Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Congressional Arts Leadership

As either the ranking member or chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds education for more than two decades, Senator Tom Harkin has championed the  Arts In Education program, funded through the U.S. Department of Education budget. In addition, he has raised arts education directly with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his predecessors Margaret Spellings and Rod Paige during Appropriations and HELP Committee hearings. He has also been actively involved with Americans for the Arts’ Arts Advocacy Day events in Washington, D.C., introducing Wynton Marsalis the Nancy Hanks Lecturer in 2009, and speaking in support of the arts and arts education on the Senate floor on Arts Advocacy Day in 2012.
"During a HELP Committee hearing on education and the economy, representatives of the business community told us that it’s not enough for our education system to produce graduates who can read, write and do math. Employers need workers who can apply creativity, collaboration and communication in their jobs to solve problems, produce ideas and make connections," said Harkin. "These are the keys to innovation and success in the knowledge economy of the 21st century, and they are the reason we must support arts in education.  I am honored by this award and I look forward to working with Americans for the Arts to further support for this agenda."