Bloomberg 35: Broadening perspectives by shaping talent and communities with arts and culture
Since our earliest days, our founder Mike Bloomberg has been committed to celebrating and supporting creativity and innovation, and Bloomberg LP has always valued the powerful impact the arts can have on cities and individuals. Through Mike’s board leadership and support for cultural organizations around the world, Bloomberg has helped these institutions to strengthen communities, drive economic growth and serve a vital role in education.
As our company has continued to grow, we’ve continued to strengthen our cultural support and in turn have been able to provide unique experiences and cultural access for our employees, community and clients.
Through Bloomberg Philanthropies, our global cultural partnerships advance creativity, innovation, access and new technologies in the arts. In this Bloomberg 35 post, we highlight some of our key cultural partners and their programs that leverage art to educate the next generation of creative leaders.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) was founded in 1935 and was the first museum on the U.S. West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. SFMOMA is guided by an enduring commitment to fostering creativity and embracing new ways of seeing the world.
SFMOMA is a part of Bloomberg Connects, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative that develops digital programs, currently at 16 cultural institutions around the world, to expand access to arts and culture through technology.
In 2016, the newly expanded SFMOMA transformed its digital program, moving mobile technology to the forefront of its engagement strategy. The SFMOMA App was developed with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and in partnership with local San Francisco tech company, Detour. The immersive app guides visitors through the galleries with audio reflections by notable narrators.
Before SFMOMA re-opened in May 2016, employees in our San Francisco offices visited the museum, while still under construction, to test the SFMOMA App and provide feedback to the museum’s digital team on the content and app functionality. Bloomberg employees from sales, engineering and news tested app features such as on-demand audio triggered by location position and social listening that syncs audio amongst friends and family while touring the museum.
SFMOMA connects with audiences through accessible, interactive experiences that break down the boundaries between art, entertainment and learning. Bloomberg has supported SFMOMA since 1999.
Championing new ideas in contemporary art since it opened in 1970, the Serpentine Galleries has presented pioneering exhibitions of more than 2,250 artists over 47 years, showing a wide range of work from emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognized artists and architects of our time. The Serpentine is comprised of two exhibition spaces – the Serpentine Gallery and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery – situated five minutes’ walk apart on either side of The Serpentine Bridge in Kensington Gardens.
Each summer, a leading architect is commissioned to design a Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery lawn, an architectural open space that invites people to congregate and experience architecture first hand. Inspired by the Pavilion, the Serpentine, in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been running the Build Your Own Pavilion Challenge, now in its third year.
This nationwide campaign and digital platform invites young people aged 8-16 to think creatively about their communities and consider the relationship between architecture and public space in the cities they would like to live in. Through a series of workshops across the UK, they go through the process of designing their own Pavilions, using design skills, tools and technologies such as sketching, model making, 3D computer-aided drafting (CAD) software and 3D Printing. The platform also hosts a series of online digital tools for teachers and children to use in the classroom.
Since 1998, Bloomberg has supported numerous exhibitions, educational and public access programs at the Serpentine Galleries and most recently its digital engagement program through Bloomberg Connects. In addition, Mike Bloomberg has served as a trustee and became chairman of the Serpentine in 2014.
We support the Serpentine Galleries because of their ambitious artistic programming – which 1.2 million visitors enjoy a year for free – but also their commitment to expanding its reach through education, public and digital programs to ensure the community can access everything the Serpentine has to offer.
The Roundhouse is a leading performing arts venue with a rich history in London’s creative community dating back to the 1960s. Young people are at the heart of everything that the Roundhouse does and stands for. By giving young people the chance to engage with the arts, the Roundhouse inspires the next generation to reach further, dream bigger and achieve more.
Bloomberg has supported the Roundhouse since 2003 and is one of the institution’s longest standing partners. In 2006, Bloomberg supported the Roundhouse’s redevelopment to become a hub for artists and nascent talent to experience the transformational power of creativity.
Today, the Roundhouse and Bloomberg work together to develop opportunities for young people interested in broadcast media careers to gain key industry skills. As a company with a global media division, we created the Bloomberg Studios to give young people access to advanced filming and editing facilities inside the Roundhouse. In addition, Bloomberg employees provide assistance and expertise in developing and implementing the Bloomberg Broadcast Programme to offer a variety of live TV, broadcast and post production trainings – including a free fast-track vocational skills-based course in broadcasting for 16-25 year old NEETs (not in employment, education or training).
Along with educational programs, we sponsor Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse, the annual season dedicated to introducing new audiences to innovative culture. Employees have volunteered to help construct exhibits, such as Ron Arad’s Curtain Call installation in 2016.
Singapore Repertory Theatre
Founded in 1993, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) is the largest local theatre producer in the non-profit sector and has become one of the leading theater companies in Asia, reaching over 125,000 people annually. Its productions include staging Asia’s largest Shakespeare in the Park performance and a variety of plays for younger audiences, such as Red Riding Hood and Charlotte’s Web.
Bloomberg has supported SRT productions and programs since 2010. And in 2015, we coupled our support for SRT’s emerging playwright training program with an accessibility program offering young Singaporeans affordable front row theatre tickets for all shows. Furthermore, to help young people develop a deeper, ongoing relationship with SRT we extended additional opportunities for them to interact with the theatre, through invitations to special events, backstage tours and educational workshops.
Through partnerships such as these, the Bloomberg Philanthropies arts program helps to increase access to and strengthen arts organizations. Bloomberg harnesses these partnerships to provide employees and their family special access to events and opportunities to experience arts and culture at more than 604 organizations around the world.
As part of our broader community engagement program, we often collaborate with our clients through philanthropic initiatives with our arts and charity partners, such as coaching small businesses and building playgrounds for children in need.
Read more about our commitment in making the arts accessible and as a platform for conversation through the FOCUS Photography Festival in Mumbai.