Gov. O'Malley recognized for leadership in the arts

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maryland-governor-martin-omalleyAmericans for the Arts (AFTA), a leading national arts advocacy organization, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will jointly award Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley the prestigious Public Leadership in the Arts for State Arts Leadership Award on Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C.

The annual award honors governors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts. O'Malley is the first Maryland governor to receive the award.

"I am honored to receive an award that recognizes the arts continue to move Maryland forward," said O'Malley. "The arts support Maryland's identity as a dynamic, cultural and vibrant place to live, learn and visit. But most of all, they have a significant economic impact on our State's economy, supporting jobs for Maryland families."

O'Malley also received the Local Arts Leadership Award from AFTA in 2004 when he was mayor of Baltimore, and he is the only U.S. governor to have received both state and local awards.

"As mayor, he pioneered efforts to leverage the arts as a cultural and economic asset for Baltimore. As Governor, his leadership has led to an expanded arts portfolio that includes 20 designated Arts & Entertainment Districts, a Commission on Public Art and a statewide network of more than 250 arts organizations that have weathered the recession and are showing growth, thanks in large part to stable arts funding from the state," said Hannah Byron, assistant secretary for tourism, film and the arts at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

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