Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D-OR)
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski received the 2010 Award for State Arts Leadership for advancing both policy and budget initiatives that brand culture and creative endeavors as critical to the state’s economy and future. “The arts are never a frill. They are critical to our quality of life, especially now. In difficult economic times, we need hope. We need laughter. We need to discover our shared humanity. This is the value of the arts,” said Kulongoski upon receiving the award.
Since approving the merger of the Oregon Cultural Trust with the Oregon Arts Commission in 2003, residents have contributed more than $17 million to support the arts, heritage, and humanities. In 2005, Gov. Kulongoski signed legislation that authorized a one percent statewide lodging tax dedicated to tourism promotion. In 2007, Gov. Kulongoski initiated and branded CHAMP (and later CHAMP II), a unified cultural reinvestment effort to support the cultural and creative economy of the state which resulted in a $15.6 million increase in public investment. This program has become a model for cultural collaboration and advocacy throughout the United States.