Christopher Forbes to Receive Leadership Award and Kohler Co. to be Inducted into BCA Hall of Fame

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Catherine Brandt

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, today announced those companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2011. In addition, Christopher Forbes, vice chairman of Forbes, Inc. will receive the 2011 BCA Leadership Award, and Kohler Co. will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. The BCA 10 Awards, BCA Leadership Award and BCA Hall of Fame Award will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 5, 2011, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.

Every year, Americans for the Arts, through the BCA, recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership. The 2011 BCA 10 honorees are:

  • 3M, St. Paul, MN
  • Aetna, Hartford, CT
  • Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA
  • Corporate Office Properties Trust, Columbia, MD
  • Macy’s, Cincinnati, OH
  • Printing Partners, Indianapolis, IN
  • Publicity Works, Bowmansville, PA
  • Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL

“Business support for the arts is a critical piece of the arts funding equation in the United States, and Americans for the Arts is proud to honor those businesses that recognize the value the arts bring not only to their workplace but also their community,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “By demonstrating their commitment to the arts through financial and in-kind support, these business leaders not only lead by example and set a standard of arts support for other companies to follow, but also bring the arts into lives of millions of people, further enriching and improving the quality of life for their workers and their communities.”

“These businesses have demonstrated an unwavering dedication to supporting the arts through financial and in-kind support, innovative partnerships and community involvement,” said Joseph C. Dilg, chairman, BCA executive board and managing partner Vinson & Elkins LLP. “Because of their enduring support for the arts, citizens across the country have access to the arts through education, exhibitions and performances.”

Christopher Forbes, BCA Leadership Award Recipient
The Leadership Award was established by BCA in 1993 to recognize individuals whose vision, commitment and leadership champion the arts. This year’s recipient, Christopher Forbes, vice chairman of Forbes Inc., believes he has a responsibility to give back to those individuals and their communities by supporting the arts and consistently demonstrates artful leadership.
He played a major role in strengthening and developing the BCA by serving as a member of its board for nearly two decades. In addition, he helped 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. He also serves on the board of several arts nonprofits, including The Brooklyn Museum, The New York Academy of Art and The Victorian Society in America.

Kohler Co., BCA Hall of Fame Inductee
Established in 1992, the BCA Hall of Fame recognizes companies that demonstrate exceptional long-term support to the arts. This year’s honoree, Kohler Co., firmly believes that its stewardship for the arts is a catalyst for positive change, a way of enhancing the quality of life for current and future generations. The company’s support of the arts stems from the craftsmanship and artistic innovation that characterize the company's plumbing products as "functional art," used daily by people in their homes. Kohler associates find a way to give back to their communities by combining the arts with the workplace, people, the environment and communities.

2011 BCA Ten Honorees

3M, St. Paul, MN
3M believes that the arts and cultural programming, especially programs with strong educational outreach, help improve the quality of life in communities. The corporation strives to promote creative expression and artistic, cultural diversity by supporting arts organizations
that enrich society through educational and community outreach. In 2009, 3M gave $3.39 million in cash and $140,000 in in-kind gifts to the arts. A strong supporter of several museums, last year 3M donated $1.1 million in cash, products and grants to museums, including: the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville, S.C. and the Museum of African Art.

Aetna, Hartford, CT
Aetna has a long tradition of giving and fostering community support to the arts. Since 2006, Aetna has contributed more than $4.9 million to arts programs nationwide, sponsoring dozens of major exhibitions and performances. From fine arts to performing arts, Aetna has enabled arts organizations to believe, grow and inspire. Headquartered in Hartford, Aetna has directed more than 70% of its arts funding toward Connecticut cultural institutions, supporting 257 programs, events and activities. Aetna is one of the founding funders of the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC), having been a leader and core supporter since GHAC was established in 1971.

Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX
Baker Botts strives to be a good corporate citizen, helping arts organizations thrive and providing opportunities for its employees and clients to increase their exposure to all forms of art. Baker Boots believes that supporting these organizations brings valuable perspectives, experiences and talents to the firm which allows it to be more creative, effective and ultimately successful in the practice of law. Baker Botts provides financial contributions and extensive pro bono legal services to hundreds of arts organizations, many of which also have an attorney on the board, including: Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, Alley Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and Rice University.
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA
For the past 90 years, Booz Allen Hamilton has donated millions of dollars to and volunteered thousands of hours for arts nonprofits and programs, including nearly 40 organizations in the previous fiscal year alone. Booz Allen is actively involved in the goals of arts nonprofits by providing financial contributions as well as pro bono consulting and ad and marketing support. For an exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Rockwell exhibit, members of the firm’s communications team worked tirelessly with the museum staff to develop a full-scale, Booz Allen funded, advertising campaign. The Smithsonian reported that, thanks to Booz Allen’s support, there was a 52% increase in attendance over the same period during the following year.

Corporate Office Properties Trust, Columbia, MD
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) takes pride in commissioning artworks that make its communities more aesthetically pleasing places to live. COPT collaborates with artists to commission or purchase original artworks and has placed more than 600 pieces, including
sculptures, paintings, tapestries and photographs, in its buildings across five states. By commissioning and purchasing art pieces, both outdoors for its business parks and indoors for its buildings, COPT creates environments that foster an ongoing appreciation for the arts. COPT began supporting the arts in 1995, with its total contributions approaching $5 million.

Macy’s, Cincinnati, OH
Strongly rooted in the local communities of each of its 850 stores, Macy’s, Inc. recognizes that putting a strong emphasis on the arts creates a vibrant and energetic society. Macy’s works hard to make a difference in each community nationwide – supporting arts organizations and programs in hundreds of cities in every region of the US. Macy’s largest type of support to arts organizations is in the form of direct cash contributions, totaling nearly $50 million since 1993. In 2010, approximately $4.8 million or more than 22% of its philanthropic contributions went to arts nonprofits.

Printing Partners, Indianapolis, IN
Printing Partners, Inc. has a strong commitment to the arts—from its in-kind gifts and employee involvement programs, to its monetary donations which totaled more than $200,000 to several arts organizations in 2010. In 2004, Printing Partners formalized its arts support with the creation of Partners Grants. Printing Partners gives these grants to clients who can use the money for any marketing or development program. Since the program’s inception, Printing Partners has contributed more than $2.5 million to arts and other not-for-profit organizations.

Publicity Works, Bowmansville, PA
Firmly believing in the benefits of arts education and programs, Publicity Works focuses on creating an arts-friendly workplace and donating time and services to foster arts programs in its community. Publicity Works supports the arts through a variety of ways: providing complimentary Music Therapy services to hospices, advocating local youth arts programs and incorporating arts media and events into proposals for clients.

Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Since its opening nearly four decades ago, Walt Disney World Resort has continued to honor the spirit of corporate citizenship by giving back to the local arts community. Disney uses a multi-faceted approach in supporting arts – giving millions in cash donations, in-kind products and the knowledge and expertise of its Cast Members – to make the most meaningful impact. Among these contributions is a $12.5 million capital investment in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Disney’s largest gift to a Central Florida arts organization. In 2010, the Walt Disney World Resort gave more than $565,000 to the local arts community, including Disney Helping Kids Shine grants to support local youth arts programs.

Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL
Community involvement with the arts is a vital part of The Wilde Automotive Family’s core values and mission. Wilde is located in Sarasota County, a community known for its wealth of cultural amenities, organizations, initiatives and events. The company recognizes the importance of the arts to the economy and character of Sarasota, and bolsters its community by maintaining substantial partnerships with arts and cultural organizations throughout the year. As an active member of Sarasota County, Wilde Automotive Family has donated approximately $3 million to the arts since it opened its doors more than 20 years ago.

The Media Sponsor of The BCA 10 is USA Today and the Sustaining Sponsor is Kohler Co. The leadership supporters are Baker Botts L.L.P., Martha and Bronson Ingram Foundation, Vinson & Elkins LLP and Walt Disney World Resort.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 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