National Arts Agency News

Show latest news, more from January 2003.

New Chairman for NEA

The United States Senate has voted to appoint music identity Michael Hammond as the new Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Hammond has worked at the head of numerous music departments at university campuses across the US. He was responsible for planning the curriculum of the Music School at the State University of New York, and was the Director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, in Milwaukee. His most recent position was as Dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Hammond has also written numerous scores for theatre in the US and abroad. In accepting the position, Hammond said that he would work to ensure continued support for the country's artistic culture. 'As Americans, we are all heirs to an incredibly rich and diverse artistic and cultural heritage,' he commented. 'It is essential, particularly at this difficult period in our history, to draw support and inspiration from that heritage, and to encourage and support the finest work of our own time.' Hammond said that he planned to use his position at the NEA to increase the organisation's role in 'making the arts an ever more valuable part of our lives, connecting us to the past, illuminating the present and inspiring our future.' In acknowledging the importance of the arts on the cultural future of the nation, Hammond also noted the importance of incorporating the youth voice into arts policy. 'I will advocate for policies and practices that enhance the experience of our young people - by giving them the insights and skills that lead to understanding and participation in the arts,' he said. Hammond replaces new Institute Museum and Library Services (MLS) Director, Robert Martin, who has been Acting Chairman of the Arts Endowment since September 2001. For more information on the National Endowment for the Arts visit: www.arts.endow.gov/

Show latest news, more from January 2003.

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