Stage & Screen: Supporting New York City Arts

Author John Steinbeck wrote this about New York City: “It is all of everything. It goes all right. It is tireless and its air is charged with energy.''

At City National Bank, we know the feeling.

Like Steinbeck, who spent the last two decades of his life in New York, City National also traces its origins to California. After its 1954 founding in Los Angeles, the bank's mission to foster the entrepreneurial spirit made it a perfect match for Hollywood filmmakers and artists looking for a dedicated financial services provider.

By the 2000's, City National's shining reputation with the entertainment industry on the West Coast meant that it was ready to provide the same trusted banking relationships on the East Coast.

Today, the Entertainment Banking team at City National is the leading provider of financial services to Broadway. We also sponsor the Tony Awards, the Tribeca Festival and the Beacon Theatre. We do this because we know how important it is to support our clients, colleagues and communities – especially after the difficulties triggered by the pandemic.

After two decades on both coasts, City National is at home in each one.


City National Leads the Way for Broadway Productions

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to produce a show on Broadway – a fact that makes having the right bank important. The team at City National handles the banking needs for productions so they can focus on what matters: the stage.

Erik Piecuch, Rita Marie Pelosi and their team at City National have served the Broadway community for many years. They love the business and enjoy being part of the audience during shows. Their dedication to the industry means that they go above and beyond to be trusted financial advisors for it.

In March 2020, the relationship between City National and Broadway was truly tested. That month, theater owners abruptly shut their doors and set ghost lights on their darkened stages. What was initially viewed as a "temporary pandemic precaution" turned into the biggest challenge the industry has ever faced, as all shows remained dark into 2021.

Part of the work for City National bankers was guiding their clients through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to make sure they could make ends meet while the industry was shut down. Ultimately, City National helped theater clients secure about $13 million in PPP loans.

“As an example, clients were able to continue to pay medical insurance for employees and their families," Pelosi said. “We realized early on that the hours spent making ourselves available to the industry were very gratifying."

While difficult, Pelosi revealed that this experience further solidified the relationships between City National and its theater industry clients. The entertainment banking team was able to find ways to help clients, even when the curtains were down on their stages.

“I'm proud that, in a small way, we contributed to keeping the lights on Broadway shining," Pelosi commented.

City National is proud to return as the sponsor of the 76th Tony Awards, a role that showcases the bank's enduring relationship with Broadway.

City National is also a long-time supporter of Broadway Cares, an industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization.

Helping the Independent Music Community

When it comes to independent music, everything starts with a song — including the business and finance side of creating art. Often, artists, record labels, distributors and other members of the independent music community need help working through the complexities of the music business, whether it's managing royalty payments or funding a new studio space.

That's where City National Bank steps in.

Each year, Indie Music Week celebrates the independent sector of the music industry. The New York City-based events feature panels and discussions focused on helping the independent music community thrive.

City National sponsors several of these events that focus on helping musicians, creators and artists learn about managing the business side of music.

“We take great pride in supporting the independent music community with information and access to financial solutions and planning," said Denise Colletta, senior vice president and Entertainment Banking team leader with City National in Beverly Hills.Colletta has spent her career working with members of the music community in all types of positions and stages of their careers

Colletta frequently provides financial wellness programs in collaboration with various trade organizations. For her, it's a way to help the independent music community continue to thrive.

"It's a passion for me to give back, and providing financial education is one way that I do that," she commented.


Supporting Film in New York City

Now synonymous with the New York City film scene, the Tribeca Festival was born out of tragedy. It was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 to help with the city's economic and cultural recovery after 9/11.

In the years since, the festival has blossomed into a mecca for art and culture. It now attracts over 146,000 attendees to over 600 screenings and other events.

When the pandemic cast a shadow of uncertainty over the festival's future, City National stepped up to help. In 2021, City National proudly became a sponsor of the festival's 20th edition.

City National is returning as the sponsor of the 2024 Tribeca Festival. In addition, City National also has a year-round sponsorship with one of its iconic venues. As the premier partner of the Beacon Theatre, City National provides year-round support to the historic New York City venue that's been a local hub for screenings and performances since 1929.

From screen to stage, New York is genuinely the city that has no intermission. And City National will continue to work with the industry, finding ways to add to that reputation.

“You've been so supportive," Rosenthal told City National CEO Kelly Coffey back in 2020. “You particularly see who people are – who companies are – by how they react during these times. I thank you for being supportive of Tribeca and all of our artists in the industry and the community of New York City."

This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and friends of City National Bank (City National). City National does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of City National. Please cite source when quoting.