Monday, February 4, 2013


Grammy Award®-winning cellist and virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma will deliver The Americans for the Arts 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy on April 8, 2013 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The lecture is presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and is part of the annual Arts Advocacy Day events in Washington, D.C. on April 8 and 9.

"I am deeply honored to deliver this year's Nancy Hanks Lecture on behalf of Americans for the Arts, and am proud to shine a spotlight on how the arts and arts integration teach collaboration, flexibility, imagination and innovation – the very qualities needed in our work force today and in the future. I am pleased to join Americans for the Arts to support students in their quest to become passionate, empathetic and entrepreneurial citizens of whom we can all be proud," said Ma.

“The arts and arts education help build the skill set to deliver the dynamic and creative workforce our rapidly evolving global economy demands. As such, it is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Mr. Ma understands that continued government support for the arts and arts education is critical to sustaining and growing our nation’s economy. We are honored to have him deliver this year’s Nancy Hanks Lecture.”

Yo-Yo Ma is considered the world's greatest living cello player, and a musician whose celebrity tends to transcend the world of classical music. Already an internationally acclaimed cellist upon graduating from Harvard University, he remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field. His discography includes more than 75 albums, and he has won more than 15 Grammy Awards®. A strong advocate for educational programs that not only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation, he makes time while touring to conduct master classes as well as more informal programs for students – musicians and non-musicians alike. He was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2001, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2011. In addition, he serves as a UN Messenger of Peace and as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities. He has also performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.

The Nancy Hanks Lecture is the leading national forum for arts policy providing an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of arts and culture to our nation’s well-being. The annual event is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who devoted 15 years of her professional life to bringing the arts to prominent national consciousness. Past lecturers include Alec Baldwin, Robert Redford, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wynton Marsalis, Kevin Spacey, Ken Burns, William Safire and Robert MacNeil.

Americans for the Arts extends its gratitude to the Rosenthal Family Foundation and Bank of America for their generous support of the Americans for the Arts 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at

Catherine Brandt Vacovsky