Cultural Quarterly
Spring/Summer 2009
Volume XXII, Number 2
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"left to right" Govenor Charlie Christ, ArtServe President/CEO
Maureen Kohler, and Secretary of State Kurt Browning

ArtServe Receives 2009 Arts Recognition Award
During Florida Heritage Month
By Helene Foster

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What better way to celebrate two decades of promoting the arts in South Florida than to be honored with a coveted award! The well-regarded 2009 Arts Recognition Award was presented this March to ArtServe by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, the Florida Department of State, the Florida Arts Council and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

“This award is very special and adds much excitement to our 20th anniversary year,” said ArtServe President and CEO Maureen Kohler, who proudly accepted the award on the organization’s behalf in a special ceremony in Tallahassee. She adds that ArtServe, with its innovative programs and creative partnerships, has come to the forefront of the Florida arts scene.

Michael Goodman, ArtServe’s board chair, agrees. “We are honored to receive this award and very proud of the board and staff’s dedication and hard work to bring recognition of ArtServe’s outstanding contribution to the community.”

The award was part of Florida Heritage Month, which marked the value of the state’s history and culture while recognizing those individuals and organizations that have contributed to Florida’s cultural and artistic successes. Florida Heritage Month, a program of the Department of State, ran from March 15 to April 15 to celebrate “Florida’s Spirit.”

Governor Crist said, “It’s an honor for me to participate in the celebrations of accomplishments of some of Florida’s devoted citizens. Their dedication is one of the reasons that Florida is a great state, and they deserve our praise.” 

ArtServe had its beginnings in the Cultural Master Plan created by the Broward County Division of Cultural Affairs in 1988. As a local affiliate of the Business Volunteers for the Arts, it soon became incorporated as a non-profit organization and began operating under 501(c)(3) status in January 1989. Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts later was established and the ArtServe Business Center was born thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The three programs merged in 1993 under the name ArtServe.

Now, with two locations – the original site at the Fort Lauderdale Branch Library and the gift shop and gallery location at Broward County Main Library - ArtServe provides affordable shared office, performance and rehearsal space for a vast array of cultural and arts groups. It provides business support and services for artists, art guilds and other performing and literary arts groups in many disciplines. ArtServe also offers cooperative advertising and event initiatives to make the arts more accessible to residents of Broward County. Recently launched is ArtServe’s newest initiative, ArtsCalendar.com, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provides the most comprehensive cultural arts information for the Broward and Miami-Dade county area and soon to be expanded to all of the South Florida area.  Throughout its history, ArtServe has become very highly regarded in the arts community and consistently sets standards of excellence for other regional arts organizations.

For more information about ArtServe and its programs, visit www.ArtServe.org or call 954-462-8190.