WASHINGTON, DC, September 28, 2018 — The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Women in Government (WIG) today announced that North Carolina State Representative Becky Carney is the 2018 recipient of the “Outstanding Woman State Legislator Supporting the Arts” award, created to recognize a woman state legislator for outstanding support of the arts in her state. The award will be presented at Women In Government's national conference on October 3, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
Representative Carney had a history as a supporter of the arts before her arrival at the NC General Assembly, and as such she quickly found herself as an advocate and supporter of the projects and grant programs of the North Carolina Arts Council. With her help appropriations for the North Carolina Arts Council grants programs have increased in either recurring or non-recurring funds each year since 2014.
In May 2018 Representative Carney in partnership with Representative Jeffrey Elmore founded the bipartisan Joint Caucus on Arts and Arts Education, and 44 North Carolina House Members joined the caucus in just a matter of weeks. The purpose of the Joint Caucus on Arts and Arts Education is to educate Members of the House and Senate on the economic, education, and civic impact of the arts industry in North Carolina and to help grow awareness of North Carolina as The Creative State.
“Representative Carney exemplifies the leadership that women bring to the table,” said Colorado Sen. Nancy Todd, chair of WIG's Board of Directors. “Working across the aisle, she helped pass multiple bills to expand opportunities for students, residents and communities to have access to and to benefit from the arts.”
In her 22 years in elected office, Representative Carney has worked tirelessly to support the arts and arts education in the state of North Carolina. She is well known throughout the non-profit arts sector and within the arts education community as a great champion, empowered by her unflinching belief in the power of the arts to improve the lives of every person in our state.
Representative Carney was nominated by Nate McGaha, Executive Director for Arts North Carolina, and selected from a pool of other female legislators. Nominees must demonstrate a significant contribution in support of the arts, evidence of promoting policies that support the arts, collaborate with cultural and education partners to support the arts, and promote the value and importance of the arts in public life.
As the nation's performing arts center, the Kennedy Center partnered with WIG to encourage support of the arts at the state or local level through this award. WIG is the premier organization providing leadership opportunities, expert forums, educational resources and opportunities to address and resolve complex policy issues to women state legislators.
About Representative Becky Carney
Now in her eighth term in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Becky Carney continues to work diligently to promote public education, arts education and health issues. Education was the key issue that launched Representative Carney's political career. She was elected to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in Charlotte in 1996, and served three consecutive terms. As a County Commissioner, she served on the Smart Start Board, helped establish the Education Budget Advisory Commission, and served as the Education Liaison to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. She also chaired the School Bond Campaign in 1997. As a result of her outstanding service, Representative Carney was named North Carolina's County Commissioner of the Year in 2000.
Representative Carney believes arts education is key to success in school and life and should be accessible for all students. She has sponsored major legislation concerning Study Committees and the Arts Education Task Force. She sponsored Arts Education As A Graduation Requirement, which passed in the House in 2013, 2015 and 2017. She was presented the North Carolina Art Education Association Friend of the Arts award and the Champion for the Arts; Arts Market Award in 2007 and 2009.
About Women In Government
Women In Government Foundation, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of women state legislators. Led by a national Board of Directors consisting of 13 state legislators, WIG provides leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues to all women state legislators. Women In Government leads the nation with a bold, courageous and passionate vision that empowers and mobilizes all women legislators to effect sound policy in areas such as healthcare, education, energy, the environment, transportation, criminal justice and the arts. To learn more about Women In Government, go to: http://www.womeningovernment.org.
About The Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America's living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein, and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation's busiest performing arts facility attract more than three million visitors to more than 2,000 performances each year, while center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach 40 million more around the world. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center has produced more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works, in addition to hosting numerous international cultural festivals. The education programs of the Kennedy Center, including those of its affiliate VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, have become models for communities across the country and have unlocked the door to learning for millions of young people. The Center and its affiliates stage more than 400 free performances by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center's main stages, and every day of the year at 6 p.m. on its Millennium Stages, which are also streamed live, online. To learn more about the Kennedy Center, please visit www.kennedy-center.org
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