Sen. Gwen Margolis receives 2012 Public Leadership in Arts award

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Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and the National Conference of State Legislatures today announced Florida State Senator Gwen Margolis as the recipient of the 2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership, which 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 the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Senator Margolis has been championing pro-arts policies at the local and state government levels for decades. Of the eight years that she served on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, she was chair for 6 years and leveraged her position to elevate the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs from an agency to a full department while also tripling its budget. During her tenure as Senate President, 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. Under her leadership, she initiated the restoration of the state of Florida’s arts funding which had been slashed in previous years.

“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 but also to the people of Florida who benefit from the arts and the financial benefits they provide for all of the state’s communities.”

“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.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.