Head of Virginia Arts Commission Honored
Peggy Baggett 'Extraordinary Woman in the Arts'
February 04, 2010RICHMOND, VA — Peggy Baggett, Executive Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, was honored at the Art Works for Virginia conference on January 27, 2010, in Richmond.
Her recognition was in connection with the launch of "Minds Wide Open," a statewide initiative celebrating women in the arts in Virginia. Between March and June 2010, the cultural community will present hundreds of performances, exhibitions, literary readings and films on the theme of Women in the Arts.
Baggett was described as "an extraordinary woman in the arts." She has headed the state arts agency for three decades through eight administrations. She was cited for her leadership, innovative thinking, sustained commitment to public support for the arts and her dedication to diverse artistic expressions.
The award, an original piece of art by Richmond artist Steven Glass, was presented by June Britt on behalf of Virginians for the Arts (VFTA) and the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA). Britt is a former chair of both organizations.
In 2000, Baggett was named the top state arts council administrator in the country by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). She received the Gary Young Award which honors individuals who in their states and regions make significant contributions to the cultural community and who offer leadership to others in the field of public support for the arts.
Baggett is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a master's degree in arts administration from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has been an active participant in activities of NASSA, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin, the Cultural Heritage Stewardship Council for Virginia and the Virginia Women's Cultural History Project, among numerous other organizations
Through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts distributes grants to those who create, teach, present and administer the arts. Last year the Commission helped to make possible 39,943 arts events with a combined attendance of over 7.7 million people, including 1.9 million school children
By strengthening arts in education, encouraging community cultural development, and supporting artistic excellence, diversity and innovation, the Commission helps ensure that the arts will continue to enrich the lives of Virginians for generations to come.