White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach was recently among four honorees presented with a Public Leadership in the Arts award by Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC. He received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of fewer than 100,000 residents.
Mayor Roach was nominated for the award by ArtsWestchester due to his long-term leadership in the City’s arts scene as well as his partnership on signature cultural events like the annual JazzFest White Plains, a five-day festival that has become a favored tradition among Westchester residents and visitors.
ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam explains: “These prestigious Public Leadership in the Arts awards underscore the vital role the arts play in the health and vitality of our nation’s cities. On behalf of ArtsWestchester, I congratulate Mayor Roach and the other awardees for their investment and commitment to arts and culture in their respective communities.”
CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Tom Cochran adds: “Mayors understand the inherent value of the arts to bring people together, promote cultural understanding, and make cities safer places to live, work and play.”
Mayor Roach has embraced the arts as a fundamental component of the future of the City, which is regularly seeing new development and construction. According to ArtsWestchester, he also encouraged the organization to mount its Serious Fun Arts Fest, a 2022 five-day festival that brought headliner concerts, new public art installations, an art fair and more throughout White Plains, touting the city as a tourist destination.
Meanwhile, arts venues, cultural activities and public art figure heavily in the city’s proposed comprehensive plan, which will be adopted later this year. The plan prioritizes the development of new cultural assets within the downtown such as galleries, a museum and performing venues.
President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Nolen V. Bivens says: “It’s an honor for Americans for the Arts to recognize the unwavering dedication and impact that [the honorees] have had in their respective communities, where they have championed the availability of arts for all.” The three other honorees included Colorado Governor Jared Polis, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and Cuyahoga County, OHPoet LaureateHoney Bell-Bey.
Photo credit: ArtsMobile (photo by John Vecchiolla; JazzFest (photo by Mary Alice Franklin); Serious Fun (photo by May Alice Franklin); Gala (photo by Leslye Smith).