and community groups to performances in Houston’s Theater District at a significant discount. ConocoPhillips also provides major support to the Houston Grand Opera, the Oklahoma Art Institute, the Houston Symphony and the OK MOZART Festival.

Devon Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, OK
Devon Energy takes pride in supporting community initiatives that make Oklahoma City a better place to live, includeing supporting the arts. By nurturing the arts, Devon believes it can foster innovation, creativity and a social framework of collaboration that promotes healthy communities and vibrant business environments. Devon’s broad vision for arts support seeks to go beyond the financial; the company collaborates to promote the arts across social and generational lines; partners to improve public venues; invests in efforts to promote diversity and accessibility; and reaches out to school children, art students and local patrons.

Halifax EMC, Enfield, NC
Over the last fifteen years, Halifax Electric Membership Corporation has been involved in the promotion of the arts in the workplace and in the rural North Carolina area they serve. Halifax EMC understands that the arts change communities and increase the quality of life for both their employees and customers. The company believes that the arts provide an outlet for individual expression whether through acting, singing, painting, handiwork or craftsmanship. Halifax EMC supports the arts through financial and in-kind support, artist partnerships, employee volunteerism and community outreach.

M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers and Objects of Art, Iowa City, IA
Known for initiating cultural programming as well as hoping to inspire other businesses, large and small, to follow its lead, M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers spans more than two decades of committed activism in the arts. Soon after buying his father's jewelry store in 1985, Mark Ginsberg established the M.C. Ginsberg Fund to serve the arts community in Iowa City through free exhibitions, public lectures, artist's workshops and community arts events. M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers has given nearly $600,000 to the arts since 1984, in addition to countless in-kind donations and volunteer hours.

Northeast Utilities, Hartford, CT
Strongly rooted in its local communities, Northeast Utilities and its subsidiary electric and natural gas companies recognize the value and economic impact that a vibrant arts and cultural environment can support. For these reasons, Northeast Utilities has supported arts and culture in and around Hartford for decades. Northeast Utilities has sustained strong support of the Greater Hartford Arts Council through direct funding, volunteer hours and strategic partnerships. In 2009, Northeast Utilities employees raised $25,000 for the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s annual United Arts Campaign, which the Northeast Utilities Foundation matched for a total contribution of $50,000.

Portland General Electric, Portland, OR
Portland General Electric believes the arts have the power to educate, heal and create a vibrant economy. Due to their role in developing the artist-based Creative Differences workplace diversity program and the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Work for Art regional workplace giving campaign, Portland General Electric is known as an early adopter and corporate leader on arts initiatives in Oregon. The company also advocates for the ongoing sustainability of Oregon’s arts community through board leadership, testimony at public hearings and op-ed pieces in the local media. Since 1999, Portland General Electric and the PGE Foundation have contributed nearly $5 million to arts and culture.

Strata-G Communications, Cincinnati, OH
Strata-G’s support of the arts in Cincinnati enriches the community, encourages greater awareness of the arts as an integral part of our collective culture and experience and provides lifelong— and often life-altering— artistic educational opportunities for people of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Strata-G’s involvement in and support of the arts is vital to the company culture, nurturing creative, enlightened, engaged and enthusiastic employees and providing a visible and demonstrable commitment to the arts. In 2009, Strata-G provided more than $75,000 in pro-bono and monetary support to arts organizations, including the Contemporary Arts Center, the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the annual Summerfair Arts Festival, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Maple Creek Artisan Center.

Clarence Otis, Jr. , Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Darden Restaurants, BCA Leadership Award
Clarence Otis, Jr., is chairman and chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants, the world's largest full-service restaurant company. Through subsidiaries, Darden owns and operates 1,800 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 restaurants in North America. Under Otis’ leadership, Darden has made a $5 million commitment to help build the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando. The company supports several Central Florida arts organizations as part of its Good Neighbor program, including the Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities and the Mennello Museum of American Art.

United Technologies Corporation, BCA Hall of Fame
United Technologies Corporation (UTC) recognizes that the arts, like science and engineering, inspire and challenge what is possible and encourage lifelong learning and creativity. Since 1980 UTC has sponsored more than 60 visual arts exhibits and over 500 performances at cultural institutions. UTC recognizes the importance of community involvement and encourages its employees to become involved. As a result, UTC employees have given over 50,000 hours of volunteer time annually and donated more than $2 million to the United Arts Campaign of the Greater Hartford Art Council in the past decade. UTC was named to THE BCA TEN in 2005 and has received BCA’s Business in the Arts Awards and Americans for the Arts’ Corporate Citizenship Award.

Business Committee for the Arts, a division of Americans for the Arts (BCA) was founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller to bring business and the arts together. BCA’s mission is to ensure that the arts flourish in America by encouraging, inspiring and stimulating business to support the arts in the workplace, in education and in the community.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

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