Rep. David Obey (D-WI)

Congressional Arts Leadership

Each year, in cooperation with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Americans for the Arts recognizes elected officials and legendary artists who have exhibited outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the national, state, and local levels.  The recipient of the 2004 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership was Representative David Obey (D-WI).

Representative Obey has been a staunch supporter of the arts on Capitol Hill, leading numerous floor debates to defend the federal government's role in nurturing America's creativity. He has maintained a longstanding commitment to the arts and works strategically with the chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus to pass annual floor amendments to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. An enthusiast of American folk life and an amateur artist himself, Congressman Obey plays the harmonica in a bluegrass band, The Capitol Offenses, which has recorded three albums.

€œDave Obey is a great friend of the arts,€ said Robert L. Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts. €œAs the powerful ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, he has fought tirelessly to rebuild funding for the arts in America. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to recognize the importance of his leadership to all of the arts in all of our nation's communities, from our rural heartland to the urban centers.