American Marketer


Town&Country gathers philanthropists for timely summit

November 7, 2018

Town&Country editor in chief Stellene Volandes speaks onstage during the Philanthropy Summit in May 2018. Image courtesy of Getty


Hearst’s Town&Country magazine is tackling the difficult topics of education and criminal justice in its second annual Philanthropy Series, demonstrating the title's commitment to teaching others about social justice issues.

Taking place in Chicago on Nov. 14, the event is expanding from the 2017 installment’s singular spotlight on education. Chicago has long been a draw for luxury brands looking to reach affluents away from the coasts.

“We have a strong reader base in the city of Chicago, and they are incredibly passionate about giving back,” said Jennifer Levene Bruno, vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer of Town&Country, New York. “This, combined with the critically important work coming from individuals and organizations to create positive change, is why we selected this market as our next stop in our continuing Philanthropy Series.”

Philanthropy focus
Starting in 2013, Town&Country began hosting a Philanthropy Summit in New York coinciding with its philanthropy issue that is released every summer.

Expanding outside of New York, the first satellite Philanthropy Series was held in San Francisco last November. Following Chicago, the series will continue to Dallas in fall 2019.

The theme for Chicago’s event is “investing in an equal opportunity city.”

Thought leaders presenting include Pew Research Center president Michael Dimock and Arne Duncan, former United States secretary of education.

Imran Khan, CEO of EMBARC, an organization that helps low-income students prepare for college, will give the keynote address.

Town&Country publisher Jennifer Levene Bruno speaks at the Philanthropy Summit. Image courtesy of Getty

Although Chicago is home to a healthy luxury real estate market, and many high-end brands have properties and locations in the city, it also is facing many challenges.

"Each market has a different set of priorities," Ms. Bruno said. "There exists systemic violence and poverty in various Chicago communities, and we will be examining new models of education and prison reform as ways to break the cycle."

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management is returning as the title sponsor for the fourth consecutive T&C Philanthropy event.

"We continue our support and participation in these events to create a forum for discussions that advance important societal issues," said Ann Limberg, head of philanthropic and family office solutions at U.S. Trust, in a statement.

"Whether your interests are education, criminal justice reform or another cause, at U.S. Trust, we help clients align their values to their giving in the most strategic and impactful way," she said.

Luxury outreach
In addition to publishers, several luxury brands are also promoting philanthropy and other social causes through conferences and large-scale events.

Italian fashion label Prada is teaming with the Yale School of Management and Politecnico di Milano School of Management to explore how digital intersects with sustainability.

On Nov. 20 in Milan, Prada will gather executives and students for a “Shaping a Sustainable Digital Future” conference. This is the second of Prada’s future-focused events, as the brand seeks to create a conversation around sustainability (see story).

British fashion house Burberry’s corporate foundation is exploring the impact that the arts have on students’ development and lives through a new research program.

The four-year-long “Burberry Inspire” initiative will roll out educational programs for art, dance, theater and film at Yorkshire schools, the effects of which will be studied by The Policy Institute at King’s College London. Said to be the first of its kind in-school arts program, the project builds on the Burberry Foundation’s educational and youth-centered outreach (see story).

"Town & Country has a rich history of giving back," Town&Country's Ms. Bruno said. "Philanthropy is an integral part of our heritage and our philanthropy events carry on this pillar of Town&Country’s legacy.

"As with all our philanthropy events, our hope is that our guests will leave inspired and encouraged by all of the incredible work that our speakers are doing in these critical areas," she said.

"Perhaps they will also be motivated to act, whether through volunteering or financial contributions to our highlighted charities."