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The Foundation has been nominated for the "Corporate Art Awards" international prize

October 18, 2017

Together with other internationally renowned organizations in the field such as "Google Arts & Culture", "American Express" (USA), "Daimler" (Germany) and the "Piaggio Foundation" (Italy), the ABLV Charitable Foundation has been nominated for the "Corporate Art Awards" (Italy) for its steadfast investment in the development of the arts in Latvia.

Since the ABLV Charitable Foundation began its work as an arts foundation 11 years ago, it has provided co-funding to over 100 exceptional arts events. Support for current arts events of national significance and the development of professional level art exhibitions, art history and theory research and multi-disciplinary creative collaboration projects, are a particular priority for its grants programme. In a highly focused way, the foundation supports the development of the arts environment at all levels, ranging from professional arts education through to celebrating benchmark achievements in an artist’s career.

“The nomination is a welcome surprise that testifies to the foundation’s ability to attract the attention of professionals on the international stage. For 11 years now, philanthropists Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs, who created their foundation for charitable purposes, have promoted contemporary art within Latvian society as a source of inspiration for the pleasure of intellectual rigour, the acquisition of new knowledge, self-reflection and the exchange of experiences. In addition to the foundation’s support of arts events, the creation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, which is due to open its doors to the general public in 2021, is at the heart of the foundation’s activities,” says its Board Chair, Zanda Zilgalve.

The foundation’s latest initiatives that exemplify its commitment to raising the profile and appreciation of contemporary art in Latvia through the prism of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, with the ultimate goal of making contemporary art an integral and inspiring part of the country’s social, cultural and educational fabric include:

"Cross-Training: 10 Exercises to Shape a Museum". This international symposium, comprised of lectures, panel discussions, masterclasses, portfolio "speed dates", and artists’ presentations encouraged a select audience of artists, art historians, independent curators and industry professionals to discuss the future of arts institutions, the category of art they enshrine, and the modalities of spectatorship they produce by trying on "different sets of shoes", instead of presenting hermetic discourses and top-down cases. 

Parallel to this, to provide leading lights in Latvian contemporary art with an international stage, the ABLV Charitable Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Latvian Ministry of Culture, whereby the foundation will co-finance the Latvian Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale until 2021, when the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will open to the public.

Built to a design by "Adjaye Associates" and "AB3D", the museum is the focal point of the foundation’s vision for contemporary art in Latvia. Privately funded by the ABLV Charitable Foundation in partnership with the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, this unique project is being overseen by the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, representing the two aforementioned foundations and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

The winners of the 2017 "Corporate Art Awards", selected by a jury comprising the Director of the "Uffizi Gallery" Eike Schmidt, the Director of the "Maxxi", Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, a member of the board of the Venice Biennale Gianluca Comin, a representative of the Italian Banking Association Carlo Capoccioni and others, will be announced at the end of November.

The "Corporate Art Awards" prize was awarded in 2016 for the first time. 80 nominations were received from 20 countries. The award was founded by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in collaboration with the "LUISS Business School" and the "pptArt" agency to emphasize that support for the arts is an important manifestation of corporate social responsibility.

Amongst the first winners of the prize were "Banca Intesa" (Italy) and "Deutsche Bank" (Germany) as creators of remarkable art collections, "American Express" (USA) for international support for the restoration of monuments and "Shiseido" (Japan) for the preservation of the oldest corporate art gallery in Japan.

The ABLV Charitable Foundation in 2006 was founded by ABLV Bank shareholders Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs, in order to put their core values into practice in real life and support the responsibility of entrepreneurs towards society and the environment. The foundation functions as ABLV Bank’s main partner in the realm of charitable activity, supporting creative people and outstanding organisations that invest their efforts and knowledge, in order to achieve universally important goals – to create a united, abundant and safe society. In particular, the foundation focuses its attention on contemporary art, children and adolescents, the development of education and civic society, as well as civic improvement projects in the City of Riga. In past years, the foundation has supported nearly 340 projects, awarding over EUR 4 million of financing to them.

More information about the ABLV Charitable Foundation is available in its Annual Report.

Picture from the exhibition "Heap-core,,," supported by the ABLV Charitable Foundation, 2016
Artist: Daiga Grantina
Photo: Toan Vu-Huu

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