The academician title was awarded to Aleksei Leonov, an astronaut and twice Hero of the Soviet Union, who is currently vice president of Alfa-Bank and an advisor to the first deputy of the Board, and Alexander Gafin, vice president of marketing.
Alexander Gafin said that the honored title awarded to two representatives of Alfa-Bank demonstrates highly valued results of the bank's philanthropic activities.
Andrei Bitov, Boris Meserer, Genrikh Padva, Bella Akhmadulina, Boris Bushuyev, Eduard Drobitsky, Mikhail Gorbachev, Fazil Iskander, Rustam Ibragimbekov, Marlen Khutsev, Yuri Lyubimov, Anatoli Naiman, Vladimir Nemukhin, Maiya Plisetskaya, Edvard Radzinsky, Mark Rozovsky, Victor Shenderovich, Alexander Shirvindt, Dmitri Vinogradov became members of the academy.
The American Pushkin Academy of Arts was established by the Pushkin Fund in 1999, which was founded in the United States two years earlier with the goal to draw attention of the public worldwide to the most important art and cultural events.
The fund will soon plan to conduct a contest of vocalists in New York and an international theater festival in Vilnius. Sponsored concerts and performances will also be planned for children. There is also the possibility that exhibitions of Boris Meserer in New York and performances with Fazil Iskanderom will be organized.
Famous people such as Mikhail Bariyshnikov, Lev Losev, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Michelangelo Antonioni, Andgei Vayda, Hulio Iglesias and among others are also members of the American Pushkin Academy of Art.
The support of the national arts is one of Alfa-Bank's philanthropic priorities. Throughout its 10-year history, Alfa-Bank participated in large projects which revive and develop Russia's culture and preserve the fine arts, including historic relics and monuments.
Alfa-Bank's contribution in this area has been recognized, particularly by the national theater Golden Mask award. In June 2000 Alfa-Bank's vice president Alexander Gafin was awarded the Golden Pushkin Award, which was created by the Union of Russian Artists in honor of Pushkin's 200-year anniversary.