News

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Des Moines, Iowa, November 4–5, 2015

Town Hall with Chairman Chu will take place November 5

Chu portrait1-Photo by Strauss Peyton Studios_cropped for web.jpg

headhsot of NEA Chairman Jane Chu

NEA Chairman Jane Chu by Strauss Peyton Studios

Washington, DC—Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will visit Des Moines, Iowa, November 4–5, 2015. This will be her first visit to Iowa as NEA Chairman. In addition to visiting several local arts organizations, Chairman Chu will also participate in a Town Hall, hosted by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and Bravo Greater Des Moines. Chairman Chu is available for short one-on-one interviews where noted in the schedule below and prior to the Town Hall. Media who wish to attend these events or request an interview should email auclaire@arts.gov. Follow @NEAJaneChu on Twitter for updates and photos on her trip to Iowa.

Chairman Chu’s visit to Iowa will begin the morning of Wednesday, November 4 with a visit to the Des Moines Civic Center with Des Moines Performing Arts, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Des Moines Symphony. Media are invited to join representatives from these organizations for a backstage tour of the Civic Center with Chairman Chu. Please note that this tour will take place just prior to a school age performance by Soweto Gospel Choir.

Next, Chairman Chu will visit ArtForceIowa, an organization supported by the Iowa Arts Council. As part of her visit, Chairman Chu will meet with students participating in a workshop as part of ArtForceIowa’s Lift Off program, which provides training for out-of-school youth in marketing, entrepreneurship, digital arts, and screen printing.

That afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit the Des Moines Art Center. Chairman Chu will tour the center, including the NEA-supported exhibition Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations, and the exhibition It’s Your Choice, with artworks selected by members of the community and funded in part by the Iowa Arts Council. Following this tour, Chairman Chu will also visit the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and learn about its effects on the cultural, social, educational, and economic landscape of the city of Des Moines.

On the evening of Thursday, November 5, Chairman Chu will take part in a Town Hall, hosted by Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and Bravo Greater Des Moines. Chairman Chu will give remarks at this event about the NEA’s 50th anniversary and the NEA’s new initiative, Creativity Connects, and take questions from the audience. Media who wish to attend this event should contact Jeff Morgan with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs at jeff.morgan@iowa.gov or 515-281-3858. Space is limited so members of the public who wish to attend this event may RSVP here.

This visit to Iowa is taking place during the celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the NEA is creating a story bank of multimedia content that showcases the impact of the arts. To date, hundreds of people from across the country, including Iowa, have submitted stories about how the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have impacted their lives. Visit the NEA’s website to learn more about these stories.

The following events are closed to the public, except where noted, but open to media. Media should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov or 202-682-5744 if they would like to attend any of the site visits or request an interview with Chairman Chu.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

9:40–10:00am Tour of Des Moines Civic Center with Des Moines Performing Arts, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Des Moines Symphony

Location: 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Jeff Chelesvig, president & CEO, Des Moines Performing Arts

Richard Early, executive director, Des Moines Symphony

Dustin Ross, director of development, Des Moines Symphony

Michael Egel, general and artistic director, Des Moines Metro Opera

Ellen Diehl, director of development, Des Moines Metro Opera 

Tiffany Spinner, annual fund manager, Des Moines Performing Arts

Mary Cownie, director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Matthew Harris, administrator, Iowa Arts Council

Sally Dix, executive director, Bravo Greater Des Moines


10:30–11:30am Site visit to ArtForceIowa

Location: 319 SW, 5th Street, #12B, Des Moines, IA 50309

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

John Mark Feilmeyer, executive director, ArtForceIowa

ArtForceIowa Board Members & Staff

Cheryl Johnson, vice president, Children and Families of Iowa

Mary Cownie, director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Matthew Harris, administrator, Iowa Arts Council

Sally Dix, executive director, Bravo Greater Des Moines


11:30–11:45am Media availability. Media who wish to request short one-on-one interviews with Chairman Chu should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov or 202-682-5744.

Location: ArtForceIowa, 319 SW, 5th Street, #12B, Des Moines, IA 50309


1:00–2:00pm Tour of Des Moines Art Center

Location: 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Jeff Fleming, director, Des Moines Art Center

Mary Cownie, director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Matthew Harris, administrator, Iowa Arts Council

Sally Dix, executive director, Bravo Greater Des Moines


2:15–2:45pm Tour of John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Location: 1330 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50309

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Christine Hensley, Des Moines City Council

Mary Cownie, director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Jeff Fleming, director, Des Moines Art Center

Matthew Harris, administrator, Iowa Arts Council

Sally Dix, executive director, Bravo Greater Des Moines


Thursday, November 5, 2015

4:00–4:30pm Media availability. Media who wish to request short one-on-one interviews with Chairman Chu should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov or 202-682-5744.

Location: World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309


4:30–6:00pm Town Hall. (Remarks begin at 5:00pm). Media who wish to attend this event should contact Jeff Morgan with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs at jeff.morgan@iowa.gov or 515-281-3858.

Location:  World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, Ruan Laureate Room,100 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Mary Cownie, Director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Matthew Harris, administrator, Iowa Arts Council

Sally Dix, executive director, Bravo Greater Des Moines

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to the 50th section at arts.gov to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse the Facts & Figures section, and check out the anniversary timeline.

About the Iowa Arts Council

The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and is committed to cultivating creativity, learning and participation in the arts. Established in 1967, the Iowa Arts Council serves as Iowa’s state arts agency and works in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts to build the capacity of Iowa’s arts ecosystem. Through appropriations from the Iowa Legislature and National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council strives to create opportunities for the arts to flourish in Iowa by nurturing cultural leadership and investing in projects that provide access to arts experiences in communities and public spaces throughout Iowa. www.iowaartscouncil.org

About Bravo Greater Des Moines

Bravo Greater Des Moines works to strengthen arts, culture and heritage organizations across central Iowa using an accountable, regional and collaborative model to provide funding and support. Using funds contributed by local government partners, Bravo invests in arts, culture and heritage organizations that contribute to and enhance the quality of life in Greater Des Moines for residents and visitors.

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Contact

Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744

Jeff Morgan (Iowa Arts Council), jeff.morgan@iowa.gov, 515-281-3858