Wright Museum Confers Lifetime Achievement Award On Conyers
(DETROIT) – Yesterday, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) received a lifetime achievement award from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for his work in promoting and preserving jazz and the arts in Congress at a meeting of the Detroit Entertainment Commission. Created by the city government, the Detroit Entertainment Commission is dedicated to the support and promotion of the arts. Representative Conyers recently introduced H.R. 2823, “The National Jazz Preservation and Education Act of 2011”, a bill that would educate students on the vital contribution jazz music has made to American culture, and establishes a National Jazz Preservation program through the Smithsonian Institution to preserve knowledge and promote education about Jazz.
“Jazz grew out of the unique experiences of African Americans in the United States. It is one of America’s truly original art forms. I am honored to receive an award that recognizes both jazz’s place in Detroit’s history and its contribution as an art form to American culture. The promotion and preservation of jazz and of the arts is a worthy goal and a key element in the education of our young people.
“The arts are an invaluable educational tool that help inspire children to learn about the diverse contributions Americans from all walks of life have made to our national culture. The arts contribute to the creation of well-rounded adults, and in a nation that is defined by its multi-cultural character, we need young people to grow into adults who appreciate the cultural contributions of all Americans. This is one of the most important reasons not to cut funding for music and the arts in our nation’s public schools.
“One of my goals as a Member of Congress is to provide support to our public school students and teachers. And this is one of the many reasons why I am working in Congress to pass President Obama’s American Jobs Act. The bill would preserve jobs in the state of Michigan by providing much needed federal grants to avoid lay-offs of school teachers, many of who could continue to teach the arts, music, and the humanities to our students.”