National Council on the Arts Meeting Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.

Meeting to be webcast live at

Washington, DC -- The 176th meeting of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body to the National Endowment for the Arts, will take place on Friday, June 29, 2012 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. EDT in room M-09 of The Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The public is invited to attend in person or watch the live webcast at

The first presentation of the meeting looks at the NEA's Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD), a program that works to enhance the quality of life and economic viability of rural areas. CIRD does this through design workshops it organizes that gather local leaders together with experts in planning, design, and creative placemaking to assist with locally identified issues. Richard S. Hawks, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York at Syracuse, and Shelley S. Mastran, a visiting professor of natural resources and urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech University, manage the program on behalf of the NEA and will discuss its accomplishments to date.

Next, Janet Rice Elman, executive director of the Association of Children's Museums (ACM), will give an overview of her organization's work. Since 1962, ACM has represented museums and professionals dedicated to early childhood play. ACM  promotes the impact children's museums have preparing children for school, building 21st century skills, and nurturing creativity and lifelong learning.

Lastly, Barry Bergey, director of folk arts at the NEA will introduce this year's recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship. The fellowship is the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Among this year's nine recipients are practitioners of two artforms that have not been honored previously with a National Heritage Fellowship: Okinawan dancing and dog sled and snowshoe building. Also for the first time, the NEA is recognizing a state arts agency director for his work promoting the importance of the folk and traditional arts in giving life to a community.

About the National Council on the Arts

The National Council on the Arts is convened three times per year to vote on funding recommendations for grants and rejections; to advise the Chairman on application guidelines, the budget, and policy and planning directions; and to recommend to the President nominees for the National Medal of Arts. Including the Chairman, there are 14 members -- James Ballinger, Miguel Campaneria, Ben Donenberg, Aaron Dworkin, JoAnn Falletta, Lee Greenwood, Joan Israelite, Charlotte Kessler, Bret Lott, Irvin Mayfield, Stephen Porter, Barbara Ernst Prey, Frank Price, and Terry Teachout; and six ex-officio members from Congress -- Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH). Appointment by Majority and Minority leadership of the remaining two Members of Congress to the Council is pending. Visit for more information about the National Council on the Arts and its members.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


NEA Public Affairs