Art Works Blog

Visual artist Terry Adkins had often noted that his artistic career really started in Nashville, Tennessee, specifically with his time at Fisk University, one of more than one hundred historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs) in the country. So while it might not be a surprise that Fisk...
As a young person, Jason Reynolds was a reluctant reader—he speaks frequently about how he did not read a full novel until he was in college. However, he was never a reluctant listener. His art form of choice was rap music, which he listened to enthusiastically. It was in listening to the rhythms...
"Altogether, this collaborative system has helped shape a nation where every American—in every state, in every region, across the entire nation—can celebrate and benefit from the arts." — National Endowment for the Arts Chair Mary Anne Carter (from intro to new issue ) We've freshened up the name...
Break out the cherry pie: tomorrow is George Washington’s birthday! To celebrate what would have been Washington’s 288th birthday, we’re revisiting what is probably the most famous portrait of our nation’s first president—what’s known as the Lansdowne portrait by Gilbert Stuart, which he painted in...
"I feel like poetry introduced me to myself in a way that nothing else actually had." — Reginald Dwayne Betts At age 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was tried and convicted as an adult for carjacking. Since his release at age 24, Betts has become an attorney, a doctoral candidate at Yale Law School, an...
"I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential. We have to create an art for liberation and for life." — Elizabeth Catlett
Wilner Baptiste met Kevin Sylvester in high school orchestra, a place that initially, neither of them particularly wanted to be. Baptiste had wanted to play saxophone instead of viola, and Sylvester’s mother had thought the violin would help dissuade him from hanging out with the neighborhood’s...
As much as we love poetry around here, we know that poems, especially love poems, are not exactly one size fits all. With that in mind, whether you're looking for a poem for your current crush, or the one who got away, we have you covered. Click on the name of each poem to read the whole thing. (...
Here at the National Endowment for the Arts, we celebrate Black History Month because we know that you cannot tell the history of the arts in the United States of America without including the many long-lasting contributions of African Americans to the country’s cultural landscape. For example,...
With help from the Library of Congress , here are seven art-full things to know about U.S. President—and poet—Abraham Lincoln, who was born 211 years ago today. 1. Abraham Lincoln’s first exposure to poetry as a boy was through William Scott’s Lessons in Elocution , which became part of the...

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