Annual Mayors Arts Gala
By Tom McClimon
United States Conference of Mayors and the Americans for the Arts have
announced the recipients of the 2000 Leadership in the Arts Awards.
The awards will be presented at the third annual Mayors Arts Gala
which will be held the evening of Thursday, January 27 in Washington,
year's honorees are:
Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. who will receive the Local Arts
Leadership Award. Mayor Cianci is being honored for his leadership in
pushing for legislation which grants tax exemptions to artists living
or working in the downtown Arts and Entertainment district. Providence
is now the home to more artists per capita than any other American
city. The Mayor is also being honored for his work on the city's
riverfront revitalization program; his efforts to attract film and
television production to his city; and to establish a cultural
exchange between Providence and Florence, Italy.
Belafonte who will receive the Legendary Artist Award. Mr. Belafonte
is being honored for his lifetime of work in the arts and
stry as well as for his advocacy work on behalf of human rights
around the world. Winner of a Tony, Grammy and recipient in 1994 of
the National Medal of the Arts, Mr. Belafonte has served as a cultural
advisor to the Peace Corps and helped to establish USA for Africa and
the We Are The World concert to benefit African famine relief.
Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania is being honored with the State Arts
Leadership Award. Dedicated to the arts, Governor Ridge has
successfully proposed increases in state arts funding in every year of
his administration. Since taking office in 1995, Governor Ridge has
increased the state arts council's budget by 25 percent, bringing its
funding to a $1 per capita and resulting in an all-time high per
capita ranking of 24th in the nation.
Robert Bennett of Utah will receive the Congressional Arts Leadership
in the United States Senate Award.
Senator Bennett co-authored the National Endowment for the Arts
Restructuring Act, whose objective to streamline the agency, make
public funding for the arts more accountable, and help generate broad
support for the arts. Senator Bennett serves as a consensus builder
for the arts, most recently garnering wide bipartisan support for his
amendment to increase the FY 2000 budgets for the National Endowments
for the Arts and Humanities.
Nancy Johnson of Connecticut is being honored with the Congressional
Arts Leadership in U.S. House of Representatives. Through her
leadership as co-founder of the Tuesday Lunch Bunch, a highly
influential caucus of House moderate Republicans, she has proven to be
highly instrumental in gaining bipartisan support for the arts. As a
founding member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, she co-sponsored a
bipartisan amendment to increase funding for the National Endowment
for the Arts and has initiated a series of congressional sign-on
letters in support of the agency.
John Brademas will receive the Lifetime Achievement for Leadership in
the Advancement of the Arts. Dr. Brademas, President Emeritus of New
York University and former Majority Whip of the U. S. House of
Representatives, has been one of the nation's leading champion of the
arts and humanities. Dr. Brademas co-sponsored the 1965 legislation
that established the National Endowment for the Arts and the National
Endowment for the Humanities. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Dr.
Brademas Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and
Humanities which in 1997 produced Creative America, a comprehensive
analysis of cultural life in America with over 50 specific
recommendations for renewing public and private philanthropy in the
arts and humanities.