Remarks to Highlight How He Has Successfully Leveraged the Arts to Build Support for Social Causes

Monday, May 23, 2011

press releaseContact:
Catherine Brandt

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, today announced that Santa Monica City Council Member and Co-Founder of (RED), ONE and DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) Bobby Shriver will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, the largest gathering in the nation of arts leaders and their partners in creative business, education and government. In his remarks, Mr. Shriver will discuss how the arts and artists have played the vital role to make his organizations into fundraising powerhouses and to build a voice for the social causes he supports.

“I am delighted that Mr. Shriver will make the opening keynote at our annual convention,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Nothing speaks as well to the public and drives people to positive action like the arts. Through his work with the Special Olympics Christmas Records, DATA, ONE and (RED), Mr. Shriver has shown the world the power the arts have to effect social change.”

Mr. Shriver has devoted his life and career to social justice. He has leveraged the power of art and artists to focus attention on the causes he supports. After producing the first ever primetime television program on the Special Olympics World Games in 1987, he co-produced nine A Very Special Christmas records, bringing together such musicians as U2, Eric Clapton, RUN D.M.C. and Bruce Springsteen to raise more than $100 million for the Special Olympics. In addition, he partnered with Bono to co-found DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), ONE.ORG and (RED). These innovative models of business alliances and arts partnerships creatively broadcast a message to combat AIDS and extreme poverty. As a result of these efforts, Shriver has raised hundreds of millions of dollars, persuaded the Bush administration to spend $15 Billion on AIDS, and increased awareness for myriad social issues including, helping people with intellectual disabilities, homeless veterans and the California park system.

The local host for the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. Lead sponsorship of the convention was provided by the San Diego Fine Arts Society with generous additional support from the Legler Benbough Foundation, Bank of America, the National Endowment of the Arts, American Express, The San Diego Foundation, Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego, US Bank, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Westreich Foundation, The Parker Foundation, and the Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust. Additional supporters include the California Arts Council; University of California, San Diego; Alexander Salazar Fine Art; WESTAF; the University of Oregon Arts and Administration Program; and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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