NEA National Endowment for the Arts

Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday as the new chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA has been without a permanent chair for 18 months, after Broadway producer Rocco Landesman departed shortly after the presidential election in 2012. Joan Shigekawa. senior deputy chair, served as acting chair in the interim.

Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, which advocates for federal arts funding, said that Chu “understands the value of art at the community level and how the arts are transformative to individuals as well as places.”

The NEA, established in 1965, is tasked with awarding federal grants to non profit arts organizations, theater groups and filmmakers. It has a $146 million appropriation for the 2014 fiscal year.

Chu said in a statement, “Together, we have the opportunity to show the value of connecting the arts to all Americans, and the importance of the arts in bringing communities together.”

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