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WHEREAS, on April 4, 1968, exactly fifty years ago, Governor Mills Godwin signed legislation that established the Virginia Commission for the Arts as part of the executive branch of the state government; and
WHEREAS, the Commission was established to “stimulate and encourage throughout the Commonwealth growth in artistic quality and excellence, public interest and participation in the arts, and access to high quality and affordable art for all Virginians”; and
WHEREAS, the duties of the Commission include making recommendations to encourage economic viability, promote arts appreciation, awareness, and participation programs in all parts of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Commission is directed to “promote the development and implementation of a planned, sequential, and comprehensive program of arts education” for elementary and secondary schools and “provide supplemental learning opportunities to the public school arts education curriculum”; and
WHEREAS, the Commission encourages the development of professional arts organizations, encourages and funds artists and art programs, promotes greater awareness of the arts, especially to underserved areas, and creates accessibility and diversity through the arts; and
WHEREAS, the Commission consists of seven dedicated staff members, and 13 commissioners who are appointed by the Governor with at least one, but no more than two, appointed from each congressional district of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2018, the Commission celebrated its 50th anniversary with the theme “A New Virginia Renaissance,” and with an arts inspiration awards program honoring 50 artists and arts organizations that have shaped and transformed arts and culture in Virginia for the last 50 years; and
WHEREAS, in honor of its 50th anniversary, the Commission has conducted round table discussions across the Commonwealth to promote partnerships among the business, academic, government, civic, and cultural sectors in anticipation of another 50 years of artistic excellence and engagement; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins the Virginia Commission for the Arts in celebrating its 50th anniversary;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 4, 2018, as the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.