In the late 1870s, billionaire oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller, started the famous Rockefeller dynasty. In the 1960s, his grandson, David Rockefeller, created the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA). The BCA was formed as a national nonprofit organization of business leaders committed to demonstrating corporate social responsibility by supporting the arts. Rockefeller, both CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and a leading patron of the arts declared, “we believe that corporations are both community and world citizens – and have social responsibilities reaching far beyond just making a profit.”
Inspired by Rockefeller’s vision, Denver developer John Madden, Jr. brought together a distinguished, forward-thinking group of Colorado business leaders who believed in the importance and value of arts and culture. In 1985, CBCA was formed and the first Executive Director, Vicki Sterling, was hired. Governor Richard Lamm proudly proclaimed 1986 “The year of Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.”
In 2009, the national Business Committee for the Arts merged with Americans for the Arts. Today, there are 8 BCA affiliates across the country.
CBCA celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2010 with an arts-infused luncheon honoring John Madden, Jr. and establishing the annual John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award. CBCA was also awarded the Denver “Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts” in 2010.
In 2011, CBCA’s Executive Director, Deborah Jordy, was named to the national American for the Arts Board of Directors.