partnering stronger communities
corporate art enriching communities - social responsibility alive at alcoa despite economic downturn
Alcoa of Australia is donating its $3 million corporate art collection to galleries and health care organisations across the country - the donations coming in the midst of the challenging economic climate when straight financial contributions are not as readily available from struggling businesses.
The multi-million dollar art collection, which has been donated to seven organisations, includes pieces of work by famous Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Jeffrey Smart, Pro Hart, Margaret Olley and Arthur Boyd.
Alcoa’s Managing Director Alan Cransberg said it was during times of economic challenge that we must strive to find new ways to support communities that go beyond the dollar.
“We’ve all got to remember that now, more than ever, our communities need our support - and we recognise that Alcoa has a role to play in that,” he said.
With the benefit of the arts firmly entrenched in Alcoa’s values, the company began collecting pieces back in 1970. Since that time, its private collection has significantly risen in value, with many pieces becoming part of Australian history.
“Our philosophy was that there was little value in having famous pieces of art locked away in our corporate offices, when they could be in public places for the whole community to enjoy for generations to come.
“We have a core value at Alcoa to make access to the arts a reality for everyone, so donating our art is one additional way we can enrich communities,” Mr Cransberg said.
This month, 21 pieces valued at nearly $400,000 were donated to the City of Bunbury Art Collection in Western Australia. The gift will be the largest corporate donation the City of Bunbury has ever received. The donation includes work by Sir Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd.
City of Bunbury Mayor David Smith praised Alcoa’s generosity in making the extraordinary gift to Bunbury at a time of difficulty for everyone.
“This is a truly remarkable gift, as these artworks would normally be well beyond the means of our collection,” the Mayor said.
“Alcoa’s generosity means that works of art by some of Australia’s most important artists will be available for visitors and our community to enjoy, and help with the continuing development of the City of Bunbury Art Collection into one of the most significant in regional Australia.”
Also this month, the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre benefited from a prized piece of work, valued at $90,000, by well-known Australian artist Margaret Olley. This is displayed in the newly named Alcoa Mandurah Art Gallery.
The final pieces in the Alcoa art collection will reside in the Melbourne Royal Women’s Hospital and the Geelong Gallery in Victoria. The pieces include works by Pro Hart, Arthur Boyd, Ray Crooke and Sir Sidney Nolan and are valued collectively at nearly $400,000.
36 artworks are currently hanging in Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) following the donation from Alcoa late last year. The works donated included four pieces by well-known WA artists Elizabeth Durack and William Boissevain, valued at around $75,000.
SCGH Art Curator, Joanna Wakefield, said research into the benefits of art in hospitals was ongoing, but it was fair to say that any images which improved emotional well-being during often difficult and stressful times could only have positive effects.
“It is through the generosity of corporations such as Alcoa and private individuals that the Hospital’s collection has swelled to almost 700 artworks - the display of which calms, lifts mood and inspires patients and staff alike,” she said.
Alcoa’s art giving began in 2002 and 2005 donating to the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery.
“This gesture, which I believe will leave a lasting impact on our communities, has been made at no cost to our business, which is obviously a consideration in these challenging times.
“I encourage everyone, from individuals to corporates, to look around their own backyards to see how they can help.
“While we have many community partnerships which have traditionally received financial contributions, we also have active employee volunteering programs where it is our time that is offered to not-for-profit organisations – and time is something anyone can give,” Mr Cransberg said.
arts for everyone
Alcoa has an extensive arts partnership portfolio which includes support of the Perth International Arts Festival (currently underway), the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe and Bondi.
Through our partnership with Sculpture by the Sea, we have also acquired several aluminium sculptures, with many gifted to our communities.
In 2006, Alcoa donated ‘The Spirit of the Albatross’ by renowned Australian sculptor Ron Gomboc to the City of Portland, while in 2008, the Town of Kwinana accepted the sculpture ‘time frame’ by WA artist Derek Roach which is permanently displayed out the front of the Town’s offices for the whole community to enjoy.
portland aluminium, alcoa and the winda mara aboriginal corporation
Alcoa of Australia has many long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities across the country. We are committed to developing sustainable relationships to ensure positive outcomes with lasting impact. Alcoa has a number of key partnerships which have been developed over many years - the Winda Mara partnership in Victoria is one example.
Over many thousands of years, Gunditjmara people developed a settled society in the far south west of Victoria. They enhanced their society by engineering a traditional eel aquaculture system at Lake Condah and along the Mt Eccles lava flow and wetlands. The Gunditjmara society proved to be unique in Aboriginal Australia.
The Lake Condah Sustainable Development Project (LCSDP) was launched in 2002 as an initiative of the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation. The project’s major goal is to develop the Lake Condah landscape as a major heritage park and provide an impetus of sustainable development for the district over a 25 year period.
Using the principles of sustainable development, the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation has engaged with neighbouring landholders, local, State and federal governments (including the Glenelg Shire), environment and heritage groups, and industry and education institutions to develop and implement the LCSDP Master Plan.
Contributions from Portland Aluminium, the Alcoa Foundation, the Indigenous Land Corporation and the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority have assisted with support for the project which is run by a designated project management team, based in Heywood, Victoria.
Having achieved National Heritage recognition in 2006, and the return of the lake to the indigenous people from the Victorian Government in 2008, the LCSDP now focuses on the restoration of Lake Condah (by the end of 2008), gaining World Heritage recognition for the natural and cultural values of the Lake Condah/Tyrendarra area, and the development of a local learning and knowledge centre (by end 2011) will create the building blocks for the envisaged benefits for the far south west Victorian indigenous and non-indigenous communities.
The ongoing commitment of Portland Aluminium (both financially and in-kind), and the Alcoa Foundation provides a critical independence for the LCSDP.
The strategic use of the financial contribution has greatly enhanced the relationships, capacities and mutual understandings between the LCSDP partners and participants.
Due to this core strength, the LCSDP has attracted approximately $6.5M of direct government investment to its goals, activities and achievement since 2002.
As it continues to reach the goals outlined in the Master Plan, the LCSDP will provide ongoing prosperity and employment for people living in the far south west of Victoria while ensuring the high value of the cultural and historic heritage and the environment’s biodiversity.
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