Gov. Matt Blunt (R-MO)
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt was presented with the 2008 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership for steadily increasing the annual appropriations for the arts in the state of Missouri. Under Governor Blunt's leadership, state funding for the arts has gone up approximately 700 percent, bringing the Missouri Arts Council’s current appropriation to a total of $8.3 million. In three years, Governor Blunt’s leadership has resulted in increasing Missouri’s public funding for the arts from $500,000 in 2005 to $8.3 million in 2008. Since he first took office in 2005, close to 1,750 grants totaling approximately $15 million have been awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations throughout the state.