NEW YORK, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American Express today announced a
$10 million, five-year commitment to historic preservation and the launch
of the American Express(R) Partners in Preservation program, expanding the
Company's focus on securing the use of cultural assets for the future. The
American Express Partners in Preservation program builds upon the Company's
decade-long relationship with the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and
establishes a partnership with the National Trust for Historic
Preservation. The program is dedicated to preserving sites both in the U.S.
and around the world.
"Both the World Monument Fund and the National Trust are valued experts
in historic preservation and, like American Express, each recognizes the
vital importance of preserving historic sites for future generations," said
Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive, American Express.
"American Express is pleased to acknowledge two such worthy organizations
as partners in our continued effort to preserve the world's cultural
American Express' partnership with the National Trust seeks to increase
public awareness of the importance of historic and environmental
conservation in the United States, preserve American historic and cultural
landmarks, and strengthen local communities through preservation efforts.
The National Trust is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting
and restoring America's historic landmarks and communities.
American Express continues to extend its decade-long relationship with
the WMF through a renewed commitment to preservation. Based in New York,
WMF is the foremost private nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving
the world's cultural and architectural heritage. American Express is the
founding sponsor of WMF's World Monuments Watch program, established in
1995 to call international attention to and ensure the preservation of
cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism,
armed conflict, or natural disaster, and has contributed more than $10
million over the past ten years to help preserve 119 historic sites in 59
countries placed on the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered
"It is hard to imagine a company that has demonstrated a stronger, more
generous commitment to historic preservation than American Express," said
Richard Moe, president of the National Trust. "We've been proud to work
with the Company on several occasions in the past, and we're honored to be
a partner in this new exciting initiative. I believe it can make a real
difference in preserving the irreplaceable places that tell America's
American Express has also supported National Trust for Historic
Preservation initiatives, including the Save America's Treasures and
Heritage Tourism programs. Last year, the Company assisted WMF and the
National Trust with a $200,000 grant for their joint efforts to help save
the devastated Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes.
"The World Monuments Fund is very pleased to continue our partnership
with American Express, which has been such a committed supporter for more
than ten years," said Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments
Fund. "Heritage preservation is a critical issue, now more than ever
before, as significant sites around the world are exposed to
ever-increasing threats, both manmade and environmental. We are grateful to
American Express for its strong support for and its championship of our
projects, and we look forward to many more years of working together to
save our shared cultural heritage across the globe."
Through the American Express Partners in Preservation program, American
Express will provide $5 million for each partner dedicated to preservation
projects. The initial distribution of funds for the National Trust and WMF
will be announced in the coming months.
"We are committed to preserving the world's most precious and
significant landmarks and the history that accompanies them," said Chenault
of American Express. "By making a significant pledge to both the National
Trust and the World Monuments Fund over the next five years, American
Express can help ensure future generations will have opportunities to
experience the history and beauty of our past."
American Express Honored for Preservation Efforts
On June 13, at its fourth annual Restore America Gala held in
Washington D.C., the National Trust for Historic Preservation honored
American Express Company for its commitment and dedication to preservation
efforts to cultural assets and historic landmarks. Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.,
Group President, accepted the award on behalf of American Express.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit
membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and
revitalizing America's communities. Recipient of the National Humanities
Medal, the Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education,
advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell
America's story. Staff at the Washington, D.C. headquarters, six regional
offices and 28 historic sites work with the Trust's 270,000 members and
thousands of preservation groups in all 50 states. For more information,
visit the Trust's Web site at www.nationaltrust.org.
About the World Monuments Fund
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the foremost private, nonprofit
organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered architectural and
cultural sites around the world. Since 1965, WMF has worked tirelessly to
stem the loss of historic structures at more than 400 sites in over 80
countries. WMF works with local partners and communities to identify and
save important heritage through innovative programs of project planning,
fieldwork, advocacy, grant-making, education, and on-site training. For
more information, please visit www.wmf.org.
About American Express
The American Express Philanthropic Program makes grants in three major
program areas: Cultural Heritage, Economic Independence and Community
Service. In 2005, contributions totaled more than $31 million. Grants, made
on behalf of the American Express family of companies, enrich the lives of
American Express customers, their families and their communities.
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global
payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.
SOURCE American Express