Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon Receives Public Leadership in the Arts Award

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon

Americans for the Arts and the National Lieutenant Governors Association presented Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership, which honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level.

Lieutenant Governor Simon is a true champion for the arts in Illinois. She is the perfect choice for the Public Leadership in the Arts Award because she believes that the arts are not only a vital economic driver, but also essential to the academic and social development of every child in the state.
— Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts

Since taking office in January of 2011, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon has been a strong and vocal champion for the arts. As Governor Pat Quinn’s point person on education reform, she's spearheaded efforts to strengthen arts education, helping launch an initiative to create a comprehensive, state-level policy agenda to increase arts education access, equity, and quality in Illinois.

Prior to her tenure as Lieutenant Governor, Simon served with distinction for five years as a member of the Illinois Arts Council.

A musician and artist in her own right, she sings and the plays the banjo and bassoon with her band Loose Gravel, an eclectic blues and boogie based band with traces of folk, rock, country, funk, and lush vocal harmonies, formed in 1998.

When students have access to arts education, they are more successful in and out of the classroom. It is important that Illinois leaders work together to stabilize the public pension system, preserve funding for education, and allow students to express themselves through art, music, theater and other programs.
—The Honorable Sheila Simon