Thursday, June 24, 2010

press releaseContact:
Liz Bartolomeo

Baltimore, MD — June 24, 2010 — Americans for the Arts presents the 2010 Selina Roberts Ottum Award to Lee Howard, founder of the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils and former chair of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies. The award will be presented to Howard on June 26 at the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit in Baltimore. Given annually since 1991, the Selina Roberts Ottum Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the local arts agency field and is presented by Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Throughout her career in the arts, Lee Howard has made numerous strides to ensure that the arts are for everyone. Whether as an educator, a director, or a volunteer, her passion for the arts remained at the forefront of all that she does,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “We are honored to recognize Lee Howard for her contributions to the arts over the past 50 years.”

Lee Howard is one of vanguards of the local arts agency movement in the United States. As public school teacher in Newton, MA, in the 1950s, she was an early adopter of arts in education. In 1972, she became Executive Director of the Huntington Arts Council and from there went on to found the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils (ANYSAC) serving as its first chair and in 1977 its executive director.  Howard also led the transition of the National Assembly of Community Arts Agencies (NACAA) to become the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (NALAA) in 1978. From 1979 - 1981, she served as NALAA’s chair and helped establish the policy leading to greater federal, state, and local partnerships. She also worked extensively with local arts councils and alliances in developing technical services and advocacy systems.

Since retiring from the Lyme Academy, College of Fine Arts, in 1997, Howard continues to be an arts consultant for local organizations. 

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

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