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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NEWS: Rocco Landesman to Retire as NEA Chairman

Rocco Landesman to Retire as NEA Chairman 

Today, Rocco Landesman confirmed his plans to step down as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts at the end of the calendar year. Upon this announcement, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch released the following statement:
We at Americans for the Arts greatly admire Rocco and the work he has been able to accomplish during his tenure as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. 

He created programs that connected and resonated not just in Washington but also with local communities throughout the United States: Our Town, which provides funds to struggling neighborhoods for the purpose of investing in theater, dance, music, writing, and visual art; and ArtPlace, which enlists foundations, corporations, and federal agencies to use cultural enterprises to integrate artists and arts groups into local efforts in transportation, housing, community development, and job creation.

In addition, he understood how to connect and work with other branches of government, including the Department of Defense on arts and healing, Department of Education with the Arts Education Partnership, Department of Housing and Urban Development on economic development projects in the arts, and the Department of Commerce to document and track the number of jobs in the nonprofit arts sector to add more scientific evidence and scope to the arts industry. 

Most importantly, he used his bully pulpit to educate both Washington and the American people on the value of the arts, specifically noting that the arts are, of course, intrinsically valuable, but also a strong source of jobs and economic stimulus. In fact, his slogan, "Art Works" was intended to persuade Americans, including members of Congress, that investment in art can build stronger communities and revive a flagging economy.

We at Americans for the Arts are sad to see him go. However, he leaves a great legacy that will be admired for years to come.

Robert L. Lynch
President & CEO
Americans for the Arts

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