WASHINGTON, DC — July 25, 2008 – Representative Peter L. Lewiss of Westerly today received national recognition for his work with the arts in Rhode Island and nationwide. The State Leadership Arts Award was presented to Rep. Lewiss at the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, as part of the Public Leadership in the Arts Awards series of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The award honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level. In announcing the award, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said “Rep. Lewiss has demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication to public funding for the arts. His advocacy for the arts in Rhode Island has proven to be a tremendous success.”
Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, applauded the choice of Lewiss for this prestigious award. "Representative Lewiss has been a strong and vocal advocate for the role the arts play in the economy and life of our state," said Rosenbaum. "This award brings national recognition to the work he and his colleagues in the General Assembly have done to establish Rhode Island as a creative center in New England and beyond."
Nominated by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Rep. Lewiss receives the 2008 State Legislator Arts Leadership Award for his arts advocacy throughout the state. As primary sponsor of Artists Right Act, Rep. Lewiss has codified trust and agency relationship between artists and galleries. In turn, this has created a statutory warranty to protect consumers and collectors. In addition, Lewiss has served as Chair of the National Conference of State Legislators Economic Development Trade and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Rep. Lewiss has sponsored numerous resolutions to the US Congress by encouraging support and increased funding of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, he was a participant in the Pew Charitable Trust Study on Arts and the Economy. The state legislator is also a key supporter of legislation enabling Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) to coordinate the arts districts throughout the State.
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 record of 48 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. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency, supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders. For more information on RISCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.ri.gov.