Ivey towers as NEA chair

He leaves Country Music Foundation after 27 years

WASHINGTON — Vice President Al Gore swore in folklorist William Ivey on Wednesday as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ivey comes to his new post from Nashville, where he has been the director of the Country Music Foundation, which operates the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, since 1971. Ivey replaces Jane Alexander, who has returned to acting after five years of heading the arts agency.

Almost immediately after taking over his new post, Ivey will find himself fighting for his agency’s budget. The budget sea-son is about to begin in Washington, and some Republicans still are proposing eliminating the agency.

Ivey has been involved in the National Endowment for the Arts since 1975, when he served on endowment panels which awarded fellowships in jazz, folklore and traditional arts.

He is also the driving force behind a new compact disc boxed set celebrating black artists in country music.

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