PHOENIX, AZ (November 20, 2009) – Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Robert Booker, was recently recognized as one of the 25 most powerful and influential leaders in the nonprofit arts sector.  Nominations are made by leaders from large and small organizations across the country, representing all artistic disciplines and demographics within the national arts industry.  The list, published to a well-known arts blog authored by Barry Hessenius and hosted by the Western States Arts Federation, also lists recently confirmed chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, Rocco Landesman and Americans for the Arts President, Bob Lynch. Booker is one of only two state arts agency directors to be recognized on the list, which notes his “authoritative voice” in the state arts agency network and his accomplishments as an experienced leader “able to deal with a variety of ups and downs.”

Booker was named to the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national arts philanthropy organization, in October 2009, and received the 2008-2009 Distinguished Service Award from the AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence.  He has served on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and in 2006 was honored with the organization’s Gary Young Award, a lifetime achievement award for outstanding individual leadership in the arts.  Prior to his work in Arizona, Booker played many roles at the Minnesota State Arts Board, including eight years of service as the Executive Director.  Booker joined the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2006.  

To view the entire list, visit

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizona citizens; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.

We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

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