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Obama Names Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Leaders

posted by Christopher Howard — Sep 18, 2009

Barack Obama has appointed new leaders to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. George Stevens, Jr., and Margo Lion will serve as cochairs, and Mary Schmidt Campbell will be vice chair.

This committee, founded in 1982 and comprised of private citizens from across the United States, advocates for the arts and humanities as core of a vital society. It works with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to advance nonpartisan cultural objectives of the Obama administration.

Stevens is a writer, director, producer of motion pictures and television, founder of the American Film Institute, and creator of the Kennedy Center Honors. He fostered a new generation of documentary filmmakers as head of the US Information Agency’s Motion Picture Service during the Kennedy presidency.

As a Broadway producer, Lion has worked with Tony Kushner, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, August Wilson, and George C. Wolfe, and her work has earned Tony and Olivier awards and a Pulitzer Prize. She is also an adjunct professor and a member of the Dean’s Council at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Tisch is also home to Campbell, where she is dean. A former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, Campell was executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she wrote the catalogue for the exhibition Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940–1987.

In early August, President Obama appointed Rachel Goslins, an independent television and film producer, as the committee’s executive director.