FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2005
NELSON-ATKINS BUSINESS COUNCIL MARKS 20 YEARS
Outlet for corporate philanthropy transmits wider interest in art within area businesses
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Nelson-Atkins Museum
of Art Business Council as a leader in corporate philanthropy in the Kansas City community.
Dedicated to the idea that world-class cultural institutions have a positive economic impact
on Kansas City as a whole, the Business Council has contributed financial resources and
business acumen to the Nelson-Atkins since 1985. In two decades, Business Council
memberships have developed into long-term commitments that help the Museum sustain its
program and services, including special-exhibition sponsorships and corporate grant
Business Council support has ranged from leading a division of the capital campaign that
raised more than $200 million toward Museum expansion and endowment to providing pro
bono services such as marketing activities that promote an active partnership between the
Museum and the community.
Cumulative Business Council gifts to the Nelson-Atkins top $10 million, and business
support for the Museum is on the rise. Corporate giving last year increased nearly $200,000
from the year before.
According to outgoing Business Council Chairman G. Kenneth Baum, Chairman of George
K. Baum Group Inc., “The underlying reason for businesses to be involved with the Nelson-
Atkins is that arts institutions are a catalyst for business prosperity.
“The existence of the Nelson-Atkins and what it offers to the community is a very important
recruiting tool for corporations in bringing employees to Kansas City.”
After six years, Baum this fall passed the chairmanship to Bob Bernstein, President and
CEO of Bernstein-Rein Advertising Inc., and Bill Nelson, Chairman of George K. Baum
Asset Management, who will lead jointly in 2006.
As the vitality of Kansas City’s arts scene gains wider notice, representatives of more than
115 area companies in the Business Council add momentum to the cultural core by
supporting the Nelson-Atkins.
Many employees of Business Council members take advantage of members’ initiation into
what’s happening at the Museum in this time of rapid transformation. Construction on a
165,000-square-foot expansion by acclaimed architect Steven Holl is progressing toward a
spring 2007 public opening.
The Business Council welcomes members from large corporations to small businesses.
Current membership draws from firms across the metropolitan area, and extends to
committed individuals who have sold their companies or retired.
Full information on the benefits of Business Council membership is available by clicking on
“Membership” at the Museum website, nelson-atkins.org, or by phoning Janet Mark,
Manager, Corporate Development, at 816.771.2228.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Campus Transformation Project currently under way at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of
Art encompasses the addition of the new 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building by Steven
Holl, the renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building, the reinstallation of its
encyclopedic collection, and the expansion of the Museum’s renowned Sculpture Park. The
project, which includes major endowment initiatives, will increase Museum space by 71
percent, providing new galleries, expanded educational facilities and Museum-support
spaces. The expanded resources of the Museum will ensure that the institution continues to
attract and engage the next generation of audiences, and is equipped to present and interpret
the art of the past, present and future.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art of Kansas City is recognized nationally and
internationally as one of America’s finest encyclopedic art museums. The Nelson-Atkins
serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of more
than 34,500 art objects and is best know for its Asian art, European paintings and modern
sculpture. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is
a key educational resource for the region and a national model for arts education. The
Nelson-Atkins’ expansion is also leading a field of new investments in local cultural
infrastructure that is becoming known as Kansas City’s “$6 Billion Renaissance.”
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak streets, Kansas City, Mo. Hours are Tuesday
through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission to the Museum’s permanent collection is free to
everyone. For Museum information, phone 816.751.1ART or visit its website at