Save the Date! The 2017 David Rockefeller Lecture will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 18, 2017 in NYC. More details coming soon!


David Rockefeller Lecture

About the Lecture

The David Rockefeller Lecture on arts and business is an annual lecture in New York City featuring prominent business leaders addressing the vital connection between the arts and business. The Lecture is named for David Rockefeller, founder of the Business Committee for the Arts for the Americans for the Arts program and former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Corporation. This ongoing lecture series was created to advance Rockefeller’s belief that the arts are essential to free enterprise and human achievement, and to encourage businesses to form alliances with the arts as an expression of their broader responsibility to their communities.

Americans for the Arts has a core belief that when the arts and businesses partner, everyone profits, and this belief is carried through our programs including the Business Committee for the Arts, pARTnership Movement campaign, and professional development and communications strategies reaching arts and business leaders alike.

2016 Lecture Recap

David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, presented the 2016 David Rockefeller Lecture on May 4 at The TimesCenter in New York City. He was introduced by acclaimed singer Renée Fleming and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Blakely Youth Ensemble performed.

2016 David Rockefeller Lecture Video

Thank you to The Conference Board for providing video services for the event.

Selected Excerpts

Letter from Alexander Hamilton

"When you promote the arts..."

A Call to Business Leaders



2016 Rockefeller Lecture on Arts and Business

See all of the photos from the 2016 David Rockefeller Lecture on the Americans for the Arts Flickr

Lecturer Bio

David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987.  Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $200 billion from 40 offices around the world.  

Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

From 1973-75, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.  From 1975-76 he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.  From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.  After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman).

Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and of Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art and President of the Economic Club of Washington.

Mr. Rubenstein is on the Board of Directors or Trustees of University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.

Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Business Council (Vice-Chairman), Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, the Board of Trustees of the Young Global Leaders Foundation, Advisory Board of School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University (Chairman), the Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.  

Mr. Rubenstein is married to Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, and they have three grown children.

Introducer Bio

Acclaimed singer, Renée Fleming, introduced David Rubenstein. Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, the President awarded her America's highest honor for an individual artist, the National Medal of Arts. Winner of the 2013 Best Classical Vocal Grammy Award, she has sung at major occasions from the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace to the Super Bowl, the first classical artist ever to perform the national anthem there.

Renée sings in the world’s greatest concert halls and opera houses. Her most recent album, Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz: Sonnets, with the Emerson String Quartet, was released last fall. Winner of four Grammy Awards, she has recorded music ranging from opera and lieder to jazz and indie rock. Her memoir The Inner Voice is currently in its 14th paperback printing by Penguin.

Renée has been awarded the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. She serves as Creative Consultant for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and in March was appointed Artistic Advisor At Large for the Kennedy Center.

Performer Bio

As part of the night's entertainment, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra Blakey Ensemble performed for the audience. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s High School Jazz Academy offers tuition-free instrumental jazz instruction to high school students in the tri-state area. Students have the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge with the finest professional training and performance opportunities. During weekly sessions students learn repertoire and performance techniques from a faculty comprised of accomplished jazz musicians as well as members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. In 2016, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra (JLCYO), directed by Vincent Gardner and Blakey Ensemble combo, the two highest level ensembles in the academy, were selected as national finalists for the acclaimed Mingus Competition.