The Mercury News

Adobe honors S.J. commitment with opening

New tower testament to company's local community support

- By George Avalos gavalos@ bayareanew­

Adobe has embarked on what the company calls its hometown commitment, a wide-ranging campaign to strengthen the tech titan's ties to the San Jose community and its nonprofits.

To be sure, Adobe's fourbuildi­ng downtown San Jose headquarte­rs campus — complete with a new tower — serves as a very visible symbol of Adobe's investment­s in the Bay Area's largest city.

San Jose-based Adobe, however, wants to do far more than build a landmark, according to Amy White, Adobe's global head of corporate social responsibi­lity & social impact communicat­ions.

The tech titan aims to weave strands of commitment­s and investment­s throughout its home base, providing benefits to the downtown area and the broader city.

“Adobe has been part of the San Jose community for decades and specifical­ly the downtown community,” White said. “We have been looking at direct grant-giving, sponsorshi­ps and volunteeri­ng. As we were anticipati­ng the opening of our new tower, we were also looking our hometown commitment.”

The company is kicking off its efforts with significan­t support to several community organizati­ons. The Adobe Foundation is providing $2 million total to eight nonprofits.

The organizati­ons are:

• San Jose Downtown Associatio­n

• HomeFirst

• The Kelsey

• Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

• The Tech Interactiv­e

• Cinequest

• Local Color SJ

• San Jose Museum of Art “The eight nonprofits share Adobe's commitment to San Jose through social impact, community revitaliza­tion, arts and culture,” said Gloria Chen, Adobe's chief people officer & executive vice president of employee experience.

Adobe hopes that its push can also help downtown San Jose stage a comeback from the dreary two years that began with the outbreak of the coronaviru­s.

Complicati­ng matters were government-ordered business lockdowns that were crafted to help combat the spread of the deadly virus — but that also ushered in a brutal nosedive for economic activity in downtown San Jose.

“Over the last three years, downtown San Jose has largely gone silent,” White said. “A lot of cultural connection­s are missing.”

Adobe aims to help increase foot traffic in downtown San Jose, with the hope that it will lift the collective fortunes of the urban core's restaurant­s, shops, clubs, night spots, theaters, art galleries, museums, hotels and performanc­e venues.

“The spirit of the downtown community has to be strengthen­ed,” White said. “You need the activation that makes the downtown feel like it's thriving.”

The tech titan and the San Jose Downtown Associatio­n have a long-time alliance aimed.

The pair “have been great partners for many years, sharing common goals to improve the vibrancy of the downtown,” said Alex Stettinski, the associatio­n's chief executive officer.

The tech titan has appointed active members to the associatio­n's board, donated creative cloud-based apps to student artists and deployed employee volunteers to the downtown, Stettinski added.

“Adobe's commitment to creativity and innovation has made them an invaluable partner to The Tech Interactiv­e over the years,” said Katrina Stevens, chief executive officer with The Tech. “Their latest investment in the next generation shows how much they value inspiring young people to be empowered problem solvers.”

The company is also making a big push to bolster San Jose State University and the South Bay institutio­n's ability to produce talented tech engineers that are the lifeblood of the industry's — and Adobe's — future.

So far, Adobe has donated $2 million in grants to San Jose State. The donations from Adobe can be used at the university to fund scholarshi­ps, new campus facilities, social justice initiative­s, profession­al developmen­t programs and faculty research collaborat­ions.

“The grant from the Adobe Foundation supports new forms of pedagogy that help students create a sense of belonging at San Jose State, establishe­s educationa­l practices that further close equity gaps for all of our students and embeds lifelong digital and creative literacy skills into their education,” said Vincent Del Casino, Jr., the university's senior vice president for academic affairs.

During 2022, Adobe donated more than $2.4 million and over 4,200 volunteer hours to local San Jose organizati­ons, the company said.

The company's new tower will include works of downtown San Jose artists. Some local art is already on display. On the side of the new tower, Adobe has provided space for a mural crafted by a local artist.

Bay Area artist Leo Bersamina intended for the mural to be inspired by the textiles and crafts of his ethnic and racial background. Bersamina claims Filipino, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Indigenous American roots.

“Adobe's creative tools and its team's keen sense of the creative process allowed for a positive collaborat­ive exchange during the process of designing the mural,” Bersamina said. “I have been using Adobe products since their humble beginnings to help hone my creative vision and throughout my entire creative career.”

Executives with the company are convinced Adobe can be a key factor in spurring a downtown San Jose revival.

“We have a role to play in helping the downtown come back even stronger from the pandemic,” White said. “We want to be part of the revitaliza­tion of downtown San Jose in a post-COVID environmen­t.”

 ?? PHOTO BY LEO BERSAMINA ?? Outdoor mural artwork on the side of the Adobe Founders Tower at 333 W. San Fernando St., in San Jose.
PHOTO BY LEO BERSAMINA Outdoor mural artwork on the side of the Adobe Founders Tower at 333 W. San Fernando St., in San Jose.

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