licvb.JPGHauppauge, N.Y. - The organizers of the annual Long Island Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine are honored to announce that the program has received the Arts Destination Marketing Award presented by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). The award is bestowed annually to leaders from local tourism bureaus and local arts agencies that work together to effectively and innovatively use the arts to market the community as a travel destination. "For generations, the East End of Suffolk has been world renowned as the place to be during the summer months. This timely recognition for Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine acknowledges what we who live and work in Suffolk have long known - that our region is a fascinating and fun destination all year round," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.  "I applaud the Long Island Wine Council, East End Arts Council and Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and our own County Office of Film and Cultural Affairs for creating this unique cultural endeavor that has enormous economic benefit for our community while promoting live music and one of America's great art forms."  Long Island Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine (www.liwinterfest.com) is an annual six-weekend, mid-winter, wine and jazz promotion developed and coordinated as a successful partnership between East End Arts (EEA), the Long Island Wine Council (LIWC) and the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (LICVB), with support from Suffolk County Economic Development, Office of Film and Cultural Affairs. "The Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine program was conceived to create a motivator for visitors to come out to Long Island during the slowest time of the year by combining great jazz music, local grown wine and special offers from local tourism businesses," said Moke McGowan, president of the LICVB. It combines six weekends of organized jazz concerts at area wineries with special offers from area businesses, hotels, B&Bs, attractions, limo/transport companies and restaurants during the mid-February to mid-March time period. "Winterfest- Jazz on the Vine is a shining example of a successful partnership movement project model introduced by Americans for the Arts. When the arts partner with the business community, we create a win-win situation." says Patricia Snyder, Executive Director of East End Arts "By capitalizing on the beauty and uniqueness of the East End of Long Island and the abundant artistic talent here, we have created a powerful program to be proud of." The Arts Destination Marketing Award award reinforces the importance of a strong relationship between a community's tourism bureau and its local arts agencies. The 2012 Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine program included 100 special offers from local tourism businesses in addition to 80 jazz performances. "The arts and culture industry plays a significant role in creating and defining the identities of the communities in which it operates," explains Americans for the Arts President/CEO Robert L. Lynch, who also serves on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, a position appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. "In addition, these organizations also strengthen their local economy. Arts and culture offerings are the kinds of authentic experiences that are magnets for tourists, and local businesses reap the financial rewards of the increased spending they bring to local economies. Simply put the arts and culture industry is a cornerstone of tourism and economic development in America." "One of the most important tasks of a destination marketing organization (DMO) is to thoroughly understand, market, and nurture the programs, activities, and events that give their community a true sense of place," said Michael D. Gehrisch, President/CEO of DMAI.  He added that incorporating local arts into tourism "reinforces a destination's brand, effectively developing a truly distinctive locale." The award was presented at the DMAI's 98th Annual Convention, July 16-18, 2012, Seattle, WA. Awards will also be presented at Americans for the Arts' Arts National Arts Marketing Project Conference, November 9-12, in Charlotte, NC. "We're thrilled that the Long Island Winterfest - Jazz on the Vine program has received this important recognition from the Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI)," said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council. "In just five years, this initiative has transformed our region into a true winter destination with a major impact on our wineries and many other businesses throughout the local economy. It is a clear testament to the power of collaboration between the arts, business and government."   Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With more than 50 years of service, it is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for official destination marketing organizations, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of over 3,500 professionals from 600 destination marketing organizations in over 20 countries.  The Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission (LICVB&SC) was established in 1979 as the official tourism promotion agency for the destination's travel and tourism industry. Based on Long Island in Hauppauge, NY, the LICVB&SC contributes to the economic development and quality of life on Long Island by promoting the region as a world-class destination for tourism, meetings and conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and related activities. For more information about Long Island, please contact the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission by calling 1-877-386-6654 or visit http://www.discoverlongisland.com/ PHOTOS AVAILABLE Press contact email: kmatejka@discoverlongisland.com

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Contact: Kristen Matejka Director of Marketing/Communications LICVB&SC 631 951-3900 xt.317