By Jan Sjostrom
Palm Beach Daily News
The annual award recognizes his long record of arts philanthropy.
Without resident Earle Mack, the nation’s leading cultural agencies might have been stripped of federal funding for the past three years.
When the Trump administration axed the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services from the 2018, 2019 and 2020 budgets, Mack swung into action.
As a former U.S. ambassador to Finland and a Republican businessman who made a fortune in real estate in New York and New Jersey, Mack had connections in high places.
He used them to help persuade Congress not only to restore funding but increase it. (The 2020 budget has yet to be approved, but another increase seems likely.)
“It’s one thing for me to say the arts deserve to be funded,” said Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of American for the Arts advocacy and support organization. “It’s another thing for Earle Mack to say it to the people he can say it to. That has made a huge difference.”