On October 5 Mary Bensel, the Van Wezel’s Executive Director, will be in attendance at a Black Tie Gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.  She will attend not to receive an award but to join in honoring one of Sarasota’s leading supporters of the arts.  This celebration, presented by the Business Committee for the Arts, a division of Americans for the Arts, will honor Wilde Lexus of Sarasota as one of the 10 best companies for supporting the arts in the United States. 

Every year the Americans for the Arts through the BCA recognizes ten US Companies for “their exceptional commitment to the Arts.” This award from the largest advocacy group for the arts in the United States will be accepted by Wade Tucker of the Wilde Automotive Group. Wilde Lexus was originally nominated for this award by Mar Bensel of the Van Wezel as a way to recognize its many years of loyal support to the Performing Arts Hall.  The 2011 BCA 10 Honorees are:

  • 3M, St. Paul, MN
  • Aetna, Hartford, CT
  • Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA
  • Corporate Office Properties Trust, Columbia, MD
  • Macy’s, Cincinnati, OH
  • Printing Partners, Indianapolis, IN
  • Publicity Works, Bowmansville, PA
  • Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL

The Americans for the Arts through the BCA chose Wilde Lexus from among a group of the nation’s top companies for its support of the arts in the Sarasota community and for its many years partnering with the Van Wezel as sponsors of their Broadway Series and  their support of the Hall’s acclaimed programs that introduce public school students to the world’s great thinkers,  performers and artists. On October 24,  Mary will also represent the Van Wezel  at the annual arts awards night sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Sarasota.  During the program she will represent the BCA award and also honor the members of the Wilde Automotive Family for their donation of over three million dollars to the Arts in Sarasota since they opened their doors 20 years ago.  The award also recognizes Wilde’s recognition of the importance of their financial support of the arts not only because of the Arts combined financial contribution as Sarasota’s fifth largest industry but also because of the contribution of the Arts to the very character of our community. 

The Business Committee for the Arts recognizes and supports this private sector support of the arts organizations from individuals, businesses and foundations.   This support has become more critical than ever due to the diminishing support given by the government sector.  In these uncertain economic times, it has become necessary to turn to the business leaders of our communities to invest in the Arts.  It’s an investment that improves the quality of life for all and advances a company’s visibility and brand awareness,  improves employee morale in addition to its economic benefits to the entire community.  They recognize that in the new global economic landscape real value and competitive advantage will be created by workers who drive creativity and innovation fueled by the Arts in their lives and in their children’s education.

As the Business Corporation for the Arts founder, David Rockfeller, stated at its founding in 1967 “We will work to ensure that the Arts will flourish in America by encouraging, inspiring and stimulating businesses to support the Arts in the workplace, in education and in the community.  These companies will set the standard of excellence for all others to follow”.