Mayor Walsh Honored for Arts Leadership

This morning, Mayor Walsh was honored with the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts Award, presented by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). The National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of 100,000 or more was presented at the USCM Winter Meeting in Washington, DC.

Each year, the Public Leadership in the Arts Awards are given in recognition of elected officials who advance the arts and arts education within their communities and whose vision and leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts. 

Mayor Walsh was recognized for his leadership in ensuring that arts and culture are a top priority for the City of Boston.  His efforts to increase the budget of the Boston Cultural Council, the creation of a cabinet-level position for arts and culture, support for the Boston Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program and the Boston Creates cultural plan were cited as examples of this leadership.      

In presenting today’s award to Mayor Walsh, Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, noted “His commitment to the arts is unwavering. He understands the importance of using the arts in very creative ways to help enhance the quality of life for Boston’s residents, while at the same time harnessing the economic potential of investment in culture.”

When Mayor Walsh launched the Boston Creates cultural plan, he detailed five goals designed to create a cultural shift in the city: building a sustainable arts ecosystem, supporting Boston artists, promoting cultural equity, integrating arts and culture into all aspects of civic life, and engaging both likely and unlikely partners, uniting them in the goal of ensuring Boston becomes a leading city for the arts.

In accepting today’s award, Mayor Walsh reiterated these goals and noted, “We want to see art everywhere in our City, even in unexpected places. Art matters to everyone and we’re breaking down barriers to make the arts more accessible to everyone. We’re making sure that Boston is a city where artists can thrive and our arts ecosystem can grow.”

On behalf of the entire cultural community of Greater Boston, I applaud the selection of Mayor Walsh for this much deserved award. His leadership on behalf of the arts began long before he was elected Mayor, and will continue to have an impact far into the future as we all work together to make Boston a city where the arts and artists can continue to thrive.


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