Mrs. Columba Bush was the First Lady of Florida from 1999-2007. Since the beginning of her role as Florida’s First Lady, she has dedicated her time and energy to promoting a variety of issues including substance abuse prevention, domestic violence awareness and prevention, and promotion of the arts and arts education. From serving as the National Madrina for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to working with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to starting the Arts for Life! program, Mrs. Bush’s passion for such causes is undeniable. Though she is no longer First Lady, her drive and support for these issues continues today and is stronger than ever. Photo credit @NUNU for nunupictures.com.
A Message from Mrs. Columba Bush
My passion is the arts. As First Lady of Florida, I visited classrooms throughout our great state, experiencing first-hand the incredible influence of the arts on the lives of students. Art opened up a world of wonder to these young people and unleashed their creativity in unique, wonderful ways.I especially enjoyed meeting high school students and learning more about their dreams and desired career paths. Their talent and passion were inspiring. It didn’t take long before it became my dream to help these amazing students realize their artistic aspirations. And so, with the support of my husband and many fellow advocates of the arts, I started Arts for Life! to help high school seniors pursue their dreams in the arts after graduation.
Arts for Life! has awarded scholarships to more than 475 Florida high school graduates who demonstrated extraordinary talents in creative writing, dance, drama, music and the visual arts. Many of our past scholarship recipients have gone on to become professional actors and actresses, singers and musicians, dancers, artists and art educators.
I salute all Arts for Life! scholarship winners past, present and future. They are all talented young students and rising stars. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and family members, educators and generous sponsors responsible for making the dreams of our students a reality.