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Finding Beauty in the Archives

February 8, 2012 By Rebecca Gross When you work at the NEA, rummaging through old photo files feels like leafing through a scrapbook of the country’s artistic history. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve pulled together a few stunning examples of work done by African-American artists whom we’ve funded through the years. The photos […]

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From the Archives: NEA Jazz Master Nat Hentoff on Jazz in the U.S.

January 9, 2012 Tomorrow night we will celebrate our 2012 class of NEA Jazz Masters and 30 years of the NEA Jazz Masters Lifetime Honors. Seems fitting to dip into the archives for this essay from critic, journalist, and producer Nat Hentoff, who received the inaugural A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy […]

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From the Archives: Jazz in the Schools in NEA Arts

January 6, 2012 In 2008 we dedicated our first NEA Arts issue of the year to celebrating the new class of NEA Jazz Masters. In that issue, we also spotlighted our Jazz in the Schools (JITS) curriculum, which had just celebrated its third birthday. Bringing Jazz to a New Generation: NEA Jazz in the Schools […]

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Art Works Podcast: Led Kaapana

September 15, 2011 By Josephine Reed Led Kaapana. Photo courtesy of Led Kaapana This week’s podcast is a conversation with 2011 National Heritage Fellow Led Kaapana, who is master of two instruments: the slack key guitar and the ukulele. He also possesses an extraordinary voice that can range from a soaring baritone to a yearning […]

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From the Archives: La Gran Vitesse meets Grand Rapids

August 8, 2011 Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse helped revitalize Grand Rapids’ ailing downtown. Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Library Stamped on everything from the city’s letterhead to its garbage trucks, Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse is much more than a landmark. It’s the ubiquitous symbol of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Literally and figuratively […]

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From the Archives: A Confederacy of Dunces

John Kennedy Toole received posthumously the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for A Confederacy of Dunces. The comic novel was published by Lousiana State University Press, with support from the Arts Endowment. When A Confederacy of Dunces was published in 1980, a remarkable new novel entered into the nation’s literary canon. In celebration of the NEA’s 40th […]

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From the Archives: Happy Birthday Martha Graham!

May 11, 2011 Washington, DC Studio portrait of dancer/choreographer Martha Graham. Photo by Chris Alexander Today marks the anniversary of the birth of iconic dancer and choreographer Martha Graham in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As quoted by NEA Dance Director Nigel Redden in the Summer 1984 issue of Arts Review, “Martha invented charisma.” Redden went on to […]

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