Aziz Hasan is a Brooklyn-based illustrator, graphic designer, dancer and creative executive who is currently the CEO of Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects of all kinds. Understanding the vital role arts played in his life, Aziz leads Kickstarter under the principle that art and creative expression are essential to a healthy and vibrant society and deserve a protected space no matter how big or small the idea is. Under Aziz’s leadership, Kickstarter has made history: setting an historic record of $777 million pledged to nearly 19,000 creative projects in just one year and receiving the very first Design Visionary Award by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for Kickstarter’s profound economic and cultural impact.

"Since ancient times, art has had the ability to transform every sphere of life: people, communities, education -- I discovered my whole self when returning to music, and my life is far richer because of that. I wish the same transformative experience for others. There’s no better place to start this process than education -- we’ve only scratched the surface.”                                                                                   

Chandrika Tandon is an expert on the intersection of business and the arts, as both the Founder and Chairman of Tandon Capital Associates, and as a Grammy-nominated singer.

Prior to founding her own financial advisory firm in 1992, Tandon was the first Indian-American woman to make partner at McKinsey and Company. With her first paycheck from McKinsey, she purchased a guitar and stereo system rather than a bed – and slept on the floor of her apartment. Music has always played an important part in her life, and it was not until she became successful in business that she rediscovered her craft.

After training to become a musician, she recorded her album, Soul Call, which was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary World Music. She has released four albums under her nonprofit label, Soul Chants Music, which donates all proceeds to support community building, education, the arts, and well-being.

In an interview with the NYU Steinhardt school, she explained her late dive into professional music: “Music is what I am; everything else is what I did.” When traveling around the world for business, Tandon found music to be a form of communication. In describing the various dimensions of business, music, and meditation, she commented: “They all inform each other; they all affect each other.”

Tandon has performed many benefit concerts to support organizations such as the Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Wellness and Global Peace Initiatives, and the World Culture Festival. She will go on tour for her newest album, Shivoham – The Quest, in spring of 2019.

Chandrika and her husband, Ranjan, are also philanthropists, and have donated $100 million to the NYU School of Engineering. She remains heavily involved with NYU as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the President’s Global Council, and Chair of the NYU Tandon Engineering School, as well as serving on boards of the Stern Business School and Langone Health System. Tandon is also a former Dean’s Council Member at NYU Wagner School of Public Policy, where she trains leaders to impact public well-being.

She serves on the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, leading a major effort to attract new, diverse audiences, and chairing the Global Council. At Berklee School of Music, where she serves on the President’s Council, Berklee-Tandon Global Clinics connect underprivileged talent to distinguished faculty worldwide. As Chair of the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation, she has supported over 30 institutions which work in education, the arts, wellness, and community building.

As both a CEO and musician, Tandon has a unique understanding of the way business and the arts can influence each other, and how the intersections between the two can have a positive impact.

Raymond J. McGuire
Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking

“The arts make invaluable educational and cultural contributions to the communities we serve. Citi has a long history of supporting the arts. We are committed to continue enabling their progress as powerful tools to engage societies around the world."
Raymond J. McGuire, Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Citi

A contemporary art collector, active arts leader and philanthropist, Raymond J. McGuire says his primary reason for supporting education and the arts is because they engage, inspire, enlighten and give hope to the aspirations of our youth to be the best in their careers and lifelong endeavors.

Raised in Dayton, Ohio, by his social-worker mother, McGuire completed his studies at Harvard College, A.B. 1979. Between college and graduate school, Mr. McGuire attended the University of Nice, France, while on a Rotary Fellowship. Mr. McGuire continued his education and received dual J.D. and MBA degrees from Harvard Law and Business Schools, respectively. Additionally, Mr. McGuire received several educational acknowledgements, including a L.H.D. from Pratt Institute (2011) and a L.H.D from Dominican College (2017).

McGuire has held roles at a number of important firms, achieving business and philanthropic successes that amplified each other. Currently, he is the Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking at Citi, the leading global bank. Citi does business with the world’s largest multinational corporations, institutions and sovereigns (as well as approximately 200 million customers) in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

McGuire presently serves on numerous boards, including the Alex Hillman Family Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Citi Foundation, the De La Salle Academy (Chairman Emeritus), the Harvard Club of New York, the Hotchkiss School (Vice President), the New York City Police Foundation, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the New York Public Library (Executive Committee and Co-Chairman Nominating Committee), the Studio Museum in Harlem (Chairman) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (Executive Committee). In the past, he has served on the boards of the FAPE (Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies), the Howard Gilman Foundation, the International Center of Photography (President), the Joseph & Claire Flom Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the San Remo Tenants’ Corporation (President).

McGuire serves on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, which comprises appointees from cultural and artistic organizations and practices. The Commission advises Mayor de Blasio and the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl on issues affecting NYC’s cultural community.

There is no short list of honors, awards and recognition for McGuire’s accomplishments. He has received numerous honors, including the Theodore Roosevelt Award from the Legal Aid Society, the Humanitarian Leadership Award from the Council of Urban Professionals and the Frederick Douglas Award from the New York Urban League. He was also recognized by New York’s Avenue Magazine as one of New York’s “50 Smartest.” Morehouse College inducted McGuire as one of the inaugural members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Board of Renaissance Leaders. He has been honored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Art for Life Foundation and Studio in a School. He has also been honored with Harvard Business School’s African-American Student Union’s Professional Achievement Award and the Harvard Business School Club of New York’s John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award.

Robert Buchsbaum


Blick Art Materials

When Robert Buchsbaum join Blick in 1996, he successfully restructured the company and helped Blick become the nation’s premier art supply source. In 2013, Blick absorbed Utrecht Art Supplies, and now it has more than 70 retail stores across the country, selling art materials that cater to the full spectrum of artists—from the youngest child to gallery-represented professionals.
The legacy of Buchsbaum’s leadership is connected to his grandfather, Robert Metzenberg, who bought the company from Dick Blick in 1948 and was instrumental in its post-World War II growth. Metzenberg’s dream was to see that every artist, art teacher, and sign painter had mail-order access to the tools of the trade.
To Blick, Buchsbaum brings an exceptional stronghold of being smart, unconventional, and forward-thinking. Leading an art supply company, he understands how imperative it is for the arts to survive and flourish. And he genuinely believes in the power and benefits of the arts in everyday society. Over the past 15 years, under Buchsbaum’s leadership, Blick has made financial contributions of at least $475,000 a year to programs and organizations that support the arts and arts education.
Buchsbaum’s commitment to leadership is also shown through Blick’s support of National Art Education Association; the Arts Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with Americans for the Arts; the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards; and his personal board representation with the National Art Materials Trade Association, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and Marwen, a nonprofit dedicated to educating and inspiring underserved young people through the visual arts.

Jorge M. Pérez
The Related Group

Since its inception in 1979, The Related Group, founded by Chairman Jorge M. Pérez, has built and managed more than 80,000 condominium and apartment residences in major markets throughout Florida. A true leader in the Miami arts and culture scene, Jorge M. Pérez’s passion for vibrant urban communities is reflected in his involvements in the arts and cultural affairs.

Pérez is a former board member of the National Endowment for the Arts and serves on the board of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. He is past chair and currently a member of the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council. TIME magazine named him one of the top 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States.

“For me, art is a form of expression and an exchange of cultures and ideas. It enriches my life, and my vision is to provide that experience for the community,” said Pérez. “Related’s philosophy is to support artists and integrate their works into our projects as well as to partner with leading arts organizations in the hopes of creating inspirational spaces and promoting Miami as a thriving cultural epicenter.” 

In 2011, the Miami Art Museum agreed to rename itself the Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County after Pérez pledged $40 million in cash and artwork over ten years. In addition, Pérez incorporates the arts in his real estate developments, bringing artists and art projects into The Related Group buildings and community landscapes.

“In our very young community, we are so fortunate to have Jorge Pérez who has set the standard extraordinarily high for private sector leadership and support for the arts,” said Michael Spring, Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Secretary of the Americans for the Arts Board of Directors. “In addition to the visionary work that he continues to accomplish through Related, Jorge is our chief cultural champion. He tirelessly advocates for more public and private sector support, deeply believes that the arts are for all people, and always insists on nothing less than greatness as the goal.”

Frederic C. Hamilton
The Hamilton Companies

Frederic C. Hamilton founded Hamilton Oil Corporation in the late 1960s and built it into an international oil company. He is now chairman of The Hamilton Companies, which is active in venture capital, private equity, oil and gas, real estate, mortgage lending, securities and acquisitions operations. He has been called one of America's oil pioneers.

A Denver Arts Museum (DAM) board member since 1977 and chairman since 1994 (now chairman emeritus), Hamilton has played an integral role in the realization of the DAM's expansion and in their institutional growth and sustainability, leading both of its endowment campaigns. In January 2014, Hamilton bequeathed a gift of 22 paintings worth more than $100 million to DAM, nearly tripling the size of its Impressionist collection. It is the largest donation in the museum's history. The breadth of donated works, which increases the museum's tally of Monet canvases to six, makes this one of the strongest Impressionist collections in the West. Hamilton remains an avid art collector and arts supporter.

Hamilton was recently awarded National Western's 2014 Citizen of the West. The award, sponsored by the National Western Stock Show, was bestowed to him for his leadership in philanthropy. He is singularly responsible for the development of the arts in Denver-from not only the DAM, but also the cultural complex of Denver, including the Clyfford Still Museum. Hamilton serves as a member of the Trustee's Council of the National Gallery of Art and Trustee Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution, both in Washington, D.C. He also serves as a director of the Board of Trustees of the Clyfford Still Museum, the Boy Scouts of America and Denver-based Graland Country Day School, and leads the endowment for the Boys and Girls Club of Denver.

Michael B. McCallister
Humana, Inc.
The Humana Foundation.

Joining Humana in 1974, Michael B. McCallister served as Humana’s Chief Executive Officer from 2000 until his retirement in December 2012. He has been Chairman of Humana’s board of directors since 2010 and also serves as Chairman of the Humana Foundation. In 2006, during McCallister’s tenure as Humana’s CEO, the company was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.

As Humana’s President and CEO from 2000 to 2012, McCallister led the company to a leadership position in the health-benefits industry, and also set a standard for philanthropic giving. Under McCallister’s leadership, Humana has partnered with many arts organizations over the years that have developed innovative programs, enriching the communities where Humana associates work and live. Most notable is the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The award-winning Festival is the leading event of its kind, bringing new plays into the national spotlight and celebrating the American playwright. Since its founding in 1976, more than 400 plays have been produced, representing the works of more than 200 American playwrights. This relationship between Actors Theatre and the Humana Foundation is the longest-running partnership between a corporation and a theatre company in the country.

In 2012, Humana’s Fund for the Arts campaign generated a record donation of more than $1 million, the largest single monetary gift the Fund has received since it was founded in 1949, and the first time any organization raised $1 million in a single fund campaign. Impressively, the $1 million included more than $679,000 from Humana associates with $325,000 coming from the Humana Foundation. About a quarter of Louisville’s more than 11,000 Humana associates contributed to the campaign. Under McCallister’s leadership, Humana has consistently been the top workplace campaign contributor to the Fund.

To support employee volunteerism, in 2008 McCallister initiated the Humana Foundation’s Spirit of Philanthropy Award to honor a group or department of associates who display exceptional commitment to the community. Awardees are personally recognized by McCallister in a special ceremony, and are given the opportunity to select a nonprofit organization to receive a $25,000 grant from the Humana Foundation.

McCallister serves on the board of directors for AT&T, Fifth Third Bank, Bellarmine University, and the PGA Foundation Trustee board. He also serves on the College of Administration and Business Advisory Board for Louisiana Tech University, his alma mater.

James S. Turley
Global Chairman and CEO
Ernst & Young

Nominated by the National Corporate Theatre Fund

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, its 155,000 people are united by shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. Ernst & Young seeks to make a difference in helping its people, its clients and the communities where it operates achieve their potential.

James S. Turley is the Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young, and under his leadership the company has consistently been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Jim’s career at the company has spanned 35 years, with its start in 1977 at the US firm’s Houston office. In July 2001, he became Chairman and assumed the role of CEO in October 2003.

With a long-standing commitment to theater and arts education, Jim has been a dedicated leader since the beginnings of his career at Ernst & Young. Jim is actively engaged with one of the nation’s leading theatre associations, the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF), serving as the Chairman of the Board for the past six years. In early 2012 at the Annual Chairman’s Awards Gala, NCTF launched its Impact Creativity campaign – a $5 million fund-raising effort to support theatre education programs in 19 American cities impacting more than 500,000 youth – with a launch gift of $200,000 from Ernst & Young LLP and its partners and principals. Turley was a 2012 Annual Chairman’s honoree along with Harry Connick, Jr., the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Clinic.

Impact Creativity aligns squarely with Turley’s and his company’s beliefs that the next generation needs varied experiences and quality education to succeed. The initiative brings together theatres, arts education experts and individuals to help over 500,000 children and youth, most of them disadvantaged, succeed through the arts by sustaining the theatre arts education programs threatened by today’s fiscal climate. Thanks to Turley, Ernst & Young, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Creative Mobile Technologies, Impact Creativity has just concluded an unprecedented awareness campaign promoting theatre education that received nearly 40 million impressions.

For the 25th Anniversary of STAGES ST. LOUIS, a not-for-profit musical theatre company and performing arts academy, Jim and his wife Lynne Turley, STAGES Board Trustee, gifted the company with a $250,000 Challenge Grant. Being the largest operational grant in STAGES history, it supported the development of future productions, and theatre education and outreach initiatives. Each new and increased gift given to STAGES during its anniversary year was matched by the Turley Challenge, up to $250,000.

Christopher "Kip" Forbes
Vice Chairman
Forbes, Inc.

Forbes, Inc. is a private media company which delivers business information to millions of executives and investors worldwide. Its leading publication, Forbes, together with Forbes Asia and Europe has a global following of over five million readers. The company’s website,, is a leading news website and, along with its other online publications, reaches nearly 20 million business decision-makers each month. Christopher Forbes is the vice chairman of Forbes, Inc. where he shares responsibility for the advertising and promotion departments.

Christopher "Kip" Forbes attributes his artistic upbringing to his father, Malcolm Forbes. An avid collector of Faberge eggs and other rare items, Forbes’s father fostered his appreciation for the arts and his understanding of the arts’ importance to society. Christopher Forbes graduated from Princeton University in 1972 with a bachelor’s of arts in art history. While an undergraduate at Princeton, Forbes was a curator of The Forbes Collection and acquired the largest collection of English 19th-century paintings in North America. In 1985, Forbes transformed the ground floor of the Forbes, Inc. offices into The Forbes Magazine Galleries, which both distinguished it from other companies and provided an arts-rich work environment. Early on in his career, Forbes understood the mutually beneficial relationship between business and the arts and constantly worked to promote it.

Christopher Forbes expanded the program at the Forbes Galleries to showcase the artistic talents of employees, hosting not only employee art shows, but also literary readings and performing arts events. The galleries promoted new connections between employees who may not have had the opportunity to work closely beforehand.  Forbes believes that "the arts not only make for a more stimulating and creative work environment, but they also have a direct impact on the bottom line."

Christopher Forbes consistently demonstrates artful leadership. He serves on the board of several arts nonprofits, including The Brooklyn Museum, The Newark Museum, The Friends of New Jersey State Museum, The New York Academy of Art, The Victorian Society in America, and The Advisory Committee of the Department of European Decorative Arts of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, just to name a few. Forbes also played a major role in the strengthening and development of the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), serving as a member of its board for nearly two decades. Forbes then went on to help develop BCA’s programming to ensure that the business community increased its support of art institutions, organizations, and the presence of art in the workplace.

Under Forbes’s leadership, Forbes, Inc. was a pioneer supporter of BCA's business and arts awards, now known as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America, working to bolster art support from businesses nationwide. As a business leader who has profited from employee and customer loyalty, Forbes believes he has a responsibility to give back to those individuals and their communities by supporting an integral and vital part of society—the arts.

Clarence Otis, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Orlando, FL

"Darden is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we live and work. One of the many ways we do that is through our support of the arts. The sharing of artistic talent and heritage promotes cultural diversity and enhances the American story, serving as an inspiration for current and future generations."

- Clarence Otis, Jr.

Darden is the world's largest full-service restaurant company with annual sales of more than $7 billion. 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; employs approximately 180,000 people; and serves 400 million meals annually. Clarence Otis joined the company in 1995 and was named CEO in 2004.  

Clarence Otis has been inspired by the arts since his childhood. He grew up in Los Angeles near the Watts Towers Arts Center which served as the hub for the Los Angeles black arts movement in the 1970s. The artists, painters, and actors who congregated at the Towers made Otis aware of the diversity of African-American art and culture. As a result of these early experiences, he understands the role the arts can play in encouraging diversity in the workplace and in the community.  

Darden Restaurants believes in supporting the community through grants, food donations, and employee volunteer time. Darden has made a $5 million commitment to help build the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando. The company also provides support to several Central Florida arts organizations as part of its Good Neighbor program: 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.  

Clarence Otis and his wife, Jacqueline Bradley, have assembled a collection of works by black contemporary artists. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College featured art from their collection in 2007.  They are also supporters of the Studio Museum in Harlem and hosted a fundraising event for the Orlando Philharmonic and the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in their home.    

Darden employees generously donate nearly $100,000 annually to United Arts of Central Florida. Through its foundation, Darden matches these funds and makes additional cultural grants to United Arts and more than 20 cultural organizations, making Darden the largest corporate supporter of arts and culture in the region.