Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Each year, Americans for the Arts recognizes elected officials and legendary artists who have exhibited outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the national, state, and local levels. The recipient of the 2004 National Award for County Arts Leadership was the Broward County Board of County Commissioners from Broward County, Florida.
The work of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners on behalf of the arts has helped make Broward County a national leader in promoting strong arts and culture programs. Through its generous support for capital development, grants to local arts and cultural groups, and a dedication to public art and design projects, the Board of County Commissioners has established a record of commitment to integrating the arts into economic development, community planning and throughout life in Broward County. Each year, the board of commissioners dedicates roughly $5 million to annual arts and cultural programs. Additionally, the board has established ArtsParks in four Broward municipalities. These ArtsParks serve as cultural facilities for "hands-on" activities in the visual, performing and literary arts that are readily accessible to all segments of the community for cultural activities.
The Broward County Board of County Commissioners also has a well documented history of support for public art projects and a record of utilizing its vast cultural resources to spur economic development. Every year, under the new Broward County Public Art and Design Program, an impressive 2% of capital improvement projects in the county are dedicated to public art. As a result of this commitment, four artworks from this program were recently included in the book Designing the World's Best Public Art. Similarly, the board of commissioners recently launched VisionBROWARD, a community economic development partnership designed to produce a 2-year economic plan. One of the eight task forces integral to the success of this effort is the Creative Industries Task Force involving nearly 120 community members, all working to ensure that the arts remain integral to the future of Broward County.