NEA in Ohio: June 27-28, 2024

Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, and members of the National Council on the Arts gathered in Ohio June 27-28, 2024, for the council’s summer meeting. Over two days of site visits and public events in Athens, Nelsonville, and Columbus—organized in collaboration with the Ohio Arts Council—the chair and council explored the importance of the arts in rural communities in Ohio and throughout the nation.

National Council on the Arts Public Meeting, June 28

Following remarks by Chair Jackson, the meeting featured a series of conversations with arts and design leaders exploring the contributions of arts and culture in rural areas through creating connections and strengthening the health and well-being of individuals and communities. The meeting also featured educational performances by National Council on the Arts member Kinan Azmeh, as well as students from Columbus Youth Jazz. The meeting was livestreamed. Watch the recording below:


  • NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson
  • National Council on the Arts members
  • Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. Collins
  • NEA Chief Strategy, Programs, and Engagement Officer Ayanna Hudson
  • NEA Design & Creative Placemaking Director Ben Stone
  • VP of Education and Community Engagement for Jazz Arts Group of Columbus Zach Compston 
  • Columbus Youth Jazz performers
  • Founder and Principal of To Be Done Studio Omar Hakeem (To Be Done Studio is the design partner for the NEA’s Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design)
  • Communications & Media Director of the Mt. Zion Black Cultural Center Trevellya Ford-Ahmed (Mt. Zion is a past Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design participant)
  • Department of Public Transformation Creative Executive Officer Ash Hanson
  • Executive Director of Mni Sota Arts Anne O’Keefe-Jackson (Mni Sota Arts is part of the 2023-2025 Activate Rural Project Cohort)
  • Department of Public Transformation Activate Rural Program Director Sarina Otaibi

Town Hall Meeting, June 27

On the evening of Thursday, June 27, at 6:15 pm ET, Chair Jackson joined Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. Collins, Ohio State Representative Jay Edwards, and special guests for a Town Hall meeting at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville to discuss the arts and its impact on our communities. The meeting was livestreamed; watch the on-demand recording:


  • NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson
  • Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. Collins
  • Ohio State Representative Jay Edwards
  • Artist and Entrepreneur Brandon Thompson
  • Executive Director of Stuart’s Opera House Melissa Wales