Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT)

2019 Honoree - Governors Arts Leadership Award


Governor Herbert has been a strong supporter of the arts and humanities throughout his career as a public servant, particularly in his nine years as governor. Under his tenure, funding for the state arts agency and its parent entity has increased. Governor Herbert has set aside funding in his budgets for additional staff to allow these entities to deepen their services to the cultural sector. He worked with the legislature on the historic Edu Ham Project, which allowed thousands of low-income Utah students to see Hamilton when it came to Utah. Governor Herbert has worked on funding for two anniversaries: Spike 150, the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad meeting at Promontory Point in Utah, and Better Days 2020, Utah’s celebration of 100 years of the 19th amendment and 150 years of Utah women being able to vote.
For the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 legislative session, Governor Herbert recommended a $6 million increase in new public state funds for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. These funds would expand cultural grants as well as support funding for a new Collection Management Facility to protect Utah’s art and artifacts collection. He has also grown the Governor's Leadership in the Arts and Governor's Mansion awards, expanding them and honoring dozens of cultural leaders through his tenure.
Governor Herbert and his wife are both artists and their love of culture goes beyond policy and budget work. Governor Herbert’s sons are all musicians, and his wife, First Lady Jeanette Herbert, is also a strong proponent of arts education in classrooms, working closely on STEAM projects.
“Utah has always prioritized arts, from the early settlers who carried pianos across the plains to the modern-day pioneers of film, music, and the stage,” said Governor Herbert. “In reality, this award is a reflection of the work done by many great people in Utah engaged in the fine and performing arts, and the patrons who support them. I am proud to accept it on their behalf.”