Americans for the Arts today announced this year’s BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees. Presented every year by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, the BCA 10 awards recognize 10 U.S. companies, a business leader, and an arts and business partnership for their exceptional commitment to the arts. The awards will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 2, 2018, at a black-tie gala at The Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
This year’s BCA 10 honorees include the companies Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY); Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH); Fosun International Shanghai CN (New York Office); Phillips 66 (Houston, TX); The Standard (Portland, OR); Tierney (Philadelphia, PA); UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO); VF Corporation (Greensboro, NC); West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI); and Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT). This award recognizes U.S. companies that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.
Chandrika Tandon, Grammy-nominated singer and founder and chairperson of Tandon Capital Associates and Soul Chants Music, has been named the 2018 BCA Leadership Award honoree. This award recognizes an individual for their extraordinary vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow their lead.
Square, a payment and financial services company, and Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), a nonprofit on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, will receive the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award, which recognizes both a company and an arts organization for an exceptional project, program, or initiative that represents a true alliance, collaboration, or exchange between the two.
“We are grateful to honor these businesses and individuals for their exceptional involvement in ensuring that the arts thrive in their communities,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “They provide the arts with significant financial and in-kind support, and they incorporate meaningful arts-related programs into their employee, customer, and community relations activities – truly setting a standard for other businesses to follow.”
Americans for the Arts extends special gratitude to the BCA 10 Champion-level sponsors Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Fosun; and Phillips 66; as well as Sustainer-level sponsor VF Corporation.
For more information about BCA 10, please contact Danielle Iwata at (202) 371-2830 or via e-mail at email@example.com
About the Honorees
Chandrika Tandon (New York, NY) – Prior to founding her own financial advisory firm in 1992, Chandrika 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. 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. 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. Tandon serves on the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and at the 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, Tandon has supported more than 30 institutions which work in education, the arts, wellness, and community building. 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.
Square and Cheyenne River Youth Project (Eagle Butte, SD) – Square, Inc., the payment and financial services company led by CEO Jack Dorsey, has been partnering with various organizations that aim to empower the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, Square launched a film series, “For Every Kind of Dream,” which highlighted the stories of small businesses that are working towards success. Thus far, the company has shared four stories: “Yassin Falafel,” “Made in Iowa,” “Sister Hearts,” and “Lakota in America.” The latter focuses on Genevieve Iron Lighting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and her participation in the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), a nonprofit on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation that provide services to its community. By collaborating with filmmakers and organizations such as CRYP, Square is able to share meaningful stories of the dreams of business owners across America. Square is using its platform to not only spread awareness for the arts, but also to foster economic empowerment.
Churchill Downs, Inc. (Louisville, KY) – Churchill Downs Incorporated is a multi U.S.-state company best known for the Churchill Downs Racetrack, the home of the Kentucky Derby. The company prioritizes supporting arts because of their belief that immersion in the arts and opportunities for art education is a primary way to achieve prosperity in both their city and state. Through a collaboration with Fund for the Arts and Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund, Churchill Downs transformed the Opening Night event, which kicks off Derby week, into a celebration of Greater Louisville’s arts community. The company offers subsidized use of their facilities to arts organizations for holding events, campaign kickoffs, and other arts celebrations. Their corporate headquarters features a gallery which showcases locally-produced art on a rotating, quarterly schedule. Employees are given the opportunity to purchase the art at a discounted rate to encourage support of local artists, as well as engage employees in art appreciation. Churchill Downs is the presenting sponsor of the Cultural Pass, which provides free summer access to approximately 40 venues, and expands access to summer learning opportunities for underserved populations. By showcasing artists and working to increase accessibility to the arts, Churchill Downs has become more than a derby for its community.
Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati, OH) – As one of Cincinnati’s largest employers, Fifth Third Bank understands the importance of the arts when it comes to engaging employees. Their connection to local arts fosters a sense of pride in its city. The company incentivizes donations to the arts through endorsed payroll deductions and encourages leadership opportunities for its employees. Last year, 4,213 members of the Cincinnati workforce donated to ArtsWave, with 132 of these donations exceeding $1,500. In partnership with ArtsWave, the Bank has promoted opportunities for employees to engage with the arts through showcases and performances. The Bank has sponsored “Transform Cincinnati,” a book detailing the ArtWorks Mural Program, which is a nonprofit public art initiative, and has also sponsored TIDAL, a hackathon in Cincinnati which brings together minds from the tech, design, and marketing industries to rethink issues in the arts. Over the past 20 years, the Fifth Third Foundation has donated almost $7 million to the arts.
Fosun International Shanghai CN (New York Office) – Fosun International, a Chinese international conglomerate and investment company, believes that the arts are vital to creating vibrant communities in which people want to live and work. 28 Liberty, with its rotating exhibits and year-round cultural offerings, has served as an event space and workspace for many nonprofit arts organizations. For the past six years, Fosun International has partnered with Sing for Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing music to under-resourced New York City public schools, hospitals, and community centers. Each summer, 28 Liberty hosts the Sing for Hope Pianos program, during which pianos are created by teams of artists in a studio space within the building. The finished pianos are then debuted during a massive kick-off event for the public and displayed on the 28 Liberty plaza. At the end of the summer, the pianos are distributed around the city for a period of free play and eventually are sent to their permanent homes in NYC public schools. Year-round cultural programming offers opportunities for Fosun International employees, employees of 28 Liberty tenant businesses, and the Lower Manhattan community to engage with and appreciate the arts. To mark its 20th anniversary, Fosun International founded The Fosun Foundation, which, among other charitable efforts, aims to promote the exchange of Chinese culture abroad.
Phillips 66 (Houston, TX) – Since Phillips 66 debuted in 2012, the company has prioritized the arts as a part of its commitment to enriching the civic life of the communities in which it operates. Phillips 66 has been one of the Houston Symphony’s leading corporate donors for the past four years, by supporting the Houston Symphony Ball and programs such as Film With Live Orchestra performances. The organization is also a presenting sponsor of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre by Stages Repertory Theatre and the Society for the Performing Arts. Internally, Phillips 66 understands the value of the arts and volunteer work when it comes to engaging its own employees. The company encourages their employees to volunteer at various organizations by offering up to two days of company-paid volunteer time. In addition to matching gifts to charities of up to $15,000, the company also donates $500 for every 20 hours an employee spends volunteering. Phillips 66 is also dedicated to increasing youth’s access to the arts. The company and its employees facilitated Camp Adventure!, a collaboration between the Houston Symphony and Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. The company has sponsored field trips to Theatre Under the Stars, a nonprofit musical theatre production company, as well as family-friendly performances by the Houston Grand Opera. In addition, Phillips 66 sponsors Mercury Baroque’s Neighborhood Series, which holds affordable neighborhood concerts throughout Houston.
The Standard (Portland, OR) – The Standard, an insurance company, supports the arts because it believes arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in creating vibrant communities. Since its founding in 1906, the company has understood that the arts provide space for communities to come together to build understanding, appreciation, and empathy for others. The Standard and its employees donated more than $700,000 to arts and cultural organizations last year, which included $200,000 in direct corporate contributions and $167,000 in donations made by employees of The Standard. The company matches all employee contributions 2:1 during the giving campaign. The Standard is an early funder of the Creating Connection initiative, a national movement that seeks to make arts and culture a recognized, valued, and expected part of everyday life. They also sponsored Everybody Reads, a city-wide shared reading experience, during which free copies of a featured novel are available at local libraries and Portlanders are invited to attend books discussions and community events. The company has been a supporter of the Portland Opera for more than 50 years, and partners with its Opera-to-go program, which serves more than 14,000 students each year. In doing so, they provide access to high-quality performances for children across the region, regardless of geographic or economic barriers.
Tierney (Philadelphia, PA) – Having a strong passion for the arts is part of the company culture at Tierney, a communications agency. Tierney’s belief in the power of the arts guides their core philosophy: “Inspire Curiosity.” The agency provides free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, BalletX, and the Barnes Collection, while also actively encouraging staff to explore other cultural offerings in the city. The agency offers an annual mural arts walking tour each spring, and has a dedicated committee of employees, “Team Tierney,” who organize philanthropic events, programs, and campaigns. In 2017, Tierney partnered with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs to redesign the iconic rainbow pride flag. Their new iteration contains black and brown stripes to represent the efforts for greater inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. In 2015, in honor of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia, Tierney designed “Popesicles,” tasty, organic, rainbow-colored frozen treats, and donated all proceeds to The Trevor Project, the national organization providing suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ people under 25. Over the past 20 years, Tierney has raised funds for United Way causes which support the arts, and also boasts 100 percent participation from staff through their annual giving campaign.
UMB Financial Corporation (Kansas City, MO) – UMB Financial Corporation believes that all people can benefit from the power and positivity of the arts. The company recognizes the value of the arts for associates and maintains the highly regarded UMB Corporate Art Collection. New associates learn about the history of the company’s passion for the arts during a New Hire Art Tour on their first day. Associates also have hands-on creative opportunities. Every year, UMB branches, departments, groups, and individual associates transform plain, ceramic piggy banks into creative works of art during the UMB Piggy Bank Parade and Auction, which benefits ArtsKC. The 2017 campaign included more than 40 piggy banks and raised $3,346. UMB also offers qualifying associates two paid volunteer days off annually to invest back into the community, as well as numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Regular email communication is sent to associates promoting local arts activities in Kansas City and throughout its regions.
VF Corporation (Greensboro, NC) – VF Corporation is one the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies. The company takes an active role in supporting arts initiatives in its hometown of Greensboro. As a long-time lead contributor to ArtsGreensboro’s annual community-wide ArtsFund Campaign, they support more than 50 arts organizations, projects, and artist initiatives each year across Guilford County. VF’s senior management is also playing a strategic role in a Greensboro-based, art-focused task force that is spearheading the effort to create Greensboro’s “Cultural Arts Master Plan,” which will serve to advance and support creative life in Greensboro. Several of VF’s brands offer customers the ability to showcase their artistry by crafting custom products while also benefiting local nonprofits. For nine consecutive years, the Vans brand has hosted its Custom Culture arts competition, which supports high school arts programs around the country. Participating schools have the chance to win $75,000 towards art programming, and four runner-up schools can earn $10,000. Since 2012, Vans has partnered with Americans for the Arts to offer Custom Culture Grants to public high schools to support arts education.
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI) – West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s mission is to provide peace of mind to its customers through sound insurance and superior service. In 1995, West Bend Insurance ™ established the West Bend Charitable Trust™, which focuses its grant-making priorities on programs that support the arts, strengthen children and families, protect the environment, and enrich community life. The company supports the arts because of the importance of telling a story, of honoring a legacy, of preserving history, and of bringing people together to create something greater than themselves. In 2011, the company unveiled the Silver Lining Stage at Regner Park, an outdoor performance space in West Bend, Wisconsin. The company also hosts an “Art Among Us” gallery, which exhibits works by associates and their families, and encourages staff to participate in art activities during the annual “August is Art Month” program. Through corporate philanthropy programs, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company raised more than $63,000 for the 50th Anniversary Campaign of the United Performing Arts Fund, and has donated more than $100,000 to local arts organizations.
Zions Bank (Salt Lake City, UT) – Founded in Utah in 1873, Zions Bank began supporting cultural institutions in the 1890s. Among Zions Bank’s guiding principles is a commitment to creating value for the communities it serves, and the company understands that the arts are a way to achieve this goal. Traveling arts and cultural exhibits, often showcasing local artists, are displayed in branch offices. For 20 years, Zions Bank and the Natural History Museum of Utah have partnered to host a rotating exhibit highlighting native artwork and crafts. Zions Bank itself has an extensive collection of more than 3,800 original works by regional artists. Employees engage with the arts through volunteer opportunities and workplace giving, and private banking clients are invited to an exclusive annual art show, which features the work of local artists who are also clients of Zions Bank. The arts also play a key role in Zions Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. The Diversity Business Forums gather at least quarterly, often to experience arts-related programming prior to a networking reception. Zions Bank was a BCA 10 honoree in 2008.
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 55 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.
Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) was founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller. A division of Americans for the Arts, the BCA encourages, inspires, and stimulates businesses to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. BCA merged with Americans for the Arts in 2008.