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On June 12th, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved by voice vote the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to be the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. This ends the nearly 18 month vacancy at this important agency.
The Arts Action Fund thanks all of you for sending letters to your Senators to bring this nomination to the floor as quickly as possible. We especially thank and congratulate our Nevada members who sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to expedite her confirmation. It worked!
We’ve seen support for Dr. Chu’s nomination across both sides of the aisle. Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch praised Dr. Chu for her “valuable perspectives of multi arts understanding, top management skills, and deep philanthropic knowledge.”
In February of this year, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Jane Chu as Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, a position that has been vacant for more than a year. Jane Chu currently serves as the President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO.
“Jane’s lifelong passion for the arts and background in philanthropy has made her a powerful advocate for artists and arts education in Kansas City,” said President Obama. With her extensive education in philanthropy, performing arts, and business administration, she is extremely well-qualified to advocate for arts on a national level. Jane Chu has received bachelors and masters degrees in piano performance, music education and piano pedagogy from Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Methodist University. She holds an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University and a Ph. D. in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.
The NEA, after going through more than a year without a chair and experiencing declining budgets, now has high hopes for revitalization with Dr. Chu’s leadership. “If there had to be a long wait, this candidate looks like a really great person to have waited for,” said Robert L. Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts. “Her background in Kansas City at the local level is as someone who understands how the arts can transform a community.”