Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (D-LA)
Lt. Gov. Mitchell J. Landrieu (D-LA) received the 2006 Lt. Governors Arts Award for his arts advocacy throughout his state. Immediately after taking office in 2004, Landrieu launched the Cultural Economy Initiative. Based on his recognition that Louisiana has underutilized natural assets and raw talents, which limit the state’s potential to create jobs and growth, Landrieu's initiative sought to identify and value the economic impact of Louisiana's cultural industries.
After Hurricane Katrina, he designed a recovery plan, Louisiana Rebirth: Restoring the Soul of America, which established art and culture as the keystones of recovery for the lives and livelihoods of Louisiana's citizens. Landrieu was instrumental in the creation of the Cultural Economy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a private partner in the state's cultural economy initiatives. In the fall of 2005, the Foundation reacted immediately to the crisis caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It secured more than $900,000 in donations and administered the distribution of over $600,000 in emergency relief grants to over 350 individual artists, arts organizations, and small cultural businesses.
Over the course of that year, Landrieu's vision and roadmap resulted in $2.3 million for local, homegrown arts programming in all 64 parishes of Louisiana and support for model arts programming in healthcare, education, incarcerated environments, public art, and programming development of community arts organizations.