Rocco Landesman to Step Down from NEA

Rocco Landesman, who has served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts throughout President Obama’s first term, said he is resigning at the end of the calendar year.

Landesman said that it “has always been” his intention to serve one term.

“The time has come for me to become a cliché: I turned 65, am going to
retire, and cannot wait to spend more time in Miami Beach,” he said in a statement.

A Broadway producer perhaps best known for “The Producers” and “Angels in America,” Landesman was a somewhat uncoventional choice to lead the NEA when Obama nominated him for the post in 2009. He was confirmed that August.

In his statement, Landesman said that they “have been able to accomplish more than I had ever thought possible:
sparking a national movement around creative placemaking, forging
significant relationships with other federal agencies, creating an
unprecedented healing arts partnership with the Walter Reed National
Military Medical Center, and increasing both the scope and impact of our
research office.”

The NEA’s appropriation was $146 million in 2012, down from $154.7 million a year earlier. During the presidential campaign, it became a target for elimination by Mitt Romney, who listed it among the federal agencies he would cut if elected.

Landesman also is co-owner of Jujamcyn Theatres, although he has been a silent partner during his tenure at the NEA.

NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa will serve as acting chairman until a successor is announced.

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