Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA)
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 2006 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership is Representative Jim Leach (R-Iowa).
Congressman Leach has demonstrated a strong commitment to the arts as evidenced throughout his congressional career. In the congressional session prior to receiving the award, Congressman Leach scored 100 percent in support of the arts, by voting to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, cosponsoring legislation allowing artists to claim a fair-market value tax deduction when donating their work to charity, and supporting the reauthorization of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He has also demonstrated a strong commitment to arts education. He was first elected to Congress in November 1976. Today, he serves on the following House Committees: Committee on International Relations, serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and the Committee on Financial Services, serving as Chairman Emeritus. Rep. Leach also co-chairs the Congressional Humanities Caucus. His education includes a Master of Arts Degree in Soviet Politics (196466) from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (cum laude) in Political Science (196064) from Princeton University.