Bank of America bridges Vietnam War understanding through an innovative partnership with Spotify

Partnership with contemporary artists and Spotify encouraged dialogue around the landmark documentary, The Vietnam War

Music was a defining common experience during the Vietnam War. This is brought to life in The Vietnam War, the landmark documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, proudly sponsored by Bank of America, which debuted on PBS in September. The songs that emerged during the era shaped the conversations of a generation. Today, these songs hold iconic status and a lasting ability to connect listeners across decades. That’s why Bank of America worked with contemporary artists to cover songs from the time and made the multi-media content experience available on the popular music streaming service Spotify – to connect new generations to the dialogue around the war through the shared language of music.

The songs of the Vietnam War era contain themes that still resonate today across culture, economics, diplomacy and politics. In covering these songs, artists including John Legend, The Lumineers, Gary Clark, Jr., Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste, among others, offered modern-day perspectives and added important voices to the conversation around this period of American history.

Philanthropic impact through innovative partnership

In recognition of these contemporary artists’ involvement in the project, Bank of America provided a philanthropic investment to an organization each artist felt was connected to their interpretation of the music. Nonprofits that received funding through this partnership support military and civil rights advocacy and included the USO, FREEAMERICA, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Urban League, and others. The investment underscored the bank’s long-standing support of military service members and their families, as well as the bank’s commitment to enabling social and economic progress to help build strong, vibrant local communities.

FREEAMERICA, an initiative founded by John Legend, that supports the movement to end mass incarceration in the U.S., launched Unlocked Futures with Bank of America earlier this year. The accelerator program, which provides capacity building funding and support to formerly incarcerated individuals operating mission-driven organizations, is part of Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to help solve issues around criminal justice reform.

Support of the military

We are a long-time supporter of military service members, both as a bank and as an employer. We have a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and partner with several nonprofits to help veterans find opportunities in the workforce. We’ve provided financial services to military personnel since 1920 and currently serve more than two million active and veteran military households. Through our Better Money Habits program, we have financial education resources specifically designed to help veterans tackle the transition to civilian life, as well as financial education resources to serve individuals and support broader community needs.

Fostering dialogue to address tough issues

This is a critical moment in our nation’s history to build important dialogues in communities across the country–bringing together different perspectives for a meaningful conversation on the issues facing us today. By fostering productive dialogue, we can turn moments that could divide us into opportunities to unite us, something music has so often had the unique power to do. Open debate forges understanding, resulting in stronger communities better prepared to take hold of economic progress, a guiding force in Bank of America’s commitment to responsible growth.


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