Thursday, April 19, 2018

Yesterday, at a special Capitol Hill reception to honor and remember former Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) hosted by Americans for the Arts in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) as the next co-chair of the Arts Caucus!

Rep. Slaughter had previously served as the Democratic Arts Caucus co-chair for the past 21 years. Rep. Pingree now joins Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) to lead the 162-member Arts Caucus.

“Americans for the Arts is proud to welcome pro-arts leader Rep. Chellie Pingree as the new co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. She is a dedicated advocate for the arts, and acutely understands the impact of the arts on Maine and the country at large. We look forward to working with Rep. Pingree to build upon legislative successes, advance pro-arts policies, and strengthen our efforts to transform communities through the arts,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

  • Rep. Pingree serves as a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, which oversees funding for many arts and cultural programs, including the budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
  • She has worked with colleagues to protect and increase funding for both the NEA and NEH, which had been proposed for termination in President Trump’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 budget requests.
  • Rep. Pingree has been a leading champion for preserving arts education opportunities, including annual funding for the Assistance for Arts Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • In recognition of her work, leadership, and expertise, since 2017, Rep. Pingree has served as an ex-officio member of the National Council on the Arts, which advises the National Endowment for the Arts.

This past year, NEA funding in Maine has supported numerous projects, like revitalizing Congress Square Park in Portland to serve as a community hub and public space for residents, visitors, and artists to connect, and community engagement activities associated with the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick.

Rep. Pingree also now joins in congressional caucus leadership with fellow Mainer Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who is co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus.

Photo: Incoming Congressional Arts Co-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) meets artists John Lloyd Young and Tommy Faragher, who performed a dedicated musical tribute in honor of Mrs. Slaughter.