Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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WASHINGTON, DC — April 13, 2010 — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, in conjunction with The United States Conference of Mayors, today presented the 2010 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The award, which recognizes distinguished public service on behalf of the arts, was presented at the Congressional Arts Kick Off during Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

Speaker Pelosi receives the Congressional Arts Leadership Award for her commitment to the arts as an outspoken defender of the creative industries in her home of San Francisco and across the country. Pelosi is being recognized for her personal involvement and leadership in securing funding to save nonprofit arts jobs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The arts community owes her debt of gratitude for the jobs that were saved and the validation it provided of the importance of arts workers to the overall national economy. Her leadership of the 111th Congress is making great strides in advancing cultural policy and federal arts funding in the United States.

“Speaker Pelosi is on the front lines in Congress as a champion for the arts, and her dedication can be demonstrated by her actions. Under her leadership, the House speaks up for all of the arts, and often against strong and vocal headwinds. The arts community thanks her for her perseverance,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

The National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership is part of a series of Public Leadership in the Arts Awards given annually by Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors since 1997.

“Each year, we honor those leaders who have significantly advanced the arts through public service,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of The United States Conference of Mayors. “Speaker Pelosi truly deserves this award for her tireless work on placing the arts high on our national agenda.”

Previous recipients of the Congressional Arts Leadership Award include:
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)
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, 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. Visit us online at www.AmericansForTheArts.org. 

The U.S. 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.