National Council on the Arts Convenes for 165th Meeting
The National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will meet in a public session on Friday, October 31 in Room M-09 of The Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
This session will be Chairman Dana Gioia’s final meeting with the Council. In January 2009, he will leave the NEA to return to writing, his primary occupation prior to leading the agency. He will also join the Aspen Institute on a half-time basis as the first director of the Harman/Eisner (H/E) Program in the Arts.
Under Gioia's chairmanship, the NEA has effectively democratized its programs and services, maintaining the highest artistic and educational standards while achieving unprecedented outreach to millions of Americans. Gioia has made arts education central to the agency's mission, creating many programs that combine the presentation of arts with arts education to foster the next generation of artists, audiences, and patrons. At the meeting, Chairman Gioia will provide an overview of the NEA’s accomplishments during his tenure.
In addition, the meeting will feature three presentations from guest artists who have participated in several of the NEA's signature programs. These include a reading by distinguished poet and NEA Literature Fellowship recipient David Lehman; a performance by Aquila Theatre Company of New York, a regular grantee of the NEA’s Shakespeare in American Communities initiative; and a jazz performance by acclaimed pianist and educator, Helen Sung.