Americans for the Arts names top corporate givers

Posted on: October 21, 2010

Wednesday (10/20) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, David Ng writes, “Corporate philanthropy has long been a means of soul-cleansing for American businesses. For arts institutions, corporate donations are a lifeblood without which many would cease to exist. The awkward symbiosis is for the most part unique to the U.S. cultural scene—the result of shriveled government funding for the arts and spiraling costs. Americans for the Arts has released its annual top-10 list of companies that support the arts. Among the honorees this year are two big energy companies, a few utility companies and a healthcare insurance organization. One of this year’s honorees is Conoco Phillips, the oil giant based in Houston. The company donated an impressive $3 million for cultural causes in 2009, according to Americans for the Arts. (To put it in perspective, the amount represents less than one-half of 1% of the company’s profits for the year.) Conoco Phillips provides major support to the Houston Grand Opera, the Oklahoma Art Institute, the Houston Symphony and other organizations. … Another firm making the list this year is Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. The health insurance company has donated more than $4.7 million to South Carolina arts organizations since 2004, said Americans for the Arts.”

Posted October 21, 2010