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August 9, 2012

Florida State Senator Gwen Margolis Honored with 2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Award

Presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures and Americans for the Arts

CHICAGO — Florida State Senator Gwen Margolis' commitment to arts funding in an era of budget challenges has earned her the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for 2012, presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Americans for the Arts. The award honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level. Senator Margolis will receive her award today at NCSL's 38th annual Legislative Summit in Chicago, Ill.

"Florida's quality of life amenities are too numerous to list. The cultural and recreations offerings, natural environment, beaches, culinary experiences, and festivals, draws millions of people to the State of Florida each year," said Margolis. "It has always been my goal to enhance the quality of life by increasing the awareness of the art industry, and to work tirelessly to ensure funding will always exist."

During her tenure in office, Senator Margolis has supported and defended the arts and its funding. She led the successful restoration of funding for the grants programs under the Division of Cultural Affairs. And now as the vice chair of the Senate Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, she has championed restoring Florida's investment in its arts and cultural grants programs.

“Senator Margolis has been a tremendous supporter of the arts,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Her advocacy for the arts in Florida not only demonstrates her commitment to public funding for the arts as a financial stimulus in Florida’s communities, but also to the people of Florida, who benefit from the arts in so many ways.”

The first Public Leadership in the Arts Award was presented as part of NCSL’s 2006 Fall Forum in San Antonio, Texas. The award has since been given out annually at the NCSL Legislative Summit.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

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.