Art Works Blog

I first met Matthew Whitaker on his 16th birthday, when he performed in front of a large audience at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He appeared that evening in honor of Dr. Lonnie Smith, who was being inducted into that class of NEA...
The dramatic impact of American Indian and Alaska Native (Indian) art market postponements and cancellations, temporary closures of brick and mortar Indian art galleries and businesses, and the current halt in tourism to Indian Country resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is severely undercutting...
In many ways, NEA Creative Writing Fellow Kiki Petrosino ’s latest book, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia , is deeply personal, exploring the genealogy and legacy of her African-American ancestors in Virginia. At the same time, she grapples with the messy history of slavery and discrimination in...
The next time you visit our nation’s capital, if you walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House, you are sure to see someone standing outside with a sign picketing for a cause that is important to them. If you ask Amanda C Burdan—a curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art —where the...
Like many of you, we're also adjusting to the new normal of sheltering in place, homeschooling kids, and generally figuring out how to cope with a life that's suddenly not very normal at all. The four of us in Folk and Traditional Arts (Bill, Cheryl, Cliff, and Rachel) have looked to folk and...
"[P]oetry has always existed & always existed in a communal context. So I feel like, well, people must need it because people always did it & never stopped doing it & that part of what people get from that is the story of who I am and who we are." — Elizabeth Alexander...
Remember a time when we still had live theater? Neither do we. And yet, just a few short weeks ago, Hamlet ran at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The titular role of the Danish king was played by Ruth Negga, who starred in the production’s...
In times of crisis, it is human nature to want to help. Where can designers be most effective? How do we put our skills to use in the right context, at the right time? COVID-19 is a medical crisis, certainly, but it’s also a psychological, economic, and logistical crisis. Without a vaccine on the...
Visit the National Endowment for the Arts YouTube channel to watch the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert and browse our complete library of Jazz Master videos. 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim. Photo by Marina Umari "This is what jazz music does: it gives you...
I have hundreds of picture books in my home. Some of them belong to my two sons, who are now eight and 11, but most of them belong to me. Now that the schools are closed and we’re sheltering in place, I’ve been pulling them off the shelves and finding inspiration among their pages, often in the...

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