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Americans for the Arts Recognizes Annapolis Mayor Buckley During US Conference of Mayors

| January 24, 2022, 04:02 PM

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley speaks to the US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC after receiving the 2022 Public Leadership in the Arts Award (for cities population less than 100,000).

Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors today presented the 2022 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to three elected officials at The U.S. Conference of Mayors 90th Winter Meeting. The honorees include:

  • Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, was awarded the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population fewer than 100,000.
  • Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, Texas, received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of 100,000 or more;
  • Bill Anaotubby, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, was awarded the National Award for State Arts Leadership – the first elected leader of an Indigenous nation being awarded a Public Leadership in the Arts Award;

“Governor Anaotubby, Mayor Turner, and Mayor Buckley embody the best of what civic leaders can do to support the arts,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “They understand the important role that the arts play in advancing equity, uniting communities, preserving culture, and boosting the economy. I am particularly pleased that we are honoring our first elected leader of an Indigenous nation with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award. I applaud Governor Anaotubby, Mayor Turner, and Mayor Buckley for relentlessly working to support and promote the arts and equity in their regions.”

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is pleased to recognize the exemplary work of Mayor Turner, Mayor Buckley, and Governor Anoatubby as they use the arts and culture to not only promote their city/state, but to grow their economies,” remarked Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Mayors understand the inherent value of the arts to bring people together, promote cultural understanding, and make cities safer places to live, work, and play.”

When Mayor Buckley first ran for mayor, he was being challenged by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission for a mural he had placed on the front facade of one of the restaurants of which he was part owner. The battle increased the conversation about public art in a historic district and launched his political career with a campaign to become mayor. He won a second term in 2021.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

After being elected, Mayor Buckley’s transition team included members of the arts community that created a “Soul of the City” report on how Annapolis could better support the arts. He took on some of their suggestions and increased funding to the City’s Art in Public Places Commission, and followed this by creating the first Poet Laureate position in the City of Annapolis. Mayor Buckley filled the empty seats on the Annapolis Arts in Public Places Commission and this energized group became active in supporting more events like the Chamber Park Concert Series and active on social media to let locals know about other arts events.

When the community newspaper, Capital Gazette, was attacked, the City used music to help start the healing process. The City of Annapolis, in partnership with the Annapolis Arts District, hosted a concert called “Annapolis Rising” to bring the community together to start the healing process. “Mayor Gavin Buckley has known from the very beginning of his administration the importance of embracing the artists and creatives in the community in order to bring people together and uplift the community,” said Erik Evans, Executive Director of the Annapolis Arts District and the Downtown Annapolis Partnership.

Over the past four years, the arts community has continued to grow in Annapolis. Local nonprofit Future History Now has collaborated with professional and student artists to put up several murals throughout the city including the Breonna Taylor Mural that has received national attention. During the COVID pandemic, the City of Annapolis created Recovery Zones to expand restaurant dining into the streets, which also allowed for more live music in the streets and employed musicians outdoors five nights a week at events like Dinner Under the Stars. Outdoor monthly Sunday art festivals continued to safely operate all through the pandemic as they have for 20 years. The Annapolis Arts District created an outdoor sculpture exhibition this past year of works by David Hayes that are in four different wards of the city, including neighborhoods where public art has not regularly appeared. This has allowed more people to enjoy diverse public art displays outdoors and in their community.

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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