National Endowment for the Arts

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National Endowment for the Arts_table_infobox_0

National Endowment for the ArtsNational Endowment for the Arts_table_caption_0
Agency overviewNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_0_0
FormedNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_1_0 1965National Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_1_1
JurisdictionNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_2_0 Federal government of the United StatesNational Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_2_1
HeadquartersNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_3_0 Constitution Center, Washington, D.C.National Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_3_1
Annual budgetNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_4_0 $162,250,000 USD (2020)National Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_4_1
Agency executiveNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_5_0 National Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_5_1
WebsiteNational Endowment for the Arts_header_cell_0_6_0 National Endowment for the Arts_cell_0_6_1

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_0

It was created by an act of the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_1 Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_2

The agency was created by an act of the U.S. Congress and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 29, 1965 (20 U.S.C. 951). National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_3

The Foundation consists of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_4

The Arts Endowment has its offices in Washington, D.C. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_5

In 1985, the Arts Endowment won an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its work with the American Film Institute in the identification, acquisition, restoration and preservation of historic films. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_6

Additionally, in 2016 and again in 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts received Emmy nominations from the Television Academy in the Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series category. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_7

Background National Endowment for the Arts_section_0

The National Endowment for the Arts was created during the term of President Lyndon B. Johnson under the general auspices of the Great Society. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_8

According to historian Karen Patricia Heath, "Johnson personally was not much interested in the acquisition of knowledge, cultural or otherwise, for its own sake, nor did he have time for art appreciation or meeting with artists." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_9

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". National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_10

Grants National Endowment for the Arts_section_1

Between 1965 and 2008, the agency has made in excess of 128,000 grants, totaling more than $5 billion. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_11

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Congress granted the NEA an annual funding of between $160 and $180 million. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_12

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". National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_13

Since 1996, the NEA has partially rebounded with a 2015 budget of $146.21 million. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_14

For FY 2010, the budget reached the level it was at during the mid-1990s at $167.5 million but fell again in FY 2011 with a budget of $154 million. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_15

Governance National Endowment for the Arts_section_2

The NEA is governed by a Chairman appointed by the President to a four-year term and confirmed by Congress. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_16

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_17

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_18

Grantmaking National Endowment for the Arts_section_3

The NEA offers grants in the categories of: 1) Grants for Arts Projects, 2) National Initiatives, and 3) Partnership Agreements. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_19

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_20

The NEA also grants individual fellowships in literature to creative writers and translators of exceptional talent in the areas of prose and poetry. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_21

The NEA has partnerships in the areas of state and regional, federal, international activities, and design. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_22

The state arts agencies and regional arts organizations are the NEA's primary partners in serving the American people through the arts. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_23

Forty percent of all NEA funding goes to the state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_24

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_25

The NEA also manages the National Medal of Arts, awarded annually by the President. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_26

Relative scope of funding National Endowment for the Arts_section_4

Artist 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." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_27

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." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_28

Lifetime honors National Endowment for the Arts_section_5

The NEA is the federal agency responsible for recognizing outstanding achievement in the arts. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_29

It does this by awarding three lifetime achievement awards. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_30

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the art of jazz. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_31

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships are awarded for artistic excellence and accomplishments for American's folk and traditional arts. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_32

The National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States and NEA for outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_33

Controversy National Endowment for the Arts_section_6

1981 attempts to abolish National Endowment for the Arts_section_7

Upon entering office in 1981, the incoming Ronald Reagan administration intended to push Congress to abolish the NEA completely over a three-year period. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_34

Reagan's first director of the Office of Management and Budget, David A. Stockman, thought the NEA and the 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." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_35

Another proposal would have halved the arts endowment budget. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_36

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 and Joseph Coors, discovered "the needs involved and benefits of past assistance," concluding that continued federal support was important. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_37

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_38

1989 objections National Endowment for the Arts_section_8

In 1989, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association held a press conference attacking what he called "anti-Christian bigotry," in an exhibition by photographer Andres Serrano. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_39

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_40

Republican Senators Jesse Helms and Al D'Amato began to rally against the NEA, and expanded the attack to include other artists. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_41

Prominent conservative Christian figures including Pat Robertson of the 700 Club and Pat Buchanan joined the attacks. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_42

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 that was to receive NEA support. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_43

On June 12, 1989, The Corcoran cancelled the Mapplethorpe exhibition, saying that it did not want to "adversely affect the NEA's congressional appropriations." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_44

The Washington Project for the Arts later hosted the Mapplethorpe show. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_45

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_46

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_47

Our course in the future will be to support art, artists and freedom of expression." National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_48

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. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_49

1990 performance artists vetoed National Endowment for the Arts_section_9

Main article: NEA Four National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_50

Conservative media continued to attack individual artists whose NEA-supported work was deemed controversial. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_51

The "NEA Four", Karen Finley, Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes, were performance artists whose proposed grants from the United States government's National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) were vetoed by John Frohnmayer in June 1990. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_52

Grants were overtly vetoed on the basis of subject matter after the artists had successfully passed through a peer review process. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_53

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 Supreme Court in National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_54

The case centered on subsection (d)(1) of 20 U.S.C.  which provides that the NEA Chairperson shall ensure that artistic excellence and artistic merit are the criteria by which applications are judged. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_55

The court ruled in 524 U.S. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_56

(1998), that Section 954(d)(1) is facially valid, as it neither inherently interferes with First Amendment rights nor violates constitutional vagueness principles. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_57

1995–1997 congressional attacks National Endowment for the Arts_section_10

The 1994 midterm elections cleared the way for House Speaker Newt Gingrich to lead a renewed attack on the NEA. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_58

Gingrich had called for the NEA to be eliminated completely along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_59

While some in Congress attacked the funding of controversial artists, others argued the endowment was wasteful and elitist. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_60

However, despite massive budget cutbacks and the end of grants to individual artists, Gingrich ultimately failed in his push to eliminate the endowment. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_61

Proposed defunding National Endowment for the Arts_section_11

The budget outline submitted by President Trump on March 16, 2017, to Congress would eliminate all funding for the program. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_62

Congress approved a budget that retained NEA funding. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_63

The White House budget proposed for fiscal year 2018 again called for elimination of funding, but Congress retained the funding for another year. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_64

Chairpersons National Endowment for the Arts_section_12

National Endowment for the Arts_unordered_list_0

Nancy Hanks (1969–77) National Endowment for the Arts_section_13

Nancy Hanks served as the second Chairman of the NEA (1969-1977) She was appointed by President Richard Nixon, continuing her service under Gerald Ford. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_65

During her eight-year tenure, the NEA's funding increased from $8 million to $114 million. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_66

According to Elaine A. National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_67 King: National Endowment for the Arts_sentence_68

National Endowment for the Arts_description_list_1

  • Nancy Hanks perhaps was able to accomplish her mission because she functioned as a type of benevolent art dictator rather than mucking with multiple agendas and political red-tape. From 1969 through 1977, under Hanks' administration, the Arts Endowment functioned like a fine piece of oiled machinery. Hanks continuously obtained the requested essential appropriations from Congress because of her genius in implementing the power of the lobby system. Although she had not had direct administrative experience in the federal government, some people were skeptical at the beginning of her term. Those in doubt underestimated her bureaucratic astuteness and her ability to direct this complex cultural office. Richard Nixon's early endorsement of the arts benefited the Arts Endowment in several ways. The budget for the Arts Endowment not only increased but also more federal funding became available and numerous programs within the agency."National Endowment for the Arts_item_1_15

See also National Endowment for the Arts_section_14

National Endowment for the Arts_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National Endowment for the Arts.