Who Will Head the NEA? the National Endowment for the Arts Has Announced More Than $60 Million in Grants, but the Agency Is without a Leader. the Bush Team Wants to Hire a Conservative Republican. (Arts)

By Duin, Julia | Insight on the News, May 27, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Who Will Head the NEA? the National Endowment for the Arts Has Announced More Than $60 Million in Grants, but the Agency Is without a Leader. the Bush Team Wants to Hire a Conservative Republican. (Arts)


Duin, Julia, Insight on the News


The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a sometimes-beleaguered federal arts agency that Congress nearly zeroed out several years ago, still is looking for a leader. Michael P. Hammond, dean of Rice University School of Music in Houston, was nominated for the job last fall but died unexpectedly just after moving to Washington in January. Edward Moy, an associate director in the White House personnel office, is conducting the search to replace Hammond.

Judging from similar appointments -- those of Hammond and Bruce Cole, director of NEA's sister agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) -- the Bush administration is seeking someone in his 60s, well-connected on the conservative/Republican circuit and with impressive academic credentials. "What we want is somebody who really has broad experience in the arts," says Bob Lynch of Americans for the Arts, a lobbying group for 4,000 local arts councils nationwide. "Ideally, he or she would have multi-arts experience and understand the overall system of support for arts in America, which is a complex ecosystem of public and private arts support. Public support is 10 percent of the puzzle, but the effect of public money in leveraging other support has been huge."

The American Arts Alliance, which represents 2,600 nonprofit arts groups, suggested in a Jan. 31 letter to Moy that the new NEA chairman possess some expertise in the performing arts, be sensitive to the needs of artists and nonprofit arts groups, be an articulate and persuasive political strategist and have a vision as to how the arts can advance American interests around the world. Steve Balch of the National Association of Scholars in Princeton, N.J., says the director should be either an artist or someone who has the administrative knowledge to manage a federal agency, and must be able to defend the NEA budget at congressional hearings.

The appointee also would need good relations with House Republicans, who in July 1997 voted to defund the NEA because of arts grants deemed pornographic, religiously insensitive or just plain offensive. Today, the NEA has a $115.2 million annual budget and appears to have ascended from the basement of congressional opinion.

That move was the work of Bill Ivey, the NEA chairman who took over from Jane Alexander in May 1998. He persuaded Republican skeptics that publicly funded art was in the country's best interest and recruited several members of Congress to sit on the NEA Council, which determines who receives arts grants. Fifty-five percent of all applications to the NEA receive funding, compared with 17 percent of all applications to the NEH.

Among those mentioned to head the NEA are Dean Anderson, a former Smithsonian administrator and recently retired deputy director for planning and management at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Stephanie French, formerly vice president of corporate contributions and cultural programs at Philip Morris Co.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Who Will Head the NEA? the National Endowment for the Arts Has Announced More Than $60 Million in Grants, but the Agency Is without a Leader. the Bush Team Wants to Hire a Conservative Republican. (Arts)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?