Since it was founded in 1872, Pirelli has been aware of the important role it plays promoting entrepreneurial culture and civil progress in all the communities it works in.
For this reason, the Group implements and supports initiatives to disseminate culture and promote art: a series of activities carried out in collaboration with public institutions and local private partners, all selected by using criteria that guarantee high quality. For Pirelli, corporate culture is synonymous with "entrepreneurial culture", which means innovation and change.
And it is in fact to foster the culture of the enterprise in a continuous, organic and authoritative way that the Fondazione Pirelli was created in 2009, guided by the idea of promoting the creativity of new generations of artists and researchers, giving space to thought that combines concrete industrial experience and the memory preserved in the Historical Archive with the impulse to design, enhancing current ideas as they enter history.
Active support for art and cultural initiatives in general is part of the tradition of Pirelli, which has for years promoted shows and exhibitions (in the Pirelli Tower itself, in the 1960s and 1970s) and directly commissioned works of art such as the "Ricerca Scientifica" (Scientific Research), a mosaic created from an original drawing by Renato Guttuso for the Pirelli pavilion at the 1961 Universal Exposition in Turin, or the collection of works commissioned from major 20th century Brazilian painters now housed in the company's Sao Paolo offices, or, again, the works produced from the "Pittori in Fabbrica" (Painters in the Factory) initiative promoted by the Rivista Pirelli magazine.
Now Pirelli's support for art takes the form of a collaboration with some of the most prestigious international institutions. For over three years, the Pirelli Group has been in an institutional partnership with the Milan Triennale, engaged in the systematic and shared analysis of strategies that enhance "design culture" and "product culture". This is a strategic alliance between two of the most important historical institutions in Milan: the Triennale, one of the most important institutions in the field of visual arts and architecture in the world, is deeply Milanese "by birth", but, like Pirelli, is now strongly focused on internationalization.
The partnership with Pinacoteca di Brera has been in existence for over ten years: this is a partnership that is not confined to financing a restoration cycle – although very important – this is, but which has also led to the development of highly advanced and innovative restoration technology such as that offered by the "machine" designed by Ettore Sottsass, allowing the restoration of a work of art to be carried out "in public".
Moving from support for art to support for the environment is a small step to take. Pirelli has been a member of the Italian Environment fund-FAI for years, and has worked with it on a number of initiatives, most notably the organisation of public courses on the history of art and architecture.
Pirelli's "360 degree" approach to culture also encompasses collaborations in performing arts – theatre and music. It has historical links with the Teatro Franco Parenti and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, of which Pirelli is a Supporting Member.
As for music, Pirelli has been a supporter of " MiTo Settembre Musica" for some time. This is an international music festival that takes place in Milan and Turin throughout the month of September, filling the piazzas of the two cities with music – classical, jazz, pop, rock, ethnic and avant-garde.