Academy of Magical Arts Award of Merit

Academy of Magical Arts Award of Merit

At the 51st annual Academy of Magical Arts awards in Hollywood, California, Dal Sanders was presented the Award of Merit in recognition of his efforts in having the U.S. House of Representatives recognize magic as an art form.

Previously, magic was not institutionally recognized as an art form, and therefore ineligible for funding available to art programs around the United States.

Dal also instigated the government to further this recognition in the form of an official U.S. Postage stamp.

Congress declares Magic an art form (Original Article link)

Society of American Magician’s President Dal Sanders, with the help of Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue (also a

S.A.M. member), was able to get Congressional recognition for magic as an art.

Here’s the full Text of Congressional Record, which includes a mention of Houdini.

IN RECOGNITION OF THE ART OF MAGIC — HON. PETE SESSIONS (Extensions of Remarks – April 28, 2014)
[Page: E586]

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of one of my constituents, Dal Sanders, National President of The Society of American Magicians, to recognize magic as an art.

The art of magic has been around for centuries and is intended to entertain audiences with the staging of tricks and creating seemingly impossible illusions. Throughout its history, magic has grown to show innovative and creative ways to delight and engage audiences worldwide. It takes a great deal of dedication and a strong work ethic to devote the practice time necessary to master this art.

I would specifically like to take this opportunity to recognize the world’s oldest magic organization, The Society of American Magicians, S A M. Since its founding in 1902, The S.A.M. has attempted to elevate and advance the art of magic by promoting an environment for magicians worldwide to come together and share their passion. The S.A.M. members follow in the footsteps of renowned magicians Harry Houdini and Howard Thurston, who each served as national president of The S.A.M., and Harry Blackstone, Jr., and David Copperfield, who both have served as The S.A.M. ambassadors.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my esteemed colleagues to join me in recognizing the art of magic.

Since the 1960s, the S.A.M. has been trying to get Congressional recognition for the “Art of Magic”. While many states and localities have issued Magic Week proclamations recognizing magic as an art, the federal government has not.

When considered for grants, magic in the U.S. has been seen as a hobby or at best, a craft. This is not the case in other countries. For example, in the late 60s Doug Henning won a grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts to study magic. In Canada, as in many other countries, they recognized magic as an art form. Henning’s grant led to the show that would eventually become the Broadway hit The Magic Show.

Dal Sanders,


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