Two Puget Sound Companies Receive National Awards for Long Term Support of The Arts
The Boeing Company, with headquarters in Seattle, and Frank Russell Company of Tacoma, took center stage in New York City Tuesday evening when both companies received prestigious national recognition for their long-standing commitment to the arts.
The 1997 Business in the Arts Awards were presented at a black-tie event held at the New York Historical Society. The awards are sponsored by FORBES magazine and the Business Committee for the Arts, Inc. (BCA), both of New York.
Boeing and Frank Russell Co. each received the top Commitment Award, for large and mid-size companies, respectively. This award recognizes companies that have evidenced leadership and provided outstanding overall support to the arts for 10 years or longer through a variety of philanthropic and business initiatives. Only eight of 11 possible awards were granted this year.
Entertainer Ben Vereen and Heather Watts, a former Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet, presented the awards during BCA's 30th Anniversary Gala in honor of its founder, David Rockefeller. About 350 prominent business and arts leaders from the United States and abroad are expected to attend the event.
Representing Boeing was Ron Woodard, president, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. Woodard is now in his sixth year as chairman of the board of Seattle Symphony.
Accepting the award for Frank Russell Company were George F. Russell Jr., the firm's chairman, and his wife, Jane T. Russell, director of corporate and community relations. The Russells are co-chairs of the Board of Trustees of the future International Glass Museum in Tacoma, slated to open in 2000.
FORBES magazine will run a full-page advertisement in its Nov. 6 edition, naming the winners of the awards and encouraging other firms to invest in the arts.
BCA is a national not-for-profit organization that works with business to develop and advance alliances with the arts. BCA provides business with the services and resources needed to develop strategic alliances with the arts that meet business objectives, foster creativity in the arts and in the workplace and enhance the quality of life throughout the United States and abroad.
Two Other Pacific Northwest Firms Also Honored
Two other firms in the Pacific Northwest were honored for their contributions to the arts. They are The Heathman Hotel, Portland, Ore., which won the Commitment Award in the "small company" category; and BOORA Architects, Inc., Portland, Ore., winner of an Innovation Award, which recognizes companies that have developed ground-breaking partnerships with the arts.
Other 1997 Business in the Arts Award recipients are Eli Broad, chairman and chief executive officer, SunAmerica Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich.; The Great Frame Up Systems, Inc., Franklin Park, Illinois; and TRW Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. For more information about these companies, please contact BCA at (212) 664-0600.
Boeing Continues Its Commitment to The Arts, Sponsors Historic Thomas Moran Exhibit in Washington, D.C.
While the national Business in the Arts Award recognizes Boeing's commitment to the arts over the past 10 years, the company continues to be involved with major arts support in 1997.
Currently, Boeing is sponsor of a retrospective of paintings by Thomas Moran, an American artist whose work in the late 1800's was largely responsible for impressing on government leaders the necessity for preserving public lands in the New West, including Yellowstone National Park.
This exhibit - some 100 of Moran's finest watercolors and oil paintings of the American West of the late 19th century - is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through Jan. 11, 1998. (The exhibit opened in late September.)
The exhibit celebrates the 125th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. According to historian Hiram M. Chittenden, Moran's paintings were presented before a Congressional committee deciding the fate of public lands in the West. The paintings, many of them massive in their scale, were of such beauty that they "convinced everyone who saw them that the region where such wonders existed should be carefully preserved to the people forever," said Chittenden.
Other exhibitions are scheduled in Tulsa, Okla., from Feb. 8 to May 10,1998; and in Seattle, from June 11 through Aug. 30.
Information About Arts Support
A news release sent to national media by the Business Committee for the Arts noted the following about The Boeing Company and Frank Russell Company:
The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company provides general operating and project support to the arts in Seattle, as well as in the Puget Sound region and in its operating communities throughout the United States. The Company established its commitment to the arts in the early 1960's to enhance the quality of life where its employees live and work and to broaden access to the arts. From 1986-1996 (the years detailed in the awards nomination), Boeing grants and in-kind services to the arts totaled nearly $35 million.
Over those years, Boeing made major commitments to many capital campaigns, such as $5 million to the Seattle Symphony for a new concert facility; a $1.4 million grant to A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) to construct two theaters in a historic building in downtown Seattle; $1 million for the downtown Seattle Art Museum; and $500,000 each for facilities for the Seattle Children's Theater and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The Company also provided $1.5 million to the capital campaign of the Exploration Place, Inc. in Wichita; gave $1 million to support the capital campaign of Avenue of the Arts in downtown Philadelphia; and supported many other arts programs of all sizes in areas where Boeing employees live and work.
Boeing also played a key role in supporting Seattle's National Arts Stabilization program, designed to stabilize the financial position of 10 of the city's largest arts organizations. Additionally, the Company has taken a leadership position in supporting and promoting Building for the Arts, an initiative which has secured nearly $25 million in state funds for many arts-related capital projects throughout Washington.
Boeing incorporates the arts into its public relations, marketing and advertising strategies. For example, in 1990, in addition to the $1.5 million Boeing provided to underwrite "Moscow: Treasures and Traditions," an exhibition shown in Seattle and Washington, D.C., the Company allocated another $1.5 million to create promotional materials, events and educational programs for this exhibition.
Boeing employees serve on the boards of cultural organizations throughout the United States, and many provide extensive volunteer services. Employees and retirees are also encouraged to support the arts through the Company's gift matching program.
According to Philip M. Condit, Boeing chairman and chief executive officer, "Boeing, a long-time supporter of the arts, recognizes that the arts have a positive economic impact on our operating communities and are vital to the quality of life in areas where our employees live and work."
Boeing was nominated for the award by the Seattle Symphony.
Frank Russell Company
rank Russell Company began supporting the arts in 1981 to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of its headquarters community, to increase access to and interest in the arts, and to encourage its employees to think creatively and to serve as community volunteers.
Currently, Frank Russell Company is spearheading a campaign to establish the International Glass Museum in Tacoma which will feature works by international glass artists, including Tacoma-native Dale Chihuly. When this 55,000 square foot state-of-the art Museum opens in the summer of 2000, it will include exhibition spaces and facilities where visitors may learn about the art of glassmaking and observe artists at work. The Museum grounds will feature Chihuly's "Bridge of Glass," a 600-foot pedestrian bridge leading from the Museum to the Tacoma waterfront. It will be the largest installation of contemporary glass art in the world. The Chairman of Frank Russell Company, George F. Russell, Jr., and his wife, Jane T. Russell, the company's Director of Corporate and Community Relations, serve as co-chairs of the Museum's Board of Trustees and are leading the effort to raise $42 million to build this Museum. Frank Russell Company also sponsors "Chihuly at Union Station," a permanent exhibition of the artist's work in a Federal Courthouse, formerly a Tacoma railway station.
Frank Russell Company supports many performing arts organizations in Tacoma and provides leadership to revitalize and sustain Tacoma's arts district. Since 1994 the Company has supported Free Thursdays in the Tacoma Art Museum. As a result, Thursday attendance has increased by 31%. To build theater audiences for Tacoma's Pantages Theater and the Tacoma Arts Guild, the Company distributes unsold tickets to employees.
To foster a creative work environment and innovative thinking among its employees, the Frank Russell Company maintains an art collection of works by Northwest artists which is installed throughout its headquarters building. The Company's 1,400 employees 30,000 volunteer hours each year to arts and community organizations in the Tacoma area.
"A thriving arts community means that employees live and work in an environment that is conducive to creative thinking, the critical element for a successful business," said George and Jane Russell.