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(Washington, D.C., January 21, 2010)- Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann today received the 2010 Americans for the Arts and US Conference of Mayors National Award for Local Arts Leadership.

Mayor Hannemann accepted the award at the US Conference of Mayors 78th Annual Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D. C.  The prestigious award is given annually by the US Conference of Mayor in partnership with Americans for the Arts

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized for something in which I believe so passionately,” Hannemann said.  “And I accept this award on behalf of all those people and organizations in the City and County of Honolulu who share that same passion for the arts, and understand how important the arts are in adding to our city’s quality of life.”

Hannemann was recognized for taking the lead in creating opportunities to use the arts as a catalyst for economic development and community revitalization in Honolulu.  His efforts to create an arts enterprise zone in downtown Honolulu and his collaboration with the Hawaii Arts Alliance to open the ARTS at Marks Garage were singled out, as were his continuing support of the Honolulu Film Office and the First Friday events in Chinatown.  Hannemann’s promotion of ethnic celebrations and international cultural festivals and his grants to youth performing arts groups were also cited.

“The arts define the essence and the soul of a city,” Hannemann said.  “We have a monarchial past, and we owe it to the kings and queens of Hawaii to perpetuate the culture of our islands through our continued support of the arts.  The arts enrich our lives and those of our children, who’ll be better prepared for the competitive world they’ll enter with their creativity enhanced through their exposure to and active involvement in the arts.”

Hannemann serves as the chairman of the US Conference of Mayors standing committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports.  He was successful in making tourism and the arts part of the USCM’s 10-Point Plan for America’s cities.  On behalf of the USCM, Mayor Hannemann lobbied then presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to include tourism and the arts in their national platforms.  He has also advocated for continued and increased federal funding for the arts before the US Congress.

.  Mayor Hannemann, as a nationally known arts advocate, was a featured speaker yesterday as Americans for the Arts celebrated its 50th Anniversary with an announcement about the state of the arts in America at a press conference at the National Press Club.