National Endowment for the Arts

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Old Post Office and Clock Tower, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, headquarters of the NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts ( NEA ) is a state endowment in the United States founded in 1965 as part of the Great Society to promote the arts and culture and based in Washington, DC . The current chairman is Rocco Landesman .

The NEA is the only state-run cultural funding institution in the USA at federal level to try to help young artists with grants or to support certain projects over a limited period of time. The annual budget of the NEA is around 120 million US dollars . Several times the NEA was heavily criticized by certain sections of the population when the NEA (and thus with tax money) promoted artists whose art was considered by some to be blasphemous (as in the case of Andres Serrano and Robert Clark Young ) or obscene (as in the case of Robert Mapplethorpe ) was viewed.

The foundation is based in the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington DC, which was renamed the Nancy Hanks Center in honor of the first female chairperson of the NEA . The NEA's sister foundation is the NEH, the National Endowment for the Humanities for the promotion of the humanities . Every year it awards the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships , a kind of scholarship, to jazz musicians.

Between 1985 and 2002 there was a Seaver / National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award , which was sponsored by the Juilliard School in New York City , among others .


  • Alexander, Jane . Command Performance: an Actress in the Theater of Politics . Public Affairs, a member of the Perseus Book Group; New York, NY, 2000. ISBN 0-306-81044-1
  • Binkiewicz, Donna M. Federalizing the Muse: United States Arts Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1965-1980, University of North Carolina Press, 312 pp., 2004. ISBN 0-8078-2878-5

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