Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-PA)
Edward G. Rendell, since his election as governor of Pennsylvania in 2003, has articulated a broad and inclusive vision for arts and culture that includes the promotion of cultural treasures and use of the arts as a catalyst for downtown redevelopment, improving a community’s image, and revitalizing many of Pennsylvania’s communities.
As Mayor of Philadelphia, he spearheaded the creation of the world-renowned Avenue of the Arts, which included the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, the Freedom Theatre, and the Arts Bank. He also instituted the Arts and Culture Fund to give operating grants to smaller arts organizations, growing that fund from $500,000 to $1.5 million by the end of his second term. Gov. Rendell established the first Gubernatorial Arts and Cultural Transition Team that resulted in strong endorsements of the current efforts of state government and paves the way for new efforts to maximize the competitive edge provided by Pennsylvania’s cultural resources.