Mayor Marc H. Morial (D - New Orleans, LA)

Local Arts Leadership

Mayor Marc H. Morial has brought vitality, energy, and change to the city government of New Orleans since he took office in May 1994. As mayor, he has dedicated himself to programs that fight crime, revitalize neighborhoods, foster youth improvement and grow the city's economy. Through the Arts Council of New Orleans, Mayor Morial established programs to publicly fund the arts, 56 percent of which is to organizations or projects that have programs involving children and youth. In 1994, he created the Office of Tourism, Arts and Entertainment within the city government to foster development of these industries, and spearheaded the Arts Tourism Partnership, which has made New Orleans' arts and cultural attractions increasing available and accessible to visitors and residents of the city.

In 1995, he pioneered the position of "Cultural Ambassador for New Orleans," naming Wynton Marsalis as the first ambassador for the city. Mayor Morial is a champion for the arts on the national level, as well, serving as Chairman of the United States Conference of Mayor's Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee and a member of the Americans for the Arts National Policy Board. Last year, Mayor Morial spearheaded one of the largest mayors' signature campaigns for a letter urging full support of the National Endowment for the Arts directed to the President and House and Senate Leadership on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In September 1997, Mayor Morial led a delegation of mayors and their arts council directors to lobby Congress during critical Senate floor votes to support funding of the National Endowment for the Arts. The son of the city's first African-American mayor, the late Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial, Mayor Morial received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1983.