Turlock Earns City Livability Award for Carnegie Reconstruction

David Fransen

The City of Turlock has been recognized with a prestigious U.S. Conference of Mayors City Livability Award, honoring the reopened Carnegie Arts Center's impact on the community.

“I am extremely proud to represent our city in receiving this acknowledgment of the Carnegie Arts Center,” Turlock Mayor John Lazar said. “We should all be proud of the arts in Turlock and I take particular pride in being Turlock’s Mayor!”

Lazar accepted the award on behalf of the city during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, held from June 21 through June 24 in Las Vegas.

Since 1979, the City Livability Awards have honored mayors and city governments for improving the quality of life in urban areas, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. An independent panel of judges selects the winners each year.

"Our City Livability Awards Program gives the Conference the opportunity to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. He noted that the award program gives the Conference, “…the opportunity to showcase the creativity and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country."

The Carnegie Arts Center was a Turlock institution from its 1916 construction until a 2005 arson fire burned it to the ground. The Turlock City Council voted in 2010 to rebuild and expand the facility at a cost of $6.6 million, $3 million of which came from the City of Turlock's Redevelopment Agency.

Since its September 2011 reopening, the Carnegie has hosted the works of Ansel Adams, Edgar Degas, and local artists. It will host an exhibit of Pablo Picasso's ceramics in the fall.

Turlock did not win the first place award, but was recognized with a “Honorable Mention.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors gives out one first place award, five “Outstanding Achievement” awards, and four “Honorable Mentions” for cities with a population under 100,000. Turlock was chosen from a field of more than 200 applicants nationwide.

Though the award was formally announced over the weekend, Lazar let slip that Turlock would be receiving an award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors during a May 28 meeting of council.

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