Press and Media Relations Manager
Americans for the Arts
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Pembroke Pines, FL Mayor Frank Ortis Honored With 2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards
Acclaimed Actress Holland Taylor to Receive 2012 Legendary Artist Award
Americans for the Arts, America's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and The United States Conference of Mayors, today announced that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn; Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz; and Pembroke Pines, FL Mayor Frank Ortis will receive the 2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards. In addition, Emmy Award®-winning actress Holland Taylor will be honored with the 2012 Legendary Artist Award.
The awards honor elected officials and artists who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts. Recipients will receive the honor on Thursday, January 19 at The United States Conference of Mayors' 80th annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C. Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors have given out the awards annually since 1997.
"Governor Quinn and Mayors Kautz and Ortis have each demonstrated their dedication to thoughtfully using the arts to spur economic development while enhancing the quality of life in the communities they serve," says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "And Holland Taylor shows us how well-known artists can put their visibility to good use, advancing the arts and other causes that help improve the human condition."
"Every year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the efforts of those who believe as much as we do, that the arts are the heart of our society. Arts and culture help shape a city's quality of life, but mayors also understand the connection between the arts and business and the arts' impact on the local economy," said U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.
Throughout his public service career, Governor Pat Quinn has been a strong and vocal supporter of the arts and arts education and has remained committed to ensuring that all Illinois residents have meaningful opportunities to experience and participate in the arts. In addition, he often uses the bully pulpit of his office to celebrate artists and raise awareness about the essential role the arts play in the social, economic and educational growth and vitality of Illinois. His leadership contributed to the passage of the Live Theatre Production Tax Credit Act for Illinois. Through the use of the credit, the State of Illinois has created a tool that allows the City and State to further develop Illinois as a leader in theatrical tourism. Further, he has invested state resources in the new soundstage development, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, making Illinois a particularly attractive film destination. Governor Quinn included arts related projects in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, including a new Performing Arts Center at Western Illinois University that will create 400 jobs.
"The arts play an important role in the Illinois economy," Governor Pat Quinn said. "People from all over the world come to Illinois just to see our live theatre, attend a dance performance or listen to a musical concert. In addition to providing many cultural and quality of life benefits, the arts create jobs and boost local economic growth."
Mayor Elizabeth Kautz has insisted that art play a major role in the highly successful Heart of the City – a mixed use redevelopment project in Burnsville's revived downtown area. In addition, she is a prime supporter of the annual city Art and All That Jazz Festival that attracts over 10,000 music fans to an outdoor concert setting. She was a central proponent of the city's $20 million Performing Arts Center, which was constructed without any new taxes, relying instead on revenues from the Tax Increment Financing and land fill host feels. And since its initial construction, she spearheaded an initiative that resulted in the addition of an art gallery to the Center. Under her leadership, the Center now hosts a wide variety of community arts groups, performing arts educational groups, professional national touring acts, dance competitions and recitals, all manner of musical productions and eight to 10 significant art shows annually. What's more, it has become a boon to Burnsville's economy; property values have increased and the city's tax base has expanded.
Mayor Kautz commented: "I am thrilled and honored to receive the National Award for Local Arts Leadership. I have been blessed to work with so many business and community leaders who make the arts in all forms a priority. I share this award with them! We are very aware that the arts enrich the lives of our citizens, document our history and drive economic vitality."
Recognizing that the arts were the key to Pembroke Pines' vitality, Mayor Frank Ortis made it his mission to build arts and cultural resources into the city. His efforts include visionary initiatives to invest in much-needed infrastructure, including theater, classroom and studio space, as well as increasing opportunities for residents of all ages to enjoy and participate in the arts. He has been instrumental in the establishment of arts resources in Pembroke Pines, including Studio 18. This 11,000 square foot creative re-use facility was transformed from a dilapidated state hospital laundry into an arts center that offers arts classes and showcases contemporary art. Each year, the city underwrites nine free outdoor jazz performances that feature local jazz musicians. It also hosts the Pembroke Pines Arts Festival, an annual, two-day, outdoor arts celebration that features the work of nearly 100 artists and attracts more than 15,000 visitors each year.
"This award verifies the strong arts and culture commitment of Pembroke Pines," states Mayor Ortis. "In our municipality, the arts and culture are an essential part of our citizen's everyday lives. On behalf of the citizens of Pembroke Pines, it is an honor to receive this award."
Holland Taylor's career has spanned more than four decades. She has worked extensively in film and television, appearing in Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, To Die For, Next Stop Wonderland, One Fine Day, George of the Jungle, The Truman Show, Happy Accidents, Spy Kids (2 & 3), Keeping the Faith, Legally Blonde and Baby Mama, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. On television, she has been nominated for an Emmy Award® seven times, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her popular rose Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice. Her numerous series starring roles include The Powers that Be, Norman Lear's short-lived but highly acclaimed political satire, Bosom Buddies, with Tom Hanks, and, currently, Two and a Half Men, with Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher. She has performed narrations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Essa-Pekka Salonen and John Adams, and narrated the Harry Potter Suite, for John Williams at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
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. Additional information is available at www.USMayors.org.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education 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 www.AmericansForTheArts.org.