Catherine Brandt Vacovsky
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin Honored With 2013 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership
Award Presented By Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors on Arts Advocacy Day
Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, in conjunction with The United States Conference of Mayors, will present the 2013 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). Harkin is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The award, which recognizes distinguished public service on behalf of the arts, will be presented on Tuesday, April 9 at the Congressional Arts Kick Off during Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
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."
"Senator Harkin is a true leader in support for the arts and arts education in America," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "His dedication to championing the arts and arts education in the Senate is inspiring, and we are truly grateful for his hard work over the years."
The National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership is part of a series of Public Leadership in the Arts Awards which have been given annually since 1997 by Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors.
"Each year, we recognize a Congressional leader for his or her support of the arts," said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of The United States Conference of Mayors. "Sen. Harkin truly deserves this award for his tireless work on placing the arts high on our national agenda."
Previous recipients of the Congressional Arts Leadership Award include:
2012 Representative Todd Platts (PA)
2011 Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
2010 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA)
2009 Representative John Lewis (GA)
2008 Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
2007 Representative Betty McCollum (MN)
2006 Representative Jim Leach (IA)
2005 Representative Christopher Shays (CT)
2004 Representative David Obey (WI)
2003 Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
2002 Representative Steve Horn (CA)
2001 Representative Norm Dicks (WA)
2000 Senator Robert Bennett (UT) and Representative Nancy Johnson (CT)
1999 Senator Edward M. Kennedy (MA) and Representative Michael Castle (DE)
1998 Representative Louise M. Slaughter (NY) and Senator Slade Gorton (WA)
1997 Representative Rick Lazio (NY) and Senator James M. Jeffords (VT)
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education 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.
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor. Additional information is available at www.USMayors.org.