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Lincoln Center Honors U.S. Trust President Keith Banks at Annual Spring Gala

NEW YORK, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 350 business and community leaders and patrons of the arts turned out at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Spring Gala to honor Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and a member of the LCPA's Board of Trustees and the Leadership Committee of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, for his leadership in efforts to expand access to the arts. The event exceeded its goal, raising more than $2.5 million.  A significant portion of the funds raised tonight will be used to improve access to Lincoln Center programs and events for under-served groups including the elderly and schoolchildren.

"On behalf of my fellow New Yorkers, I want to thank the Lincoln Center for contributing greatly to strengthening our local community, improving the lives of our people and enriching the city's cultural life," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.  "Lincoln Center, an internationally recognized, New York City-based cultural organization, attracts five million visitors annually, provides 9,000 jobs to local residents, generates $3.4 billion for the city's economy and enhances New York's quality of life and cultural richness."

The commitment by U.S. Trust and Bank of America to supporting performing arts programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts dates back more than four decades.  Bank of America's support has included sponsoring, underwriting or providing grants to programs that, in 2012-13 alone, provided free or subsidized access to 230,000 individuals who otherwise might not have been able to afford attendance at such programs as the Out of Doors summer series, the "Meet the Artist" series (where Bank of America was the program's first-ever corporate sponsor), Lincoln Center's Spring Gala and other initiatives. Prior to its acquisition by Bank of America in 2007, U.S. Trust had a separate commitment to Lincoln Center which began in 1976.

In addition to its long-term commitment to Lincoln Center, Bank of America has supported individual performing arts companies based there through initiatives such as the Metropolitan Opera's The Met: HD Live in Schools, which provides live transmissions of Met performances to students in New York and 34 other school districts around the country.

The support of programming at Lincoln Center is an important part of Bank of America's global commitment to championing the arts, which includes a multi-tiered program of sponsorships, underwriting programs and grants as well as loans from its collection of art to museums around the world.

Katherine Farley, Chair of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, said, "On behalf of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, I salute the leadership of U.S. Trust's Keith Banks in helping Lincoln Center fulfill its role as the nation's leading institution of the performing arts. I am proud that U.S. Trust committed to this longstanding and generous relationship, which has resulted in substantial and continuing support for some of the world's most innovative and important cultural programs. We are proud to recognize Keith Banks' dedication to the cause of the arts here in New York."

Along with Katherine Farley, other attendees at tonight's event were Frank A. Bennack, Jr. Vice-Chairman of the Board, Hearst Corporation; The Honorable Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; David Coulter, Vice Chairman, Warburg Pincus LLC; Raul Esparza, actor and singer; and Laurie Tisch, President, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

"New York is the cultural capital of the world and Lincoln Center is its beating heart," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.   "I am grateful to Keith Banks, U.S. Trust and Bank of America for their long-term commitment to Lincoln Center and its member institutions, which has enabled thousands of New Yorkers to benefit from the outstanding programs available in dance, music and theatre."

"I became involved with Lincoln Center because I believe in the importance of helping build the communities in which our clients and our associates live and work, and few things do that better than enabling larger audiences to enjoy the world's finest performances in dance, music and theatre," said Banks. "As a member of Lincoln Center's Board of Directors, I want to express my deep appreciation for the depth of the generosity shown by our donors, by U.S. Trust's clients and by my colleagues in the business community. With their support, we hope to make a vital and lasting contribution to expand access to Lincoln Center and its programs, something that is more important than ever with today's diminished support for the arts."

The Lincoln Center Spring Gala, held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, featured a performance by Joshua Bell, director and violinist at the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Bell played Brahms' Violin Concerto, and the orchestra performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica").

U.S. Trust and the Bank of America organization have a strong track record of supporting nonprofit cultural organizations in New York City. In addition to LCPA, partners span the city and include institutions such as the Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Whitney Museum of American Art, Carnegie Hall, Roundabout Theatre Company, Queens Theatre, Staten Island Children's Museum and many others.

Banks is no stranger to community leadership. In addition to being honored at the Lincoln Center event, he is deeply involved in a wide variety of charitable and civic organizations. Banks recently addressed the commencement ceremony for Year Up New York, an organization supported by U.S. Trust and Bank of America, which provides urban young adults with skills, experience and career support. Banks also served as a vice chair of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Rutgers University Foundation and a director of the Police Athletic League of New York City. In addition, he is a board member of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and is a member of the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors and the Columbia Business School Board of Overseers.

About U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management is a leading private wealth management organization providing vast resources and customized solutions to help meet clients' wealth structuring, investment management, banking and credit needs. Clients are served by teams of experienced advisors offering a range of financial services, including investment management, financial and succession planning, philanthropic and specialty asset management, family office services, custom credit solutions, financial administration and family trust stewardship.

U.S. Trust is part of the Global Wealth and Investment Management unit of Bank of America, N.A., which is a global leader in wealth management, private banking and retail brokerage. U.S. Trust employs more than 4,000 professionals and maintains 140 offices in 32 states.

As part of Bank of America, U.S. Trust can provide access to a broad range of banking solutions for individuals and businesses, and an extensive retail banking platform.

About Bank of America's Commitment to Social Responsibility
Bank of America's commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Books, Lincoln Center Dialogue, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, Martin E. Segal Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival, Target Free Thursdays, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and its 11 resident organizations, welcoming more than five million visitors annually. In addition, LCPA led a $1.2 billion campus renovation on behalf of all the resident organizations which was completed in October 2012.

Facebook: facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC
Twitter: twitter.com/lincolncenter
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