Mr. Blair to Receive Award at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego

Thursday, June 16, 2011

press releaseContact:
Catherine Brandt
202-712-2054
cbrandt@artsusa.org

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, announced today that it is presenting the 2011 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award to William P. Blair, legislative counsel for Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Presented by the State Arts Action Network (SAAN) of Americans for the Arts, the award honors an individual whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape at the state level. Mr. Blair will receive his award on June 16 at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego.

“I am delighted to be presenting Mr. Blair with this award,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “His commitment to Ohio’s arts groups, working artists and arts enthusiasts is extraordinary. He is an indefatigable advocate and outstanding leader for the arts and culture in Ohio.”

For more than three decades, Mr. Blair has served as the legislative counsel for Ohio Citizens for the Arts, Ohio’s statewide arts advocacy organization that works to secure public dollars for arts and culture. A founding member of the organization in 1976, Mr. Blair has dedicated his life to supporting the arts, ensuring that all Ohio citizens have the opportunity to perform, participate and appreciate the arts and culture.

Donna S. Collins, executive director of Ohio Citizens for the Arts said, “Bill is the longest tenured lobbyist at the Ohio Statehouse; his tenure surpasses all current elected officials and staff members. In addition to his lobbying extensively for arts funding in Ohio, he has also helped other states across the nation establish their own arts advocacy citizens groups by providing them with technical assistance and professional development.”

For his efforts, Mr. Blair has been recognized in Ohio as a Governor’s Award for the Arts winner and has received commendations by numerous organizations.

“Working with Ohio Citizens for the Arts since 1976 has been a labor of love,” said Blair. “Arts advocates are like no other people in the world; we stand united, we work together and we have only one agenda—public funding for the arts and arts education. It is an honor to receive the Alene Valkanas Award from Americans for the Arts and join with all of the State Arts Action Network (SAAN) members when I say, let’s continue the good fight for long-term sustainable dollars to support the arts in our individual states and the nation!’”

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.