Americans for the Arts Honors Clayton for Arts Education and Film Initiatives

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – July 11, 2014 – Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), will present the 2014 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership to Clayton County, Ga., on Sunday, July 13, 2014 at the NACo annual conference in New Orleans, La.

The county is being honored for its ART WORKS program, which unites Arts Clayton —a nonprofit community organization that hosts children’s’ programs and a public art gallery —with Clayton State University, Atlanta Technical College and the Clayton County Public Schools. The public-private partnership trains a modern workforce for the creative jobs of the future. Additionally, as part of Georgia’s “Camera Ready Communities” program, Clayton County was one of the first certified film offices in the state, attracting over 30 television and film projects from 2010-2013 and injecting the weakened local economy with much-needed temporary jobs. Arts Clayton reaches 18,840 students annually through more than 1500 hours of art instruction in schools, community facilities, summer camps, and workshops.

“On behalf of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners and the residents of Clayton County, we are honored to be the recipients of the County Arts Leadership Award,” said Sonna Singleton Gregory, Clayton County commissioner. “We are extremely proud of our ART WORKS program, as it is a wonderful example of how effective and productive public-private partnerships can be when all entities involved are working toward the same goal. Our arts initiatives are truly making Clayton County a great place to live, work, learn and raise a family.”

“Clayton County’s arts initiatives unite the community and encourage workforce development critical to sustaining the local economy,” remarked Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO, Americans for the Arts. “NACo joins with us in honoring Clayton’s county commissioners for understanding the significant impact that partnering arts with education can have on students, contributing to their success not only in school but also later in life as workers and community leaders.”

"NACo is thrilled to continue their long partnership with Americans for the Arts and appreciates their recognition of local leaders in the arts,” said Supervisor Linda Langston, president, NACo. “This program is another example of creative leadership using the arts to benefit employees and citizens."

The National Award for County Arts Leadership honors an elected county board or individual leader who has significantly advanced the arts in the communities they serve. Americans for the Arts established the award in 1999 to recognize the positive role county government leaders play in improving arts programs, increasing funding to the arts and making the arts accessible in their communities.

Media Contact:
Graham Dunstan