Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today announces this year’s BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees. Presented every year by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), the BCA 10 Awards honor U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts.
This year’s honorees are Austin Energy (Austin, TX); Badger Meter (Milwaukee, WI); CopperPoint Insurance Companies (Phoenix, AZ); Dealer.com (Burlington, VT); Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE); Dunlap Codding (Oklahoma City, OK); Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ); M Powered Strategies Inc. (Washington, DC); Northern Trust (Chicago, IL); and Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati, OH).
In addition, Robert Buchsbaum, Chief Executive Officer of Blick Art Materials (Highland Park, IL), has been named the 2016 BCA Leadership Award honoree. This award recognizes an individual for his/her extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow his/her lead.
Aetna Inc. (Hartford, CT) has been named the 2016 BCA Hall of Fame inductee, which recognizes a company that has exhibited exceptional long-term vision, leadership, and commitment to developing alliances with the arts.
The BCA 10 Awards, BCA Leadership Award, and BCA Hall of Fame Award will be presented during National Arts & Humanities Month
at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City on October 5, 2016.
“Each year, the BCA 10 honorees set the standard for other businesses by upholding the arts as an integral part of office culture, the community, and the economy, enriching the lives of millions,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Through financial and in-kind support, employees’ volunteer hours, and workplace arts initiatives, these businesses ensure arts access for current and future generations and serve as successful and inspiring models of business arts support.”
This year’s BCA 10 Award judges were Theo Edmonds, co-founder of IDEAS xLab and member of Americans for the Arts; Floyd W. Green III, vice president and head of community relations and urban marketing at Aetna Inc. and member of Americans for the Arts; Martha Linsner, president of Trust Company of Kansas; Mary Simmons, vice president of business development and community strategy at NV Energy; and Elizabeth Rouse, president and CEO of ArtsMemphis and member of Americans for the Arts. The BCA Leadership Award and Hall of Fame Award recipients are selected by the BCA Executive Board.
About Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education 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 www.AmericansForTheArts.org
About the Honorees
BCA Leadership Award – Robert Buchsbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Blick Art Materials (Highland Park, IL)
Buchsbaum joined Blick in 1996 and successfully restructured the company, helping turn Blick into the nation’s premier art supply source. In 2013, Blick absorbed Utrecht Art Supplies and now 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. With his forward-thinking, innovative spirit and an exceptional understanding of the necessity of the arts, Buchsbaum led initiatives over the past 15 years to make annual contributions of at least $475,000 to programs that support the arts and arts education. Additionally, under Buchsbaum’s leadership, Blick has partnered with the National Art Education Association, the Arts Action Fund, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He is a board member of the National Art Materials Trade Association and Marwen, a non-profit dedicated to educating and inspiring under-served young people through the visual arts. Buchsbaum is a member of Americans for the Arts.
BCA Hall of Fame Award – Aetna Inc. (Hartford, CT)
Aetna promotes healthy, happy communities through a long tradition of arts support, promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships, and funding initiatives that improve the quality of life for its customers and employees. Aetna provides grant support to many arts institutions, such as the Hartford Stage New Voices, of which Aetna is the sole funder and in 2011, donated $1.275 million to support the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project. The company hosts employee art shows and talent shows, and has an employee jazz band which has performed at the BCA 10 gala. Aetna is also a champion of arts education, participating in an extensive network of programs to give children access to the arts. Aetna was recognized as a 2011 BCA 10 honoree.
Austin Energy (Austin, TX) – Austin Energy supports the arts and culture of Austin by providing $9 million annually to the city’s Economic Development Department, as well as annual corporate sponsorships to the Long Center for the Performing Arts and Ballet Austin. Beyond corporate giving, Austin Energy encourages its employees to regularly participate in the City of Austin’s National Arts Program Foundation arts contest, and celebrates employee involvement with the arts in utility publications. Recently, Austin Energy partnered with Forklift Danceworks, two award-winning choreographers, and the Austin Symphony to produce PowerUP, a free performance featuring more than 60 linemen, electrical technicians, and Austin Energy employees for an engaging live performance. Austin Energy was nominated for the BCA 10 by Forklift Danceworks.
Badger Meter (Milwaukee, WI) – Badger Meter improves its community by supporting the arts, as evidenced by the iconic Edmund Lewandowski sculpture and artwork in the reception area of its headquarters. Employees frequently contribute generous amounts of time and financial support to arts-causes such as local theaters, symphonies, and museums. Furthermore, the company’s CEO has served on the United Performing Arts Fund since 2004 and has been a recognized champion of arts education. Last year, Badger Meter employees wrote and participated in a concert featuring orchestration of pouring water and percussion using glass bottles and bronze water meter bodies. Badger Meter was nominated for the BCA 10 by Wisconsin Arts Board.
CopperPoint Insurance Companies (Phoenix, AZ) – Since 2002, CopperPoint Insurance has sponsored Phoenix’s artistic community. CopperPoint is currently the exclusive sponsor for Ballet Arizona’s Nutcracker production, the presenting Sponsor for Arizona Opera, and a major sponsor of Act One, a nonprofit that provides field trips for Title One schools to arts organizations. Employees are highly encouraged to get involved with the arts, whether it is through the company’s annual volunteer fair featuring many arts organizations or by creating music like the CopperPoints rock band, comprised of four employees who perform at schools and company events. CopperPoint Insurance was nominated for the BCA 10 by Arizona Citizens for the Arts.
Dealer.com (Burlington, VT) – To find Dealer.com’s commitment to the arts, just start in their offices, which have eight rotating art walls that feature different local artists every three months. Since 2013, the walls have displayed 50 artists and facilitated more than $166,000 in sales directly to artists. In the community, Dealer.com supports major arts-causes like arts education with the organization King Street Center Kids and is the lead sponsor of Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival, SEABA’s Art Hop, and BCA Festival of Fools. Additionally, Dealer.com has an employee-curated phot wall in its office and has commissioned several major art pieces from local artists. Dealer.com was nominated for the BCA 10 by South End Arts & Business Association.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE) – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has been a strong supporter of the arts, dedicating $75,000 of its budget solely to the arts through its “Beer and Benevolence” department. Dogfish consistently commissions local artists to create beer labels and decorations, and has worked with various musicians such as Pearl Jam and the estate of Miles Davis to create collaborative beers. The company has also supported the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival for all 18 years of its existence, and has partnered with cinemas and art leagues for many years. Dogfish’s pub has hosted live local and national bands every Friday and Saturday night since 1995. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was nominated for the BCA 10 by Delaware Division of the Arts.
Dunlap Codding (Oklahoma City, OK) – Dunlap Codding is a key figure of the arts in Oklahoma City, and has hosted and facilitated more than 150 arts programs and has donated about $100,000 in direct support to arts organizations since 2013. Aside from the construction of a large outdoor gathering place that is available for arts groups free of charge, Dunlap also sponsors film festivals and concerts. Company offices feature a rotating collection of art by local artists, and employees are regularly provided tickets to community arts events. Access to master painting, weaving, and pottery classes are even available for employees during the work day. Dunlap Codding was nominated for the BCA 10 by Hazelton Marketing & Management.
Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ) – Johnson & Johnson is an established champion of the arts through its innovative sponsorship programs and leadership. For more than 30 years, its Corporate Art Program has engaged employees with a corporate art collection of 3,000 works. In New Brunswick, the company supports key cultural institutions such as theaters and cultural centers. These efforts also include important arts education efforts such as advocating for integrated dance instruction in schools and co-developing pilots for autism-friendly theater. Notably, Johnson & Johnson serves on the steering committee which created the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, and has partnered with institutions for veterans health. Johnson & Johnson was nominated for the BCA 10 by ArtPride New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson is a member of Americans for the Arts.
M Powered Strategies Inc. (Washington, DC) – M Powered Strategies prioritizes the arts in engaging employees and the community. The DC-based consulting firm has been a corporate sponsor for DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company since 2008, and is the theater’s first and only “Accessibility Sponsor,” proving more than $140,000 for hearing-impaired device maintenance and American Sign Language interpreted performances to promote accessibility to the performing arts. M Powered Strategies also proudly offers its full-time staff with frequent tickets to the Shakespeare Theatre Company and has recently announced plans to send its consultants to improv classes to develop facilitation techniques. M Powered Strategies was nominated for the BCA 10 by Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Northern Trust (Chicago, IL) – Since 1990, Northern Trust has donated more than $55 million to 1,500 arts organizations and has extensive partnerships with museums, orchestras, theaters, and many more. Northern Trust is the lead sponsor for EXPO Chicago as well as the Broadway hit "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." The corporation also has sponsored exhibitions and arts scholarships, and contributed to major capital campaigns to build new theaters, studios, and performance spaces. Employees are engaged through the arts through company holiday choirs and bands that play at many events all around Chicago. Northern Trust also provides company experts to arts organizations for pro bono services on a regular basis. Northern Trust was nominated for the BCA 10 by Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati, OH) – Procter & Gamble has contributed enormously to the Cincinnati arts community, commissioning major pieces of public artwork, investing a quarter-million dollars annually into programs that bring the arts into underserved schools across the region, and, in the last ten years alone, donating $20.9 million to ArtsWave. Employees also regularly provide pro bono support to arts organizations, and P&G executives serve on a variety of arts organizations’ boards across the Greater Cincinnati area. The annual event CincySings, started by P&G, engages thousands of company employees and employees from other businesses to express their creativity and talent for a fundraiser. Procter & Gamble was nominated for the BCA 10 by ArtsWave.
Inga Vitols, Press and Media Relations Manager
Americans for the Arts