Although these corporate partners provide significant financial support, these partnerships go much deeper. Many of these companies also encourage their employees to give generously of their time, talent and treasure to help build a stronger community and better place to live and work. Their employees are on our boards, working on our committees and volunteering at our events.
The support of these companies and their employees allow charitable organizations like Allied Arts to accomplish things for our community that would otherwise be impossible.
Six years ago, Chesapeake was the first company to make a transformational gift that enabled Allied Arts to raise more than $2 million for the arts for the first time in our organization’s history. Since then, Chesapeake has continued to be a leader in celebrating the arts and their vital importance to our community’s quality of life.
And when strong storms and floods in 2010 forced six arts organizations from their locations and ruined thousands of dollars of supplies, costumes, technology and other operational necessities, Chesapeake and Devon were the first to respond with financial contributions, office equipment and supplies, and other assistance.
Our nonprofit relationship with Chesapeake and all our corporate partners is a marriage — one that we respect and take great pride in. When the going gets tough, we respond as we would for any of our state’s visionary leaders: We stand by them.
During a recent press conference where local nonprofits joined to voice our support of Chesapeake and the importance of our corporate donors, I used a “what if” analogy borrowed from a scene in the Frank Capra movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, when an angel shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would have been had he never been born.
Think about it: How different life in Oklahoma City would be if Aubrey McClendon and Chesapeake had never arrived. Would we have the exciting environment on the Oklahoma River? Would we be cheering on Oklahoma City’s own NBA team? What would the area at N.W. 63rd Street and Western Avenue and the Classen Curve be like? Would Central Oklahoma’s arts organizations be as strong and vibrant? Thousands in our community, our city, our state and beyond have been impacted by his generosity and vision.
We in the arts community applaud Chesapeake, Aubrey McClendon, and the many things that he, his company and employees have done and will continue to do for our nonprofit community.
Senner is president and CEO of Allied Arts.