Senator Rob Schaaf Receives State Arts Advocacy Award

St. Joseph, July 3, 2013 – Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA), the non-partisan, state-wide, grass roots organization that advocates to secure stable financial support for the arts to benefit Missouri and its citizens, has awarded Senator Rob Schaaf with the 2013 Arts Advocacy Award.

Senator Schaaf was recognized at the MCA annual meeting reception, Thursday, June 27, for his strong support of arts funding for the Missouri Arts Council. Unable to attend the event because of a prior commitment, he will receive his award October 16 at the Allied Arts Council’s annual Legislative Reception Celebrating the Arts.

Senator Rob Schaaf is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is also a member of the Missouri Cultural Trust Fund. He has supported funding for the arts since his time in the House and now in the Senate. In addition to fighting for funding increases on the Senate Appropriations Committee, (where he requested an additional $200,000 in the Senate recommended amount), Schaaf introduced Senate Bill 166.

SB166 would extend the sunset on the earmarked funds collected from the non-resident professional athletes and entertainers tax for the Missouri Cultural Trust Fund. Although the bill was held up in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Senator Schaaf has continued to fight for the arts. His work has significant local impact to St. Joseph area arts organizations, many of whom receive crucial annual support via grants from the Missouri Arts Council.

Sworn into office on Jan. 5, 2011 to serve the 34th Senatorial District, Sen. Schaaf, a Republican, represents Buchanan and Platte counties in northwest Missouri. Before being elected to the Senate, Sen. Schaaf represented Andrew and northwest Buchanan County (District 28) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to the House in November 2002 and served for four two-year terms.

Senator Schaaf has been a family physician in northwest Missouri since 1985 and is Chairman of the Board of the Missouri Doctors Mutual Insurance Company (MoDocs), which he helped form in 2004 to provide medical liability insurance to Missouri doctors.

Other 2013 awardees include Representative Lincoln Hough from district 135 for his support for the arts at the legislature and Mr. Jeff Sandquist, receiving the Frederick H. Laas Award, for his work as a vocal music director and music department chair for the Rolla Public Schools, the artistic director for the Rolla Choral Arts Society, and long-time volunteer leadership for the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education.

The Missouri Arts Advocacy Awards were established in 1984 to recognize individuals, organizations and businesses that play a significant role as advocates and participants in fostering the arts. Recipients are recognized for their strong commitment to fostering the arts in Missouri and demonstrated leadership in arts advocacy. The Frederick Laas Memorial Award was established in honor of long-time MCA board member and arts advocate, Fred Laas of Joplin, who passed away in October 2001. The award recognizes those within the state who provide artistic opportunities for all and focuses on Fred’s passions for arts education and arts accessibility.

For further information, contact Teresa Fankhauser, Executive Director of the Allied Arts Council and President of Missouri Citizens for the Arts at 816-233-0231 or visit

The Allied Arts Council, incorporated in 1963, brings art and people together. It supports some of the most prominent visual, performing, and creative arts in Buchanan County. The mission of the Allied Arts Council is to provide leadership and support for the arts and to its member organizations with a vision of making St. Joseph and the surrounding communities a better place to live through the arts. Simply put, our goal is to bring arts and people together.

As the leadership organization for the arts in St. Joseph, the Council fulfills its mission in several ways: by supporting its member organizations in promoting artistic opportunities; by providing financial support, and fostering coordinated cultural planning; by offering programs to educate and develop future audiences; by providing forums of expression for local artists; and by advocating for arts and its member organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

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