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National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, October 16, 2015

Chairman to join Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in a Celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary

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

Jane Chu

NEA Chairman Jane Chu. Photo by Strauss Peyton Studios

Washington, DC—Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will visit Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday, October 16, 2015. Chairman Chu will be in town to deliver a keynote address at the Alliance of Artist Communities conference. As part of her second trip to Rhode Island as Chairman, she will also visit arts organizations in Providence and Newport and take part in an event with Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in honor of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary. Follow @NEAJaneChu on Twitter for updates and photos on her trip to Rhode Island.

Chairman Chu’s visit to Rhode Island will begin with a keynote address at the Alliance of Artists Communities conference. After an introduction by Congressman David N. Cicilline, Chairman Chu will speak about her vision for collaborating and connecting in the arts and will take questions from the audience. There will also be a short program featuring local artists, including playwright and director Ifa Bayeza and co-directors of Strange Attractor Theatre Jed Hancock-Brainerd and Rebecca Noon. Media who wish to attend this conference session should contact Flannery Patton at fpatton@artistcommunities.org or 401-351-4320.

Following this speech, Chairman Chu will join Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Lt. Governor Dan McKee, and Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza at The Steel Yard in Providence. The Chairman will tour The Steel Yard’s outdoor studio locations, learn about the weld-to-work job training program and public art program, meet with iron artists in residents, and visit teaching studios where local craftspeople teach ceramics, jewelry, welding and blacksmithing to youth and adults in educational workshops.

That afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit Newport, where she will tour the Newport Opera House and learn more about their restoration efforts. During this visit, Island Moving Dance Company will perform a site-specific work in several spaces in the building.

Next, Chairman Chu will join Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at the Newport Art Museum. They will tour the museum, after which the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Newport Art Museum, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County will host a reception in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts, which was founded in 1965 with the support of U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell. This event will include remarks by Chairman Chu, Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Rhode Island State Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, and Clay Pell, grandson of Senator Claiborne Pell. This event is open to the public but RSVPs are required. More details are available here.

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary, 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 have submitted stories about how the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have impacted their lives. The NEA has also created a video in collaboration with Rhode Island State Council on the Arts that looks at the arts and culture of Rhode Island.

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 the 50th anniversary event.

Friday, October 16, 2015

9:00–10:00am Remarks and Q&A at the Alliance of Artists Communities conference. Media who wish to attend this conference session should contact Flannery Patton at fpatton@artistcommunities.org or 401-351-4320.

Location: Providence Biltmore Hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Congressman David N. Cicilline

Caitlin Strokosch, executive director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Ifa Bayeza, playwright and director 

Jed Hancock-Brainerd, co-director, Strange Attractor Theatre

Rebecca Noon, co-director, Strange Attractor Theatre


10:30–11:30am  Tour of The Steel Yard

Location:  27 Sims Ave, Providence, RI 02909

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

U.S. Senator Jack Reed

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Congressman Jim Langevin

Lt. Governor Dan McKee

Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza

Lauretta Converse, Rhode Island Senate Fiscal Deputy Director

Howie Sneider, executive director, the Steel Yard

Islay Taylor, program director, the Steel Yard

Tim Ferland, art production manager, the Steel Yard

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts


1:15–1:50pm Tour of Newport Opera House and performance by Island Moving Company

Location: 19 Touro Street, Newport, RI 02840

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Miki Ohlsen, artistic director, Island Moving Company

Dominique Alfandre, executive director, Island Moving Company

John La Rocca, board chair, Island Moving Company

Brenda Nienhouse, executive director, Newport Opera House

John Cratin, board member, Newport Opera House

Alison Vareika, chairman, Newport Opera House

Island Moving Company performers

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts


2:00–2:30pm Tour of Newport Art Museum

Location: 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

U.S. Senator Jack Reed

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Norah Diedrich, director, Newport Art Museum

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts


2:30–4:00pm Reception in honor of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary. Open to the public but RSVPs are required.

Location:  Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840

Participants:      

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

U.S. Senator Jack Reed

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Congressman Jim Langevin

M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Rhode Island Senate President

Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano

Clay Pell, grandson of U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell

Norah Diedrich, director, Newport Art Museum

Nancy McAuliffe, president, Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

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.

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Contact

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

Donna Fiske (RISCA), Donna.Fiske@arts.ri.gov/401-222-1148

Chip Unruh (Senator Reed), 202-224-4642