Ernst & Young's A Capella Accountant

A scene from the musical "Rent," at the New World Stages in New York Photograph by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times via Redux

Corporations have long enjoyed the prestige—and tax breaks—that come with supporting the arts. But faced with tighter budgets, who can blame business leaders for funneling more money into such causes as lower dropout rates or training programs? The National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) tries to woo corporate funding by focusing on theater as a brand-building opportunity—a chance to please employees, entertain clients, and support not-for-profit venues across the country. On April 30, Ernst & Young global chief Jim Turley will get a leadership award for his support of NCTF (which includes serving as its chairman for the past six years). Turley, whose firm employs 152,000 people, reflects on a life spent near the arts:

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