Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames received the 2020 National Award for Local Arts Leadership from the United States Conference of Mayors on Friday, Jan. 24, during a presentation in Washington D.C.
Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors, has presented the Local Arts Leadership Award since 1997. The award honors individuals who have consistently advocated and supported the arts and culture and/or arts education in their city.
Mayor Ames was nominated by colleagues engaged in the arts in Beaumont and was considered for the award in a city with a population of 100,000 or more citizens.
Mayor Ames has supported beautification projects including an initiative to engage local artists to paint traffic control boxes throughout the city of Beaumont in 2018. She recognizes the importance of the arts and has helped grow the “Calder Art Fest,” a city festival open to the public that includes local art vendors, live mural paintings and musical performances.
Throughout her 12 years as Mayor, Ames has supported many art-related projects and museums throughout Beaumont and supports the local Southeast Texas Arts Council. Additionally, she has lent support and funding to the Cultural Arts District Designation application, which was recently awarded and presented by the Texas Commission on the Arts to the Downtown Beaumont Arts District.
“I am excited and honored to receive this prestigious award on behalf of my city,” Mayor Ames said in response to receiving the award. “I believe that public art is important to our city in so many ways, including enhancing the quality of life for our citizens, raising awareness of our local talent and driving economic development. I have seen first-hand how even small art projects can enhance community pride and ownership. I am proud of everyone that helped us merit this award, and I am confident that we will continue to elevate the arts in our city. It is another great day in Beaumont!”