Former Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub Receives 2020 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership


Americans for the Arts and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have awarded former Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership. The award was given today at NACo’s virtual Arts and Culture Commission event, and honors an elected county official who has significantly advanced the arts in the community they serve.

In Oakland County, Commissioner Taub recently championed appropriating $2 million in federal CARES Act funding to support cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, and historical societies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For years she has demonstrated strong and steadfast support for the arts in Oakland County, and is a proponent of not only the cultural value of the arts, but also its economic value. She consistently led the county’s efforts to provide funding to support the Outdoor Arts Fair series, which occurs in 17 different municipalities over the summer and fall. These art fairs not only brought people together for an enjoyable event but helped to feature various areas of the county and generated additional revenues for the county. Further, she is a strong personal supporter of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, a 319-acre campus that also includes a contemporary art museum, science museum, and a PreK-12 college-preparatory school recognizing that students with a strong arts education make more innovative and creative employees. 

Commissioner Taub taught elementary school for 30 years. She served on the Oakland County Commission from 1993 until 2002, in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006, and again on the Oakland County Commission from 2009 to 2020. Commissioner Taub was a member of the NACo Arts and Culture Commission from 2009 to 2020 and was the chair from 2019 to 2020. As chair, she continued to expand the breadth and mission of the NACo Arts and Culture Commission to be more relevant to the broader NACo membership by bringing a focus to arts in health, education, and economic development.

Brigadier General Nolen Bivens, Interim President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, commented, “Commissioner Taub is a dedicated leader with an exemplary record of supporting and embracing the arts in Oakland County. The arts are alive like never before thanks to her. This award not only recognizes Commissioner Taub’s support of the arts and culture in Oakland County, but also nationally as chair of the NACo Arts and Culture Commission. I applaud her for the commitment and leadership she brought to her work.”

“Commissioner Taub has long served as a champion for the arts and culture in her community and counties across America,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “During some of our nation’s most challenging times, her advocacy at the federal level helped to secure resources to support cultural institutions that help our communities thrive. Commissioner Taub continuously demonstrates the value of the arts in making our counties better places to live, work and play.”

“Thank you to Americans for the Arts and the National Association of Counties along with its Arts and Culture Commission. I am deeply grateful to have been selected to receive the Public Leadership in the Arts Award. In this time of pandemic and unrest it so important for us to promote and push the arts to feed our souls,” commented Commissioner Taub.

Americans for the Arts established the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership award in 1999 to recognize the positive role county government leaders play in improving arts programs, increasing funding to the arts and making the arts accessible in their communities.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 60 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

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