News

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama May 31 – June 1, 2017

Washington, DC – Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will visit Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma, Alabama, May 31- June 1, 2017. She will be joined on her tour by Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. On May 31, Chairman Chu will visit Montgomery and Selma arts organizations and on June 1, Chairman Chu will visit Birmingham and make a special announcement about the NEA’s FY 2017 grants in the morning. That afternoon, she will participate in a public event with Al Head at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

On Wednesday, May 31, Chairman Chu begins her day in Montgomery, visiting the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Blount Cultural Park. Chairman Chu will first tour Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s facility and learn more about the Southern Writers’ Project, which is supported by the NEA. Next, Chairman Chu will tour the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and learn about art exhibits, events, and the educational programs provided by the museum.

That afternoon, Chairman Chu will travel to Selma where the Alabama State Council on the Arts, ArtsRevive Community Development Corporation, and the Black Belt Community Foundation will host a reception for her to meet with local artists and arts leaders and learn more about their efforts to support local communities through the arts.

On Thursday, June 1, Chairman Chu will be in Birmingham where she will first visit the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. As part of this visit, Chairman Chu will make a special announcement about new NEA grants to support the arts in Alabama. Following this announcement, Chairman Chu will meet with Sloss Furnaces staff to learn more about their arts programming and tour the national landmark.

Next, Chairman Chu will tour the Birmingham Museum of Art, including the current exhibition Third Space: Shifting Conversations About Contemporary Art.

That afternoon at the museum, Chairman Chu will give remarks about the ways the arts are bringing vitality to Alabama communities while also supporting our national and local economies. Following her remarks, Chairman Chu will participate in a conversation with Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. This event is free and open to the public.

Following this event, Chairman Chu will tour the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Last December the NEA announced a grant to support the presentation of dance companies at the center.

The following events are open to the media but media who wish to attend must RSVP in advance to Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov.

Wednesday May 31, 2017

10:00–11:15AM Site visit with Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Location: 1 Festival Dr., Montgomery, AL 36117

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Geoffrey Sherman, producing artistic director, Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Nancy Rominger, associate director, Alabama Shakespeare Festival

James Bowen, playwright

Laurie Jean Weil, board chairman, Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Eve Loeb, development director, Alabama Shakespeare Festival


11:30AM–12:15PM Tour of Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Location: 1 Museum Dr., Montgomery, AL 36117

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Mark Johnson, director, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, senior curator of art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts


2:30–4:00PM Reception with the Selma arts community

Location: Gallery 905, 905 Water Street, Selma, AL 36701

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Mayor Darrio Melton

Felecia Lucky, Black Belt Community Foundation

Martha Lockett, Arts Revive

Sulynn Creswell, Black Belt Treasures

The Quilters of Gee's Bend, including NEA National Heritage Fellows Mary Lee Bendolph and Lucy Mingo


Thursday, June 1, 2017

9:30–10:30AM Site visit and grant announcement at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Location: 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Mayor William A. Bell

John Nixon, director, Sloss National Historic Landmark

Renee Kemp-Rotan, director of master planning, Sloss Initiative

Peter Prinz, director, Space One Eleven

Marshall Christie, director, Sloss Metal Arts program

Karen Utz, historian and curator, Sloss National Historic Landmark


10:45–11:45AM Tour of Birmingham Museum of Art

Location: 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203

Participants: Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Graham C. Boettcher, Ph.D., deputy director & The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art, Birmingham Museum of Art

Emily G. Hanna, Ph.D., senior curator and curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, Birmingham Museum of Art


1:00–2:00PM Conversation with NEA Chairman Jane Chu

Location: Birmingham Museum of Art

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA


2:30–3:00PM Tour of University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

Location: 1200 10th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294

Participants: Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Albert B. Head, executive director, ASCA

Anna Thompson, executive director, Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

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. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

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Contact

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