When it comes to corporate support of culture in New York City, energy giant Con Edison stands out. That’s according to the advocay group Americans for the Arts’ annual list of the top ten US companies that support the arts. Con Edison was the only New York-based company that made the list this year.
According to spokesperson D. Joy Faber, Con Edison has spent $100 million in the last 40 years on a host of cultural initiatives, including programs with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra.
The company also sponsors an arts management internship program and several arts education projects at city schools, in addition to being a founding sponsor of the St. Lukes Orchestra.
“We’re a part of the community,” Faber said. “We live here, we work here, and supporting the arts is a natural thing to do. Our support of the arts is something we’re very, very proud of.”
Critics point out that Con Ed’s spending on cultural programs represents just a tiny fraction of the corporation’s $13 billion a year in revenues.