Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton (D-WI)
Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton received the 2008 Lieutenant Governors Arts Award for her arts advocacy throughout the state. After taking office in 2003, Lawton has been a tireless champion for the arts and arts education in Wisconsin. The leaders of Wisconsin Arts Board and Arts Wisconsin nominated Lt. Gov. Lawton for the award. As chair of the Wisconsin Arts Board, the state agency dedicated to creativity, culture, community, and commerce, Lawton has directed the agency to engage both public and private sectors in a shared agenda to establish Wisconsin's stronghold in the creative economy. In so doing, she has promoted the arts and culture industry as a powerful sector in itself and as the animating force for growth in communities across the state.
Lawton developed the New Economy Funding Initiative, a bold vision for increased state investment in the arts that will give Wisconsin the competitive advantage it needs to thrive in the 21st century economy. The Lt. Governor was also one of the creators of the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education in partnership with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster. The Task Force will address the essential role arts education and the development of all students' creative capacities plays in the lives of students, in defining their future, the quality of life in Wisconsin's communities and the state's economy.
Lt. Governor Lawton's leadership was recognized further when she was invited to present the states' interests to the 2007 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable, "Thinking Creatively, Working Globally: The Role of the Arts in Building a 21st Century American Workforce."