It was a groundbreaking day for BBVA Compass and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The two came together on October 15 to celebrate a new home for the Glassell School of Art and an unprecedented $8 million gift from the bank. The 80,000-square-foot Glassell School of Art building will include a rooftop garden — an outdoor green space named in honor of the bank, the leading corporate donor of the museum’s $450 million capital and endowment campaign. The gift is an extension of the bank’s longstanding partnership with MFAH, and marks the largest donation BBVA Compass has ever given to any organization.
“The BBVA Compass Roof Garden is a stunning addition to Houston’s landscape,” said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “There is a reason we made this donation to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and it has as much to do with the museum’s commitment to bringing the power of the arts to young people than anything else. This is a cosmopolitan city that must nurture the creativity of its next generation so it can push even further into the future.”
During the ceremony, MFAH Director Gary Tinterow lauded the bank for its longstanding partnership with the museum.
“Over the past several years, there’s been no question about who our most important corporate partner is,” Tinterow said. “BBVA Compass has been absolutely extraordinary. From singular exhibitions like ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado,’ to museum programs that reach deep within the public school community, they have redefined the role of responsible corporate citizen – rare indeed in this economic climate.”
The bank's donation adds to its long list of activities in support of its goal of bringing arts to its communities. Among the most prominent, it sponsored an exhibit from Madrid's famed Prado at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2012-2013 — the first time a collection of its size was ever shown outside of Spain. For all of its efforts, the bank was named as one of the top 10 most arts-friendly businesses in the U.S. in 2014.