Sheila Smith

Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
2009

Sheila Smith has led Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) since 1996. In 2008, MCA and the Vote Yes Minnesota campaign, successfully advocated for the passage of the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The state constitutional amendment will now dedicate three-eighths of one percent of the sales tax to preserve the state’s clean water, great outdoors, arts, and history for the next 25 years. The arts will receive 19.75 percent of the three-eights percent collected, which adds up to approximately $30 million in the first year, tripling the current funding level. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy organization that organizes the arts community to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress. Its mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts.