A salute to William Donald Schaefer from Maryland Citizens for the Arts
As last respects are being paid to William Donald Schaefer, the dynamo Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, it's a great time to remember what he did for the cause of culture.
The board of trustees of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, chaired by Douglas R. Mann, passed a resolution honoring that legacy. I think it's worth quoting the resolution in full:
We, the members of the MCA Board of Trustees, hereby resolve to commend and honor the extraordinary contributions made to the arts in Maryland by the Honorable William Donald Schaefer throughout his life and career.
Whereas, he recognized the vital role of the arts in the civic, cultural, educational, and economic life of the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and the responsibility of government at all levels to nurture the arts and enable equitable access.
Whereas, as a member of the Baltimore City Council, the Honorable William Donald Schaefer, sponsored and secured passage in 1964 of ...
Whereas, as Mayor of the City of Baltimore, he created the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Arts and Culture. Through his enhancement of municipal support for the arts Baltimore assumed national leadership based on per capita public funding of the arts. Under his leadership, the citywide arts festival, ArtScape was inaugurated and was recognized quickly as a national model.
Whereas, as Governor of Maryland, the Honorable William Donald Schaefer appointed the Governor’s Commission on the Future of the Arts in Maryland. A significant policy outcome of the 1992 report was the formal adoption of the goal of providing state funding of 10% of qualifying arts organizations’ budgets. In progress towards that goal, funding of the Maryland State Arts Council reached its historically highest level as a percentage of arts organization budgets during his administration.
Further, in 1994, under his leadership, the Maryland Arts Stabilization Bill was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by him into law. This landmark legislation ensured ongoing protection of funding of the Maryland State Arts Council.
Whereas, as Comptroller of the State of Maryland, he championed and secured passage of Maryland State Public Art Program legislation in 2005, thus creating a public art program for the State of Maryland just as he had for the City of Baltimore.
Through all of these major initiatives and countless other arts programs and projects, the Honorable William Donald Schaefer greatly enhanced the quality of life of all of Maryland’s communities, neighborhoods, schools and citizens in myriad ways.
Therefore we celebrate and salute, on this 21st day of April, 2011, the magnificent legacy of the Honorable William Donald Schaefer has left to the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland, which will inspire and enrich the lives of generations of Marylanders to come.
-- MARYLAND CITIZENS FOR THE ARTS
SUN FILE PHOTO