U.S. Senate Confirms New Chairs for NEA and NEH
Washington, DC — August 7, 2009 — Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate’s unanimous consent confirmation of Rocco Landesman as the next Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts:
"Today's Senate confirmation of Rocco Landesman to serve as the next National Endowment for the Arts chair and Congressman Jim Leach to serve as National Endowment for the Humanities chair marks a moment of great opportunity for our nation’s cultural agencies. Landesman embarks as Chair of the nation’s arts agency with a robust agenda, an upward trajectory of funding, broad Congressional approval, and a White House committed to attracting national attention to the value of the arts and integrating them into broader domestic policies.
"The arts are a powerful force in our lives, schools, and communities. Both the nonprofit and for-profit arts have grown as the creative industries have dramatically expanded and become a core part of America and its economy. An effective and innovative NEA, one that aspires to its core values of broadening access to the creation and presentation of artistic excellence along with a dedication of forging new partnerships and opportunities for artists and their audiences, will not only strengthen the arts industry but maximize the social and economic benefits the arts provide throughout the country.
“Through his service in Congress, Jim Leach proved himself to be a strong leader and strategist on behalf of both the arts and the humanities. I am certain he will lead the NEH to support the innovative and critical work of the nation’s humanities groups."
Americans for the Arts has requested that Congress should provide a substantial increase in funding for the federal cultural agencies. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $15 million increase for both the NEA and NEH for FY 2010. Currently funded at $155 million, this increase would bring both agencies' budgets to $170 million.
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Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 49 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 www.AmericansForTheArts.org.