PORTLAND, ORE — On February 24th the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) will host the annual Arts Breakfast of Champions where it will award The Standard’s Greg Ness with The John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts. The award has only been given out three times and will be presented to Ness by Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish.
Ness is the Chairman, President and CEO of The Standard, where he started in 1979. He is a strong advocate for The Standard’s giving in the arts sector. He has personally given 16 years of service to Portland Center Stage, six of which he served as Board Chair. Ness has also chaired the Armory Theater Fund Board and was instrumental in securing funds for the acquisition, development and maintenance of the Bob and Diana Gerding Theatre.
Under Ness’ leadership, The Standard consistently ranks in the top five for arts giving, and each year runs an unsurpassed employee giving campaign during which the company matches employee giving dollar-for-dollar. In 2015 alone, The Standard’s employee campaign raised more than $2.2 million for the arts, schools and other nonprofits. They are leaders in the Work for Art program, and Ness’ personal commitment to supporting art is clearly infused throughout his company.
Ness believes that arts and cultural organizations play a major role in vibrant communities and that they have the potential to change the way we look at things. The Hampton Award honors and celebrates his commitment to supporting the arts in the Portland metropolitan region.
John C. Hampton was head of Oregon’s largest lumber manufacturer, Hampton Affiliates. In the early 1980s he took the idea to provide long-term funding for three of Portland’s major arts institutions—Portland Opera, Portland Art Museum and Oregon Symphony—and helped establish permanent, restricted endowments for each.
Hampton has said to business leaders, “The arts are not a frill. The arts are not a luxury. The arts are vital to our existence. Without art, without literature, without theatre, without music, without culture, we are a barren society that will atrophy and die. The arts are essential components of the fabric of our society. The arts stimulate the part of our being that is central to progress. The arts are not peripheral to our existence. They are fundamental to our core values.”
The award is for a business leader who not only gives, but inspires others to give; shares his passion for the arts; encourages his employees to participate in the arts and has chaired arts boards or major fundraising campaigns.
The Arts Breakfast of Champions was started in 1995 by Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts as an annual celebration of corporate philanthropy. As NWBCA closed its doors in the summer of 2015, RACC adopted this important event and established a new Business Committee for the Arts that is continuing this breakfast.
In addition to the John C. Hampton Award, the event will honor Business Champions for the Arts, Work for Arts Champions, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, a Small Business Champion and an Inspirational Creative Partnership.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council serves artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and works to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
8AM event, with pre-event coffee and networking starting at 7:30AM
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets are $125 at www.regonline.com/2016ABOC.
Issued by RACC on 2/17/16