The Info List - National Endowment For The Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government
United States federal government
that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence.[1] It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA has its offices in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016.[2] In March 2017, a proposal to eliminate all federal funding for the program was put forward by the Trump administration.[3]


1 Background 2 Governance 3 Grantmaking

3.1 Relative scope of funding

4 Controversy

4.1 1981 attempts to abolish 4.2 1989 objections 4.3 1990 performance artists vetoed 4.4 1995–1997 congressional attacks 4.5 2009 conference call 4.6 Proposed 2017 defunding

5 Chairpersons 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Background[edit] The NEA is "dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education".[1] Between 1965 and 2008, the agency has made in excess of 128,000 grants, totaling more than $5 billion. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Congress granted the NEA an annual funding of between $160 and $180 million. In 1996, Congress cut the NEA funding to $99.5 million as a result of pressure from conservative groups, including the American Family Association, who criticized the agency for using tax dollars to fund highly controversial artists such as Barbara Degenevieve, Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, and the performance artists known as the "NEA Four". Since 1996, the NEA has partially rebounded with a 2015 budget of $146.21 million.[4] For FY 2010, the budget reached the level it was at during the mid-1990s at $167.5 million[5] but fell again in FY 2011 with a budget of $154 million.[5] Governance[edit] The NEA is governed by a Chairman
appointed by the President to a four-year term and confirmed by Congress.[6] The NEA's advisory committee, the National Council on the Arts, advises the Chairman
on policies and programs, as well as reviewing grant applications, fundraising guidelines, and leadership initiative. This body consists of 14 individuals appointed by the President for their expertise and knowledge in the arts, in addition to six ex officio members of Congress who serve in a non-voting capacity.[7] On June 12, 2014, Dr. Jane Chu was confirmed as the 11th Chair of the NEA by the Senate, after having been nominated by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
in February of the same year.[8][9] Grantmaking[edit] The NEA offers grants in the categories of: 1) Grants for Arts Projects, 2) National Initiatives, and 3) Partnership Agreements. Grants for Arts Projects support exemplary projects in the discipline categories of artist communities, arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting (including multidisciplinary art forms), theater, and visual arts. The NEA also grants individual fellowships in literature to creative writers and translators of exceptional talent in the areas of prose and poetry. The NEA has partnerships in the areas of state and regional, federal, international activities, and design. The state arts agencies and regional arts organizations are the NEA's primary partners in serving the American people through the arts. Forty percent of all NEA funding goes to the state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. Additionally, the NEA awards three Lifetime Honors: NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships to jazz musicians and advocates, and NEA Opera Honors to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States. The NEA also manages the National Medal of Arts, awarded annually by the President. The NEA is the largest grantmaker to arts organizations in the nation.[citation needed] Relative scope of funding[edit] Artist William Powhida
William Powhida
has noted that "in one single auction, wealthy collectors bought almost a billion dollars in contemporary art at Christie's
in New York." He further commented: "If you had a 2 percent tax just on the auctions in New York you could probably double the NEA budget in two nights."[10] Controversy[edit] 1981 attempts to abolish[edit] Upon entering office in 1981, the incoming Ronald Reagan administration intended to push Congress to abolish the NEA completely over a three-year period. Reagan’s first director of the Office of Management and Budget, David A. Stockman, thought the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
were “good [departments] to simply bring to a halt because they went too far, and they would be easy to defeat.” Another proposal would have halved the arts endowment budget. However, these plans were abandoned when the President's special task force on the arts and humanities, which included close Reagan allies such as conservatives Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
and Joseph Coors, discovered "the needs involved and benefits of past assistance," concluding that continued federal support was important. Frank Hodsoll
Frank Hodsoll
became the chairman of the NEA in 1981, and while the department's budget decreased from $158.8 million in 1981 to $143.5 million, by 1989 it was $169.1 million, the highest it had ever been.[11][12][13] 1989 objections[edit] In 1989, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association
American Family Association
held a press conference attacking what he called "anti-Christian bigotry," in an exhibition by photographer Andres Serrano. The work at the center of the controversy was Piss Christ, a photo of a plastic crucifix submerged in a vial of an amber fluid described by the artist as his own urine.[14] Republican Senators Jesse Helms
Jesse Helms
and Al D'Amato
Al D'Amato
began to rally against the NEA, and expanded the attack to include other artists. Prominent conservative Christian figures including Pat Robertson of the 700 Club
700 Club
and Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
joined the attacks. Republican representative Dick Armey, an opponent of federal arts funding, began to attack a planned exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe at the Corcoran Museum of Art
Corcoran Museum of Art
that was to receive NEA support. On June 12, 1989, The Corcoran cancelled the Mapplethorpe exhibition, saying that it did not want to "adversely affect the NEA's congressional appropriations." The Washington Project for the Arts later hosted the Mapplethorpe show. The cancellation was highly criticized and in September, 1989, the Director of the Corcoran gallery, Christina Orr-Cahill, issued a formal statement of apology saying, "The Corcoran Gallery of Art in attempting to defuse the NEA funding controversy by removing itself from the political spotlight, has instead found itself in the center of controversy. By withdrawing from the Mapplethorpe exhibition, we, the board of trustees and the director, have inadvertently offended many members of the arts community which we deeply regret. Our course in the future will be to support art, artists and freedom of expression."[15] Though this controversy inspired congressional debate about appropriations to the NEA, including proposed restrictions on the content of NEA-supported work and their grantmaking guidelines, efforts to defund the NEA failed.[16] 1990 performance artists vetoed[edit] Main article: NEA Four Conservative media continued to attack individual artists whose NEA-supported work was deemed controversial. The "NEA Four", Karen Finley, Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes, were performance artists whose proposed grants from the United States
United States
government's National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA) were vetoed by John Frohnmayer in June 1990. Grants were overtly vetoed on the basis of subject matter after the artists had successfully passed through a peer review process. The artists won their case in court in 1993 and were awarded amounts equal to the grant money in question, though the case would make its way to the United States
United States
Supreme Court in National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley.[17] The case centered on subsection (d)(1) of 20 U.S.C. § 954 which provides that the NEA Chairperson shall ensure that artistic excellence and artistic merit are the criteria by which applications are judged. The court ruled in 524 U.S. 569 (1998), that Section 954(d)(1) is facially valid, as it neither inherently interferes with First Amendment rights nor violates constitutional vagueness principles. 1995–1997 congressional attacks[edit] The 1994 midterm elections cleared the way for House Speaker Newt Gingrich to lead a renewed attack on the NEA. Gingrich had called for the NEA to be eliminated completely along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. While some in Congress attacked the funding of controversial artists, others argued the endowment was wasteful and elitist.[18] However, despite massive budget cutbacks and the end of grants to individual artists, Gingrich ultimately failed in his push to eliminate the endowment. 2009 conference call[edit] In mid-2009, the NEA came under controversy again when it was revealed on a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart
that then-Communications Director Yosi Sergant
Yosi Sergant
had participated in an August 10, 2009 conference call that allegedly directed artists to create works of art promoting President Barack Obama's domestic agenda.[19][20] "I would encourage you to pick something, whether it's health care, education, the environment, you know, there's four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service," Sergant said on the call, making reference to the four areas of focus earlier outlined by Nell Abernathy, Director of Outreach for United We Serve. Suggested areas of focus mentioned in the call included preventative care, child nutrition, community cleanups, trail maintenance, reading tutoring, and homelessness. At another point he said, "This is just the beginning. This is the first telephone call of a brand new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally. We're still trying to figure out the laws of putting government websites of Facebook and the use of Twitter. This is all being sorted out. We are participating in history as it's being made, so bear with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely. And we can really work together to move the needle to get stuff done."[21][22] The NEA countered the allegations by asserting that Sergant had acted unilaterally and without the approval of then-Acting Chairman
Patrice Walker Powell, and that the call was not a means to promote any legislative agenda but rather to inform members of the arts community of an opportunity to become involved in volunteerism through the United We Serve program. They also noted that the call had nothing to do with grantmaking.[23] Proposed 2017 defunding[edit] The budget outline submitted by President Trump on March 16, 2017, to Congress would eliminate all funding for the program.[24][25] Chairpersons[edit]

1965–1969 Roger L. Stevens, appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson 1969–1977 Nancy Hanks, appointed by Richard M. Nixon 1977–1981 Livingston L. Biddle, Jr., appointed by Jimmy Carter 1981–1989 Frank Hodsoll, appointed by Ronald Reagan 1989–1992 John Frohnmayer, appointed by George H. W. Bush 1993–1997 Jane Alexander, appointed by Bill Clinton 1998–2001 Bill Ivey, appointed by Bill Clinton 2002 Michael P. Hammond, appointed by George W. Bush 2002–2003 Eileen Beth Mason, Acting Chairman, appointed by George W. Bush 2003–2009 Dana Gioia, appointed by George W. Bush 2009 Patrice Walker Powell, Acting Chairman, appointed by Barack Obama[26][27] 2009–2012 Rocco Landesman, appointed by Barack Obama[28][29][30] 2012–2014 Joan Shigekawa, Acting Chairman[31] 2014–present R. Jane Chu, appointed by Barack Obama[9][32]

See also[edit]

National Endowment for the Humanities National Heritage Fellowship List of music organizations in the United States National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
winners NEA Jazz Masters National Council for the Traditional Arts New York City Department of Cultural Affairs


^ a b National Endowment for the Arts. "About Us". Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved March 13, 2009.  ^ "The 2016 Tony Awards: Winners". Retrieved June 14, 2016.  ^ "Trump budget would eliminate funding for National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 16, 2017.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ a b National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Appropriations History, NEA ^ Patricia Cohen (August 7, 2013) Vacancies Hamper Agencies for Arts New York Times. ^ National Council on the Arts Archived 2010-12-16 at the Wayback Machine., nea.gov Archived 2008-11-06 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ "President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate Jane Chu as Chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts". Retrieved 12 October 2014.  ^ a b " Jane Chu confirmed as NEA Chairman
after position had been vacant for a year". The Washington Post. July 12, 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.  ^ Neda Ulaby (Director) (2014-05-15). "In Pricey Cities, Being A Bohemian Starving Artist Gets Old Fast". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 2014-05-31.  ^ William H. Honan (May 15, 1988). "Book Discloses That Reagan Planned To Kill National Endowment for Arts". New York Times.  ^ Gioia, Dana. "For the umpteenth time, the National Endowment for the Arts deserves its funding". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2017.  ^ "Frank Hodsoll, NEA chairman who championed arts under Reagan, dies at 78". Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017.  ^ Paul Monaco (2000). Understanding Society, Culture, and Television. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 100. ISBN 978-0-275-97095-6.  ^ Quigley, Margaret. "The Mapplethorpe Censorship Controversy". PublicEye.org/Political Research Associates. Retrieved 2 October 2009.  ^ C. Carr, Timeline of NEA 4 events, franklinfurnace.org ^ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
v. Finley, 524 U.S. 569, (1998). ^ Hughes, Robert (August 7, 1995). "Pulling the Fuse on Culture". TIME. Retrieved October 3, 2009.  ^ "NEA Reassigns Communications Director Following Uproar Over Obama Initiative". FOX News. 11 September 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.  ^ "Audiotape Reveals Artists Being Asked to Support Obama's Agenda". FOX News. September 21, 2009. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.  ^ Patrick Courrielche, Full NEA Conference Call Transcript and Audio, Breitbart.com ^ "After 'Inappropriate' NEA Conference Call, White House Pushes New Guidelines". ABC News. September 22, 2009. Archived from the original on July 11, 2015.  ^ STATEMENT FROM NEA CHAIRMAN ROCCO LANDESMAN Archived 2009-09-26 at the Wayback Machine., September 22, 2009. ^ 3:02 PM ET (March 16, 2017). "Trump Budget Cuts Funding For Arts, Humanities Endowments And Corporation For Public Broadcasting". NPR. Retrieved March 20, 2017.  ^ McPhee, Ryan (March 16, 2017). "Trump Administration's Budget Proposal Eliminates National Endowment for the Arts". Playbill. Retrieved March 20, 2017.  ^ " National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Announces New Acting Chairman" Archived 2009-04-04 at the Wayback Machine., NEA press release dated February 2, 2009 at NEA website. ^ Robin Pogrebin, "Saving Federal Arts Funds: Selling Culture as an Economic Force," New York Times, February 16, 2009. ^ Robin Pogrebin, "Producer Is Chosen to Lead Arts Endowment", New York Times, May 13, 2009. ^ Davi Napoleon, "Mr. Landesman Goes to Washington", The Faster Times, June 13, 2009. ^ Robin Pogrebin, " Rocco Landesman
Rocco Landesman
Confirmed as Chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts", New York Times, August 7, 2009. ^ "Statement from National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Rocco Landesman". The National Endowment for the Arts. November 20, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2013.  ^ " Jane Chu Confirmed as Chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts". Retrieved June 12, 2014. 

National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(2000). The National Endowment for the Arts 1965-2000: A Brief Chronology of Federal Support for the Arts. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts. OCLC 52401250. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 

Further reading[edit]

Alexander, Jane. Command Performance: an Actress in the Theater of Politics. Public Affairs, a member of the Perseus Book Group; New York, NY, 2000. ISBN 0-306-81044-1 Binkiewicz, Donna M. Federalizing the Muse: United States
United States
Arts Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1965–1980, University of North Carolina Press, 312pp., 2004. ISBN 0-8078-2878-5. Napoleon, Davi. Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater This history of a theater in Brooklyn that won critical acclaim but could not always get funding to finish planned seasons is in part a case study of the arts funding crisis in America. Iowa State University Press.

External links[edit]

Official website National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities in the Federal Register NEA Small Press Collection From the Rare Book and Special
Collections Division at the Library of Congress

v t e

Chairs of the National Endowment for the Arts

Roger L. Stevens
Roger L. Stevens
(1965) Nancy Hanks (1969) Livingston L. Biddle Jr. (1977) Frank Hodsoll
Frank Hodsoll
(1981) John Frohnmayer
John Frohnmayer
(1989) Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander
(1993) Bill Ivey (1998) Michael P. Hammond (2002) Dana Gioia
Dana Gioia
(2003) Rocco Landesman
Rocco Landesman
(2009) Jane Chu (2014)

v t e

Academy Honorary Award


Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
/ Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1928) Walt Disney
Walt Disney
(1932) Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
(1934) D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
(1935) The March of Time
The March of Time
/ W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
/ W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
Film Library / Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett
(1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney
Walt Disney
/ Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
/ Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner
Harry Warner
(1938) Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
/ Judy Garland
Judy Garland
/ William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor Company (1939) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
/ Noël Coward
Noël Coward
/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(1942) George Pal
George Pal
(1943) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
(1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch
/ Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett
James Baskett
/ Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor
George Kirke Spoor
/ Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ Monsieur Vincent
Monsieur Vincent
/ Sid Grauman
Sid Grauman
/ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(1948) Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
/ Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
/ Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
/ The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
/ George Murphy
George Murphy
/ The Walls of Malapaga (1950)


Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
/ Rashomon
(1951) Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
/ Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
/ George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
/ Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley
Jon Whiteley
/ Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
/ Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
(1958) Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
/ Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest
(1959) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
/ Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel
/ Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
(1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
(1961) William J. Tuttle
William J. Tuttle
(1964) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1965) Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
/ Y. Frank Freeman
Y. Frank Freeman
(1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant
Cary Grant
(1969) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
/ Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
(1972) Henri Langlois
Henri Langlois
/ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
(1973) Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
/ Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
(1974) Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford


Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ King Vidor
King Vidor
/ Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1979) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1980) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Hal Roach
Hal Roach
(1983) James Stewart
James Stewart
/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(1984) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
/ Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1986) Eastman Kodak
Company / National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
(1988) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1989) Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
/ Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
(1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1992) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1993) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1994) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
/ Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
(1995) Michael Kidd
Michael Kidd
(1996) Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
(1997) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1998) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1999) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
/ Ernest Lehman (2000)


Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
/ Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2001) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(2002) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(2003) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(2004) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2005) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Roger Corman
Roger Corman
/ Gordon Willis
Gordon Willis
(2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
/ Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(2010) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
/ Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
/ Hal Needham
Hal Needham
/ George Stevens Jr.
George Stevens Jr.
(2012) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
/ Steve Martin
Steve Martin
/ Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
/ Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
/ Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
(2014) Spike Lee
Spike Lee
/ Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands
(2015) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
/ Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
/ Agnès Varda (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 131941846 ISNI: 0000 0001 2149 9793