Alabama Power Company is an overall sponsor for ArtSpeaks: 50 Years Forward, the BMA’s civil rights commemoration exhibition series. Alabama Power has been a strong supporter of the BMA for over 25 years. John O. Hudson III is Alabama Power Company’s Vice President, Public Relations & Charitable Giving, and the President, Alabama Power Foundation. Hudson serves on the BMA board and co-chaired the 2013 Museum Ball with his wife, Nyya. He recently took the time to chat with My Museum members’ magazine about why Alabama Power chooses to support the Museum.
My Museum Magazine: What do you enjoy about your partnership with the Museum?
John Hudson: There are so many benefits – the art itself, the education programs, the events, the quality of life opportunities the museum offers for the community.
MMM: If a colleague asked you why their company should join the Corporate Partners Program, what would you tell them?
JH: It’s important for everyone in our community, regardless of socioeconomic status, to be able to enjoy the museum. We like the fact the Corporate Partners Program allows for admission to be free, unlike many other museums across the country.
MMM: How does supporting the Museum fit with your corporate culture?
JH: Our company believes strongly in being of service to communities across our service territory, across the state. It goes back to our founder, Captain William Patrick Lay, who in 1906 turned over control of the company to his successors with the instruction to develop Alabama Power “for the service of Alabama.” That means more than just keeping the lights on. It means, among other things, bringing jobs to the state, volunteerism and philanthropy.
MMM: When you choose who to support, what do you look for in an organization?
JH: The Alabama Power Foundation considers grant requests focused on education, health and human services, arts and culture, and the environment. We also look to make grants in underserved communities that will spur growth and better the community. Both the foundation and our company are very much interested in supporting organizations that add great meaning to the community. Since its inception, the Museum has been one of the most valuable assets in our community. Our company was established in 1906, and we feel like it is a great institution in this community. Our founders believed, so goes Alabama, so goes Alabama Power. The same holds true for the museum. So goes the museum, so goes the city, even the region. It’s important for the entire community, including the corporate community, to be supportive of the museum.
MMM: What do you see as your “Return on Investment” when you support cultural institutions?
JH: If you look at our history, we were the first utility to be involved in economic development. Part of what makes businesses locate here is being an attractive community. Cultural institutions are a vital part of the economic development formula, that quality of life component. We think it’s very important to make investments in cultural institutions to enhance the quality of life.