Milestone Videos

These videos look at some of the important artists, organizations, and initiatives that the NEA has supported over the years, and the impact they have made on U.S. culture. These videos were created as part of the 50th anniversary of the agency.


In this milestone video, we feature the nonprofit Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Appalshop—through media productions, public presentations, and educational projects, including film, video, radio, new media, music, theater, and community exchanges—documents the voices and celebrates the culture of people living in Appalachia and rural America. NEA has provided continual support for Appalshop since its founding.

Walker Art Center

In this milestone video, we feature one of the major arts presenters in the Midwest, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Receiving support from the NEA since 1968, the Walker is recognized internationally for its commitment to artistic innovation and community engagement.

A Look at Arts Education

In this milestone video, we highlight the National Endowment for the Arts' commitment to arts education, featuring NEA grantee Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and interviews with performer/writer Larry Wilmore, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., and NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman.

Sundance Institute

In this milestone video, we feature the Sundance Institute, created in 1981 by the actor/director Robert Redford. The NEA supported its initial four-week workshop and seminar, and has been supporting it ever since, including its development programs in documentary and feature film and training sessions for emerging screenwriters and directors, as well as new initiatives such as Film Forward.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

In this milestone video, we feature the award-winning nonprofit theater group from Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Since its founding in 1974 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise, the company has received national and international recognition—including a series of Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts—with continual support from the NEA.

Creative Forces

In this milestone video, we feature the NEA and U.S. Department of Defense partnership initiative Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Since 2011, the military healing arts partnership has supported creative arts therapies for service members with traumatic brain injury and associated psychological health issues at two military medical facilities in the Washington, DC, area. In 2016, the initiative expanded to ten additional sites nationwide and increased access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families.

NEA Literature Fellowships

In this milestone video, we feature the NEA Literature Fellowship program, which has supported American creative writers since 1965 and translators since 1981. We look at the program through interviews with Creative Writing Fellows Joy Harjo and Michael Cunningham and Translation Fellow Esther Allen.

Edward Villella

In this milestone video, we feature dancer/choreographer Edward Villella, whose storied career started under the legendary George Balanchine as principal dancer for the New York Ballet. From 1968 to 1974, he served on the NEA’s National Council on the Arts, and became the founding artistic director of Miami City Ballet (a frequent NEA grantee) in 1985, serving until 2012. In 1997, he received the National Medal of Arts.

Maya Lin

In this milestone video, we feature visual artist/designer Maya Lin, who has a long history with the NEA, starting with her winning the public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was administered by the NEA. She has also received an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts, as well as having her exhibitions and projects supported by the agency, including the largest and longest project she has undertaken, the Confluence Project in Northwest U.S.

National Council for the Traditional Arts

In this milestone video, we feature the National Council for the Traditional Arts and their annual production of the National Folk Festival, which has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts every year since 1970.

American Film Institute

In this milestone video, we feature the American Film Institute, which the National Endowment for the Arts help found in 1967 to preserve and celebrate our cinematic history and to educate the next generation of filmmakers.