Mayor Martin O'Malley (D - Baltimore, MD)
Mayor Martin O'Malley first took office in 1999, and since then he has helped Baltimore begin to realize its economic potential for the first time in years by using a community development strategy that encompasses the arts and the citys cultural heritage. He created the Mayors Cultural Tourism Council and elevated the Office of Promotion and the Arts to cabinet level to highlight Baltimores cultural assets and enhance the citys quality of life. His concern for education and desire to provide opportunities for kids led him to create the Be Instrumental initiative that has made the restoration of fine arts education programs in the Baltimore City Schools a priority for the entire community. As he looks to the future, Mayor O'Malley has proposed initiatives to increase funding to small community arts organizations, expand the citys mural program, revise Baltimores percent for art and street performers ordinances, and redevelop commercial property to serve as artist studio and exhibition spaces.