Singing, dancing, and spreading the love

Messages of hope and joy from around the world celebrate 50 years of BMW Group’s cultural engagement.

From Ólafur Elíasson, Cao Fei and Stefan Sagmeister to Jonas Kaufmann, Sir Simon Rattle, the Munich Philharmonic and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to Esther Mahlangu and Victoria Siddall. The BMW Group is receiving manifold congratulatory messages from the international cultural world these days, all of them reflecting its long-term and diverse cultural commitment. For 50 years and with over 100 initiatives in the fields of modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as architecture and design, the BMW Group has been an integral part of culture on a global scale.

It all started with three large-scale paintings by German artist Gerhard Richter commissioned by Eberhard von Kuenheim, then chairman of the board at BMW AG, in 1971. Ever since the opening of the iconic four-cylinder headquarters building by Karl Schwanzer in 1973, the three works titled “Rot”, “Gelb” and “Blau” have been on display within the entrance hall of the company’s headquarters and became the nucleus for the social responsibility of a business enterprise which also engages in intercultural dialogue way beyond its core business.


“Culture is a vehicle for change, the artistic venture takes place at the intersection to the future. This is where BMW risks innovation as well. And while different in content, the underlying attitude is the same. Visualizing ways towards innovation is an integral part of BMW as much as it is of cultural creativity,” said Eberhard von Kuenheim, then chairman of the board at BMW AG, in 1984.

Maximilian Schöberl, Head of BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Spielmotor München e.V. notes, “Especially in times of great societal change, the values of each individual continue to serve as a guideline for their actions. Corporate citizenship is precisely that: it acts as the guiding principle of a company’s value system. What can we return to the society which enables our business success? I am proud to say that the BMW Group, besides maintaining creative freedom at any time, has always continued to pursue an open exchange and intercultural dialogue and is therefore able to enable many long-term and sustainable partnerships.”

It is unique experiences and encounters that promote intercultural dialogue and reflect the principles and attitude of a company within the cultural world. With its broad and diverse network of partners, the cultural commitment of the BMW Group facilitates the creation of current narratives and helps to connect people all across the world – both physically and virtually. As a corporate citizen, the BMW Group believes in the importance of contributing to society in a sustainable way – in the past, present and in the future.

50 years of BMW Group Cultural Engagement – 50 years of encounters
Over five decades, the BMW Group has been engaged in partnerships with some of the most renowned cultural institutions worldwide based on mutual respect and curiosity which makes its cultural commitment a reliable actor in the cultural field. The BMW Group is grateful for a video campaign that shows the congratulatory messages arriving from around the world and will present them via social media throughout the year.