In 1965, I was an oboist in the Cleveland Orchestra when word reached us about the creation of the Arts Endowment. It was a welcome relief that this country would follow the lead of many foreign governments in recognizing the importance of the creation and dissemination of the arts in all its forms. In the late '70s through the '80s, I was proud to serve asssistant director and then director of the Arts Endowment's Music Program. It was a time of expansion and recognition of the immense variety of the highest artistic excellence in America. It is my fervent hope that our country will continue, forever, to realize the importance of cultural treasures we can and should support for future generations of our citizens. Happy 50th Birthday NEA!!!