Governor Pataki Wins Prestigious National Arts Award
February 7, 2003 Rochester, NY - Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors announced on January 24 they have selected Governor George E. Pataki to receive the 2003 Government Leadership in the Arts Award for Outstanding State Arts Leadership. The annual award honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level.
Governor Pataki was nominated by the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester and the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County.
"It is truly an honor to receive this prestigious award," said Governor Pataki. "The arts affect each of us in wonderful ways, and give added meaning and enrichment to all our lives. The brilliant and diverse artistic offerings that come from every corner of the Empire State not only celebrate the human spirit, but challenge the mind, capture the heart and inspire the soul."
”We are extremely grateful for Governor Pataki’s support of the arts.” said Sarah Lentini, Executive Director for the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester “With significant assistance from the Governor’s Office, the New York State Legislature and the New York State Council on the Arts, we have been able to strengthen our partnerships with the business, education and tourism sectors and enhance the quality of life in our community on behalf of our 1,000 members in the 10-county Greater Rochester/ Finger Lakes region and throughout New York State.”
This year's award cited Governor Pataki for his collaboration with education and cultural heritage, including:
Announcing in 1997, the first Empire State Partnership (ESP) Grants. The initiative, started jointly by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Education Department, gives students the tools to master important thinking and communication skills while improving their competence in the arts and other subjects.
In his 2002-2003 Executive Budget, Governor Pataki set aside $5 million for the ESP program in order to bring together schools and arts organizations to promote innovative programs and raise educational standards.
In 1999, Governor Pataki partnered the New York State Council on the Arts and the Arts and Business Council to launch a new grant initiative to expand and enhance cultural tourism. The initiative's purpose was to attract new visitors, stimulate local economies, generate new jobs, and create renewed pride and recognition of the arts and cultural heritage in New York's local communities.
On April 30, 1998, Governor Pataki and then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a pact to build a cultural exchange between New York and Israel, the first agreement of its kind between New York State and a foreign power. To date, over 50 grants have been awarded.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a 40-year record of objective arts industry research. 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.
Founded in 1933, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with a population of 30,000 or more. The primary roles of the Conference of Mayors are to: promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information.
When Governor George Pataki took office in 1995, the State's art budget had been cut by 56 percent over the previous five years. Under Governor Pataki's leadership, state funding for the arts has gone up 52 percent, bringing the New York State Council on the Arts' current appropriation to $50.1 million. Since 1995, close to 21,600 grants totaling over $349,572,325 have been awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. In 2003, New York State was ranked third in per capita state spending on the arts in America.
Richard Schwartz, Chairman of the New York State Council for the Arts, accepted the award on the Governor's behalf at the Mayors' Arts Luncheon as part of the Conference of Mayors' 71st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Previous State Arts Leadership Award recipients include:
2002 Governor John Engler (R-MI) 1999 Governor Mel Carnahan(D-MO)
2001 Governor John Rowland (R-CT) 1998 Governor Arne Carlson(R-MN)
2000 Governor Tom Ridge (R-PA) 1997 Governor Bob Miller(D-NV)