Art Works Blog

Celebrating Milestones in U.S. Arts

It's hard to believe now but there was a time when the Steppenwolf Theatre Company was just a few high school friends putting on shows in a church basement. And the Sundance Institute was just an inkling of an idea in the mind of Robert Redford. In honor of our 50th anniversary, we're taking a look at some of the seminal arts organizations and artists who, with the help of NEA support, are now household names, themselves paving the way for a new generation of noteworthy artists and arts organizatons. Featured below are Milestone videos celebrating the Walker Art Institute, Appalshop, and the National Council on Traditional Arts along with Steppenwolf and Sundance. Stay tuned for more Milestone videos on Maya Lin, Edward Villella, American Film Institute, and more.

Visit the 50th anniversary page on to learn more about how the arts have enriched the lives of ordinary Americans and to browse our gallery of state-focused videos celebrating our United States of Arts.


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