More than a decade before the publication of "The Color Purple," Alice Walker was one of 41 emerging writers to receive an NEA Discovery Award in Literature.
Artrain got funding from the NEA for its first national tour. Wherever it stopped, Artrain acted as a community catalyst, encouraging the formation of local and regional arts councils, bolstering art education programs, and spurring downtown revitalization and railroad station renovations.
In 1972, NEA Chair Nancy Hanks developed the Federal Design Improvement program, a four-pronged plan for upgrading federal design.
In 1973, the NEA funded a touring exhibition, The Far North: 2000 Years of American Eskimo and Indian Art, to be shown at the Alaska Museum of History and Art in Anchorage throughout the summer to introduce the rich artistic heritage of Alaska’s Indigenous people, from early Inuit ivory carvings to 19th-century Yupik spirit masks.
In 1974, the NEA commissioned a comprehensive survey of museums, Museums USA, the first major research project undertaken by the agency, covering 1,821 art, history, and science museums in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program was created by Congress in 1975 for the purpose of minimizing the costs of insuring international exhibitions. The program, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts on behalf of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The National Endowment for the Arts supported the creation of Live From Lincoln Center—in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—with a public media grant of $200,000.
The world-renowned arts celebration Spoleto USA started in 1977, when the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy, set up an American counterpart with help from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The NEA’s program, the U.S./Japan Creative Artist Fellowships, created in 1978 in partnership with the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC), sends U.S. artists to spend three months in Japan.
A Confederacy of Dunces continues to be recognized as a classic American novel and a canonical work of modern Southern literature and was brought to publication with the assistance of the NEA.