Support for the arts creates mutual benefits

By Bill Tommins and Peter C. Sutton

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People are typically categorized as left-brained or right-brained, skilled at arts and writing or math and science. But for more than a century, children and adults alike have learned the importance of art, science and natural history in one place: the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, which reaches families, seniors, students, at-risk children and community organizations. Institutions like the Bruce Museum drive economic vitality by creating jobs and revenue for themselves and many other organizations in the community. These anchors in the community create rich cultural experiences and are a key part of what makes an area attractive to live in and visit.

Through a 20-year-long partnership with Bank of America, Connecticut’s residents and visitors from neighboring communities have had access to a variety of the Bruce Museum’s enriching exhibitions at little to no cost. For example, on the first weekend of each month, Bank of America sponsors free admission for its customers at the Bruce Museum through a program called Museums on Us. Through this longstanding partnership, Bank of America and the Bruce Museum have demonstrated that private and public institutions working together can create economic and social value in their cities and towns.

This year, Bank of America partnered in helping to bring exhibits to the Bruce Museum, including William Abranowicz’s photographs of the primeval forest in our midst in “Mianus River Gorge” and the recent “Electric Paris” exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and drawings, highlighting metaphorical illuminations of the City of Light.

The Bruce Museum is an important part of art and science education efforts in the region. Through programs such as lecture series, tours, after-school classes for more than 20,000 area students and activity days for families, the museum and its partners like Bank of America ensure that these valuable resources are available to all people.

This year, the Bruce Museum and Bank of America are working together once again to bring a compelling and interdisciplinary exhibition called “Science in Motion” to Greenwich. The show features photographs of scientific studies by three prominent photographers — Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott — illustrating the engagement between art and science, a hallmark of the Bruce Museum. Visitors to the exhibition will see the beginnings of a medium that has forever affected the way we interact with the world and with each other.

The show is one of more than 120 complete exhibitions that Bank of America has lent at no cost to cultural institutions from its art collection, enabling these museums to attract visitors with exhibitions that might not otherwise have been a possibility.

By working together, public and private institutions can create positive economic and social impact, improving their communities and the lives of those who reside in and visit them. Through exhibitions like “Science in Motion,” Bank of America and the Bruce Museum have worked together to support a thriving community in Fairfield and Westchester counties, connecting individuals with contrasting cultures and educating and enriching societies.

Bill Tommins is the Southern Connecticut Market president at Bank of America. He can be reached at 203-752-4841. Peter C. Sutton is The Susan E. Lynch executive director of the Bruce Museum. He can be reached at 203-413-6730 or


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