Image by Kokoro Photography

For many financial institutions, the days of a personalized, community-based presence faded with the growth of online banking, but for U.S. Bank, being integrated into each community it works in and knowing who they’re serving is as important as ever. That’s particularly true in Colorado, where the bank has invested heavily with a range of nonprofits, including arts and culture organizations like CBCA.

The company, which is a Patron sponsor of the organization, is focused on more than just putting financial resources to work for the community; it encourages its employees to be active members and volunteers in their own neighborhoods. Nationally, U.S. Bank offers all employees up to 16 hours of paid time-off annually to volunteer in their community. “We take advantage of that in Denver. Last year, 539 employees volunteered nearly 9,200 hours for local nonprofit groups,” said Hassan Salem, President of U.S. Bank Colorado.

Many of those employees are also engaged with the arts. The company won a BCA10 award in 2015 from the Americans for the Arts. The recognition honors 10 companies nationally for their exceptional commitment to the arts.  And Colorado has served as a shining of example of that dedication. Employees in the state regularly participate in CBCA programs like Night At… and Leadership Arts. Colorado’s U.S. Bank leadership is invested in the area’s future nonprofit leaders and board members. “We encourage our employees to apply for the Leadership Arts program. We want to be building a pipeline for the future,” said Chris Ross, Vice President of Commercial Banking Relationship Manager, and a CBCA board member who graduated from Leadership Arts in 2015.

“I had served on boards for a number of years before I took Leadership Arts, and I really gleaned a lot of beneficial information that I was able to take back to my board experiences,” he said. “It’s invigorating to know an organization like CBCA is building toward the next generation and doing so with both business and arts professionals.”

In addition to encouraging a new group of volunteers and leaders, U.S. Bank is interested in elevating the economic impact of the arts and increasing the focus on the intersection between the two realms. The U.S. Bank Foundation has been a key partner for CBCA in this regard, and it has supported the Economic Activity Study since 2000.

“We believe that arts and culture are important for their economic contributions and their cultural enhancement,” said Ross. “I’m super excited about our partnership, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other kinds of partnerships and programs we can create across the state. CBCA is elevating what they’re doing and pushing forward with a new vision to see how we can have a greater impact.”