The 2012 Howard Kleinberg Award recipient has been announced by the Carbonells. Established in 2000, the award is named after Howard Kleinberg, long-time Editor of The Miami News, historian, and author of numerous articles and books on the social and cultural history of Miami and South Florida. It is awarded as special recognition for contributions to the health and development of the arts in South Florida.
This year's honor will go to Mary A. Becht, who has served as Director of the Broward Cultural Division since 1984 and has been a pioneer of a long list of arts and cultural milestones. Becht has grown the Broward Cultural Division into a nationally-recognized local arts agency that is used as a model for many of the more than 5,000 local arts agencies throughout the United States. She leads the staff, the board, the committees and the Division's annual budget of $3.9 Million, serves a constituency of more than 550 not-for-profit cultural organizations and a community of 1.7 million residents. She has served as on-site evaluator for the Florida Cultural Institution Program and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also served as vice-chair of the United States Arts Urban Federation, president of the Florida Association of Local Arts Agencies, chair of the South Florida Cultural Consortium and president of the Broward Women's Alliance.
This award is the fifth annual award of recognition to be received by Mary Becht including, the First Annual Arts and Culture Award from National Association of Counties in 1990; the Arts Administrator of the Year Award from Arts Management News Service of Columbia College in 2002; the Public Leadership in the Arts Award from National Association of Counties in 2004; and the Ray Hanley Innovation Award, from Americans For the Arts' United States Urban Arts Federation. Many programs from the Broward Cultural Division have served as models for her peers around the county.
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, she received a master's degree in art in 1975 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has also completed all course work toward a second master's degree in public administration from Edinboro University. In July 2012, Becht will celebrate her 30th anniversary with Broward County government.
The award will be presented to Ms. Becht at the 36th annual Carbonell Awards ceremony on Monday, April 2, 2012 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at www.browardcenter.org.