National Endowment for the Arts Announces
Washington, D.C. -- The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that Maurice Cox, an architecture professor at the University of Virginia, has been appointed the NEA's Director of Design. In that position, Cox will supervise the panel selection and grant making process in design, oversee the Mayors' Institute on City Design, Governors' Institute on Community Design, and Your Town programs, and provide professional leadership to the field. He will assume his new responsibilities on October 2.
Mr. Cox arrives at the NEA at an exciting time. The Arts Endowment announces that the Edward W. Rose III Family Fund of The Dallas Foundation has given a generous gift of $250,000 for the NEA's Mayors' Institute on City Design.
Maurice Cox as director of design
Of Maurice Cox's appointment, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "We are excited that Maurice Cox will join us to direct the Arts Endowment's design initiatives. His wide-ranging experience, from professional practice to academic instruction to civic leadership, fits well with the NEA's mission of promoting broad public access to artistic excellence. We know he will provide invaluable guidance for our programs."
Mr. Cox noted, "With the NEA's commitment to the arts as a way to enrich the lives of ordinary citizens and my own experience of design as a fundamentally democratic and public art, I am confident that together we can make design socially and culturally relevant to the everyday lives of Americans, in whichever community they live. Well-designed environments are not a luxury -- they are a public necessity."
Mr. Cox is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, School of Architecture and is a 2004-05 recipient of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He recently completed eight years on the Charlottesville (VA) City Council with the last two years as the city's mayor. As mayor, professor, and urbanist he was widely recognized as the principal urban designer of his city. During his mayoral term, Frommer's Cities Ranked and Rated selected Charlottesville as "Best Place to Live" out of 400 cities in the United States and Canada.
A native of New York City, he received his education at the Cooper Union School of Architecture under the guidance of Dean John Hejduk. In 2004, he was awarded the Cooper Union's highest alumni honor, the President's Citation for distinguished civic leadership to the architecture profession and, in 2006, the John Hejduk Award for Architecture. He began his teaching career as an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University's Italian Program in Florence, Italy, where his teaching career was accompanied by 10 years in architectural partnership with Giovanna Galfione, collaborating on buildings with architect Aldo Rossi.
He was founding partner of RBGC Architecture, Research and Urbanism from 1996-2006 in Charlottesville. The firm became nationally renowned for its work with communities traditionally underserved by the design field. His reputation as a design leader and innovator led to his being featured in Fast Company, as one of America's "20 Masters of Design;" on CBS news magazine "60 Minutes;" in the documentary film This Black Soil; and in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Architecture Magazine -- all for his ground-breaking use of design as a catalyst for social change in the rural town of Bayview, Virginia.
Cox was a founding principal, with Ken Schwartz, of Community Planning and Design Workshop (CP+D Workshop) which is working on urban design strategies for the cities of Richmond, Virginia, and Moss Point, Mississippi. Cox has lectured widely on the topics of democratic design, civic engagement, and the designer's role as leader.
Edward W. Rose Family Fund Gift
The generous gift of the Edward W. Rose III Family Fund of the Dallas Foundation is directed to the Mayors' Institute on City Design (MICD). This program is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the American Architectural Foundation that has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities. Mrs. Deedie Potter Rose, a former member of the National Council on the Arts (NCA), directed the donation to MICD.
The $250,000 gift will make possible post-Institute assistance to mayors to assure that the lessons they learned will be passed along to their staffs and other key community leaders. Specifically, the funds will allow the NEA to send one of the participating design experts who helped review a mayor's case study back to that mayor's community for follow up activities that could range from a briefing with the mayor's staff to a town hall meeting on design. The gift will also allow publication of an updated MICD brochure.
Chairman Gioia said, "Because the design decisions that shape our cities have such lasting effects on our lives and the life of a city, we view the MICD as one of our most important programs. We are deeply grateful to our former NCA member Deedie Potter Rose for her generosity and support."
For more information, contact the NEA's Communication Office at 202-682-5570 or go to www.arts.gov.
Return to News Index
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506