ArtsinStark has been selected to receive the 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio for COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & PARTICIPATION. The award will be presented at a luncheon ceremony honoring the winners and members of the Ohio Legislature at noon on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. The luncheon is hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. The 2012 Governor’s Awards Selection Committee consisted of seven Ohio Arts Council board members and three non-board members who were selected by Ohio Citizens for the Arts. The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. The Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation provides information to all Ohioans about the arts and promotes their value to a high quality of life, a strong economy and the achievement of educational excellence. More information about the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio including a full list of past winners is available on the Ohio Arts Council website at www.oac.ohio.gov/events/GovAwards About ArtsinStark: The organization now called ArtsinStark was formed in 1968 to build the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton. More than 40 years later, ArtsinStark has become the county arts council for Stark County, serving its nearly 300,000 residents with a commitment to creating smarter kids, new jobs and healthier communities. While ArtsinStark continues to manage the 330,000-square-foot Cultural Arts Center, this nonprofit organization also distributes more than $1.2 million in operating, special projects and community arts grants to hundreds of organizations and individuals each year. The first $1 million in operating support goes to the seven largest arts organizations in Stark County: the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Palace Theatre, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Massillon Museum, Players Guild Theater and Voices of Canton. In addition, ArtsinStark also awards $200,000 in smaller grants annually to 100 county nonprofits and artists. Nearly 99 percent of ArtsinStark’s $2.6 million annual budget comes from the private sector. What the organization doesn’t earn, it raises from generous individuals, companies and foundations during its Annual Arts Campaign. Since 2005, ArtsinStark has seen a 60 percent increase in giving. In 2011, the campaign raised a record high of more than $1.5 million, with 91 cents of every dollar raised going directly back to the community. This funding helps to support the burgeoning cultural industry in Stark County, which represents more than 500 jobs and $18 million in economic impact. In fact, using the creative sector for economic development is a key strategy for ArtsinStark, from partnering with the Canton Chamber to create the Canton Arts District to co-hosting a blockbuster exhibit with the Canton Museum of Art that generated $6 million in economic impact. In 2012, ArtsinStark will unveil 20/20 Vision—a 10-year plan for arts and economic development in Stark County. Equally important is the nonprofit’s focus on improving learning. In 2006, ArtsinStark launched the SmArts Program to help “supercharge learning” by integrating arts and academics. In the last six years, the SmArts Program has invested $250,000 to host 100 SmArts projects for 15,000 kids. In what has been called an “arts explosion,” the directors, staff and volunteers that make up ArtsinStark are successfully incorporating art into every part of the community, reshaping the face of Stark County and changing the lives of those who live there.