National Endowment for the Arts Announces Four New Members of the National Council on the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to welcome four new members to its advisory body, the National Council on the Arts. These individuals bring an impressive diversity of experience, expertise, and perspective to the NEA that will invigorate agency conversations and help the NEA advance its mission to support artistic excellence and artistic merit in communities across the country. Among the new members are two Hispanic Americans and one Asian American. Their areas of expertise range from urban planning to organic farming and cooking and two are researchers.

The new members are:

  • Bruce Carter, music educator and researcher
  • Maria Rosario Jackson, senior advisor to the Arts and Culture program at the Kresge Foundation
  • Maria López de León, executive director of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC)
  • David "Mas" Masumoto, author, food expert, and organic farmer

 They will attend their first National Council on the Arts meeting March 27-29, 2013. The National Council on the Arts advises the chairman on agency policies and programs. It reviews and makes recommendations to the chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives.

The public session of the upcoming National Council on the Arts meeting is on March 29, 2013, from 9:00-11:30 AM EDT at the NEA's office at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, DC. The session will be live webcast at [please register in advance]. In addition to the regular business of the council, the meeting will feature the following presentations:

9:45-10:15 am   NEA Arts Education Strategic Plan Presentation & Update: Ayanna Hudson, NEA director of arts education
10:15-10:45 am   Public Affairs Presentation on the latest edition ofNEA Arts 
10:45-11:15 am   The Cleveland Orchestra/Community Outreach Presentation:  Joan Katz, director of education and community engagement; 
Joshua Smith, principal flute player

Following are brief biographies of the new members. Complete bios for all National Council on the Arts members are available here.

Bruce Carter's work focuses on issues of creativity and the intersections of social justice and arts participation. Among the journals that have published his work are the Journal of Research in Music Education and the Oxford Press. This year, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, School of Education designated the Bruce Carter Qualitative Research Center as a place for graduate students to pursue meaningful qualitative research agendas.

Maria Rosario Jackson is an expert in the fields of urban planning, comprehensive community revitalization, and arts and culture. Her work appears in a wide range of professional and academic publications. She has served on numerous research and project advisory boards dealing with topics such as museums in communities, arts institutions and shifting demographics, arts and cultural activity in strategies to improve health outcomes, arts and cultural participation, and economic and social impacts of the arts. For 18 years, Jackson was director of the Culture, Creativity and Communities Program at the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based national public policy research organization.

Maria López De León has been with NALAC for 14 years and has served as executive director for ten years. She has been involved in all aspects of development and implementation of the organization’s programs and initiatives. Under De León’s leadership, NALAC launched three grant programs, the NALAC Fund for the Arts, the Transnational Cultural Remittances, and the NALAC Diverse Arts Spacesprogram. Among other achievements, she has directed the development of 12 editions of the annual Leadership Institute and the Latino Arts Advocacy Instituteandcompleted production of Visiones, a six-part documentary series on Latino art and culture for PBS.

David "Mas" Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of six books, including Wisdom of the Last Farmer, Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, Harvest Son, and Epitaph for a Peach. A third-generation farmer, Masumoto grows certified organic peaches, nectarines, grapes, and raisins on an 80-acre farm south of Fresno, California. He is currently a columnist for The Fresno and Sacramento Bee, and was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-08. He is currently a board member of the James Irvine Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California.

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 and the four introduced here, there are currently 16 members of the National Council on the Arts: Miguel CampaneriaAaron Dworkin, JoAnn Falletta, Lee GreenwoodDeepa GuptaPaul HodesJoan IsraeliteEmil KangCharlotte KesslerIrvin Mayfield, Jr., Barbara Ernst Prey, and Frank Price. There are also six ex-officio members from Congress -- Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 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.