Art Works Blog

As we welcome the new year, the Office of Research and Analysis (ORA) would like to take a moment to reflect on progress made toward two of the goals and outcomes emphasized in the NEA's strategic plan. One goal is "to engage the public with diverse and excellent art," a key outcome...
In this week's podcast, we meet 2013 NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . She's the owner of the legendary New York City jazz club the Village Vanguard. The Vanguard has hosted everyone from Mary Lou Williams to Jason Moran. A jazz haven for more than 55 years, the Vanguard passed to Lorraine...
Chicago radiates culture, from our art to our architecture, our food to our festivals, our music to our museums. That vibrancy of culture is Chicago’s great inheritance as a city, and it is the key to our future. That is why I was proud to unveil the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan this past...
Joan Shigekawa. Photo courtesy of Ms. Shigekawa Joan Shigekawa may be new to her position as acting chairman of the NEA, but having served as the agency’s senior deputy chairman since 2009, she has already more than made her mark. From her intimate involvement with the agency's...
Here's Senator Whitehouse welcoming everyone to the grants workshop and introducing me. Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Whitehouse. When I told a friend of mine I was heading to Providence, her eyes lit up. "It's always been a dream of mine to go to Providence," she said. I laughed as she...
In this week's podcast, we meet a member of the 2013 class of NEA Jazz Masters: alto saxophonist, Lou Donaldson . For over 60 years, Donaldson has played a swinging bebop---combining elements of bop with a soulful sound that is absolutely his own. It's a style of playing that earned him the...
J. Rachel Gustafson on the banks of the Seine before joining the NEA team. Photo by Maggie Shackleford 2012 has been a flurry of change and firsts in my life. I moved from a town I had called home for a decade. I quit my ‘career’ to branch out into a new one. I surpassed my mid-twenties...
Preservation by flickr user Gruenemann If you were to criss-cross the country visiting the nation's legendary jazz clubs, one of your first stops would be the Village Vanguard, owned by NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . Founded by Gordon's husband Max, the Vanguard first opened its doors in...
Bob Koester with the late, great bluesman Big Joe Williams's famous nine-string guitar. Photo by Frank Corpus For most of us, our childhood hobbies---rock collecting, baseball cards---end their lives in dusty boxes in the attic. For select others, they grow into passions that eventually turn...
Video of LgF-mK5wCRo "[T]hat ever-present element of surprise is a celestial synchronicity that not only energizes the film you're making but also hopefully resonates with your audience." --- Kelly Sheehan At the turn of the last century, Kelly Sheehan found herself working with...

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