posted by Christopher Howard — July 09, 2014
The United States Senate today voted to confirm William D. “Bro” Adams as the 10th chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Adams is expected to begin as Chairman in the coming days.
Founded in 1965, the National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making institution of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.
Adams, president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine from 2000 until his retirement on June 30, 2014, is a committed advocate for liberal arts education and brings to the Endowment a long record of leadership in higher education and the humanities.
A native of Birmingham, Michigan, and son of an auto industry executive, Adams earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Colorado College and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz History of Consciousness Program. He studied in France as a Fulbright Scholar before beginning his career in higher education with appointments to teach political philosophy at Santa Clara University in California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He went on to coordinate the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University and to serve as vice president and Secretary of Wesleyan University. He became president of Bucknell University in 1995 and president of Colby College in 2000.
Adams’s formal education was interrupted by three years of service in the Army, including one year in Vietnam. It was partly that experience, he says, that motivated him to study and teach in the humanities. “It made me serious in a certain way,” he says. “And as a 20-year-old combat infantry advisor, I came face to face, acutely, with questions that writers, artists, philosophers, and musicians examine in their work — starting with, ‘What does it mean to be human?’”
In each of his professional roles, Adams has demonstrated a deep understanding of and commitment to the humanities as essential to education and to civic life. At Colby, for example, he led a $376-million capital campaign – the largest in Maine history – that included expansion of the Colby College Museum of Art and the gift of the $100-million Lunder Collection of American Art, the creation of a center for arts and humanities and a film studies program, and expansion of the College’s curriculum in creative writing and writing across the curriculum. He also spearheaded formal collaboration of the college with the Maine Film Center and chaired the Waterville Regional Arts and Community Center.
As senior president of the prestigious New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), Adams has been at the center of the national conversation on the cost and value of liberal arts education. “I see the power of what is happening on our campuses and among the alumni I meet across the country and around the world,” he says. “People who engage in a profound way with a broad range of disciplines – including, and in some cases especially, with the humanities — are preparing to engage the challenges of life. They are creative and flexible thinkers; they acquire the habits of mind needed to find solutions to important problems; they can even appreciate the value of making mistakes and changing their minds. I am convinced that this kind of study is not merely defensible but critical to our national welfare.”
Adams, nicknamed Bro by his father in honor of a friend who died in World War Two, is married to Lauren Sterling, philanthropy specialist at Educare Central Maine and has a daughter and a stepson. He currently resides in Falmouth, Maine.
Deputy Chairman Carole Watson has served as Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities since the departure of former Chairman James A. Leach.
Please join the conversation and offer your congratulations to Adams with #NEHBroAdams.
The following email from Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of Americans for the Arts, was sent on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
Arts Action Fund Breaking News 7-9-14
Today, U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), the new House Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, set the initial funding levels for the nation’s cultural agencies’ budgets for FY 2015. The chairman was able to assign small increases to the Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art, but also made some cuts to each of the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities, as well as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
We now look to the Senate to restore these proposed cuts and hopefully provide an increase to each of these federal cultural agencies. We’ve already prepared an easy-to-customize, pre-written letter for you to e-mail to your two Senators and House Representative. Please take two minutes to help us get the word out.
With your help, I am optimistic that we will be able to secure higher funding levels in the Senate, which coincidentally is voting to confirm new National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bo Adams today.
posted by CAA — July 09, 2014
The following email from Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance, was sent on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
Act Now! Proposed Cuts Would Bring NEH’s Funding to Its Lowest Level since 1972
Dear Humanities Advocate,
This morning, the House subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities proposed to fund NEH at its lowest level since 1972. If enacted, this $8 million cut would bring NEH’s funding level to just $138 million for 2015.
It is time to stop the steady erosion of NEH’s capacity!
The subcommittee will be voting on the proposed cuts tomorrrow, so it is essential that you act now. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to oppose the proposed cut to the NEH.
Click here to send our message to your Representative today. They are waiting to hear from you.
Thanks for your help!
posted by Christopher Howard — July 08, 2014
The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy Clark as director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity. Clark has served as acting director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity since November 2012 and will continue to manage the NEA’s grantmaking in this area, as well as the program’s special initiatives, such as Blue Star Museums.
NEA Deputy Chairman Patrice Walker Powell noted “Ms. Clark brings to this leadership position a wealth of knowledge and experience with the people and institutions that comprise the visual arts and museum field. She is an asset to our organization, an advocate for the field, and a long-term NEA leader.”
Clark has more than 20 years of experience managing various federal grant programs and special initiatives at the NEA in the fields of museums, visual arts, and design, including the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, Your Town, the American Masterpieces/Visual Arts Touring Program, the Rosa Parks Sculpture Competition for the Architect of the Capitol, and the Renna Scholarship Grants Program. Prior to her role as acting director, she was the museum specialist, working primarily on Art Works grants and special initiatives and advising hundreds of museums annually seeking funding for exhibitions, conservation, commissions, care of collections, educational outreach, and reinstallation projects. She has represented the agency annually at the American Alliance of Museums conference as both a presenter and exhibitor. Clark is a member of ArtTable, an organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the visual arts field.
“I’m thrilled to help the nation’s museums and visual arts organizations—with their aligned missions and divergent needs—continue to present the work of excellent artists to the American people. To be part of this community is an honor,” said Clark. “Museums have a tall and challenging order, increasingly called upon to be civic anchor, community gathering place, and stewards of our most prized cultural heritage. I remain energized and fulfilled by public service.”
Prior to coming to the NEA, Clark held positions at the Illinois Arts Council in public affairs, visual arts, and design. There she worked on a traveling exhibition program initiative, and a cultural facilities planning and design grant program called Building by Design, which was awarded a Federal Design Achievement Award by the NEA’s Presidential Design Awards jury. She was an NEA Fellow in arts administration, and was the chairman of the Design Review Committee for the Civic Association of Hollin Hills, a mid-century modern residential development designed by architect Charles Goodman and landscape architect Dan Kiley.
Clark has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and studied Elizabethan history, art, and literature at New College, Oxford University. She is originally from Dayton, Ohio.
CAA endorses the Association of Art Museum Directors sanction against the Delaware Art Museum for selling an object from their permanent collection to address financial challenges. The work in question is William Holman Hunt’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1868) sold at Christie’s this week for a final hammer price of $4.25 million, half the amount estimated.
The sanction will result in the Delaware Art Museum not receiving loans of works of art from the AAMD member museums: http://galleristny.com/2014/06/aamd-sanctions-delaware-art-museum/. This sale is unethical and a breach of fiduciary responsibility according to the collection policies of Association of American Museums, AAMD and CAA. Museum collections are held in the public trust, and proceeds of sales of works from permanent collections are to be used for future growth of collections.
Image: William Holman Hunt, Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1868, oil on canvas, 74 x 46 in. (artwork in the public domain)
posted by Christopher Howard — June 12, 2014
This afternoon, the United States Senate voted to confirm Jane Chu as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The White House is expected to make the official appointment in the coming days and Chu will begin her appointment shortly thereafter.
Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa has served as the agency’s acting chairman and executive since Rocco Landesman left the NEA in December 2012.
Jane Chu said, “I’m honored to receive the Senate’s vote of confirmation, and I look forward to serving our nation as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Together, we have the opportunity to show the value of connecting the arts to all Americans, and the importance of the arts in bringing communities together.”
United States Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) said, “I have no doubt that Jane will make Missouri proud. She’s spent years enriching the culture and strengthening the business community in Kansas City, and I’m looking forward to seeing her bring that same leadership to the national stage.”
“I’m glad the Senate confirmed Dr. Chu’s nomination as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts today,” said United States Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.). “I was impressed by her successful oversight of the more than $400 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts project and I enjoyed visiting with her in Kansas City several weeks ago. I have no doubt Dr. Chu will serve as a valuable asset to the NEA.”
Jane Chu will be available for media interviews following her appointment and arrival at the NEA. Those interested in scheduling an interview should send an email to email@example.com or call 202-682-5570.
Please join the conversation and offer your congratulations to Jane Chu with #NEAJaneChu.
About Jane Chu
Since 2006, Jane Chu served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, overseeing a $413-million campaign to build the center. As the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kauffman Center has hosted more than one million people from all 50 states and countries throughout the world since its grand opening in September 2011.
She was a fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. Previously, she was vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation from 1997 to 2002. Chu also served as a trustee at William Jewell College and on the board of directors of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, but was raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She studied music growing up, eventually receiving bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University and master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Chu holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a PhD in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, as well as an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
The American Alliance of Museums sent the following email on April 28, 2014.
Urge Congress to Confirm Nominees to Lead NEH and NEA
On April 10, President Obama announced Dr. William “Bro” Adams, president of Colby College, as his choice to serve as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Two months earlier, on February 12, Obama announced Dr. Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, as his choice to serve as the next Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
These two nominees must now be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“Dr. Adams will bring a vast array of experiences to the National Endowment for the Humanities, including as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and as president of Colby College, home of the AAM-accredited Colby College Museum of Art,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell.
“Dr. Chu has dedicated her life to the arts, from her early days as a pianist and music educator to her leadership at one of the nation’s finest performing arts centers,” said Bell. “It will be a great asset to have an NEA Chairman who instinctively understands the economic impact of the arts in our communities, recognizes the value of arts education and aspires to bring great art to all Americans.”
Please urge the U.S. Senate to confirm these nominees swiftly so these talented leaders can get right to work supporting our nation’s cultural and educational treasures.
“These two accomplished leaders will be terrific additions to the cultural landscape in Washington, DC and I urge the U.S. Senate to confirm them without delay,” said Bell.
Since the December 2012 departure of Chairman Rocco Landesman, NEA has been led by Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. Since the May 2013 departure of Chairman Jim Leach, NEH has been led by Acting Chairman Carole Watson. Read the American Alliance of Museums’ issues briefs on NEH and NEA.
President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
posted by Christopher Howard — April 10, 2014
Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
President Obama said, “Bro brings demonstrated leadership and decades of experience as an administrator at major universities and liberal arts institutions. His clear dedication and lifelong commitment to the humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the nation’s cultural agency. I’m proud to nominate Bro as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”
Dr. William “Bro” Adams is President of Colby College, a position he has held since 2000. Previously, he was President of Bucknell University from 1995 to 2000. Dr. Adams was Vice President and Secretary of Wesleyan University from 1993 to 1995, and was Program Coordinator of the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University from 1986 to 1988. Earlier in his career, he held various teaching positions at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of North Carolina. Dr. Adams served in the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In 1977, he became a Fulbright Scholar and conducted research at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Dr. Adams is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Film Center and the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation. Dr. Adams received a B.A. from the Colorado College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
posted by CAA — April 09, 2014
Visit the Virtual Jefferson Lecture
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites you to join us online for a gala national event featuring Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, speaking on The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences.
Isaacson will be delivering the 2014 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. The date is 7:30 p.m. May 12th at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
NEH will make a free, high definition, live stream of the lecture available for national viewing. Read more.
Watch Walter Isaacson
Isaacson is one of the preeminent biographers, journalists, and intellectual leaders of our time. He conducted more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs to write his definitive biography, getting Jobs to describe his own legacy in both the humanities and in technology. His biography of Albert Einstein defined unconventional thinking; his work on Benjamin Franklin and others describes The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences in human terms. As president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, he gathers the intellectual elite in a policy powerhouse. Read more.
Convene Film Nights and Start New Conversations
NEH will make the Jefferson Lecture instantly available to very community in the United States with a high speed internet connection. We hope that hundreds of groups will sponsor Jefferson Lecture nights and film discussion groups to consider The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences within their schools, communities, and states. Read more.
Catch Up Later
Busy on May 12th? The lecture will be available on www.neh.gov for a year to spur reading and discussion of the Humanities and STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. America needs both the sciences and the humanities to be competitive, innovative, and strong. Read more.
What Do I Need To Do?
Join the National Conversation
Share your thoughts and comments with viewers across the country using the Twitter hashtag: #JeffLec2014.
Significant progress has been made by United University Professions (UUP) and other unions, disciplinary societies, the media and lately the U.S. Congressional staff to draw attention to the plight of contingent academic labor. What is needed now is a visible project to activate the nearly one million contingent teachers themselves. Individuals and organizational leaders around the country are coming together to form a National Mobilization for Equity, whose initial effort will be to organize rallies and other public events, beginning on May Day (May 1, 2014).
Mayday $5K Campaign
Last spring, activists at SUNY New Paltz launched a Mayday $5K Campaign. This calls for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 for a three-credit course, halfway between the current average compensation and the $7K recommended by the Modern Language Association as a minimum starting salary. The Mayday $5K Campaign calls for a number of important measures:
1. Increase the starting salary for a three-credit semester course to a minimum of $5,000 for all instructors in higher education.
2. Ensure academic freedom by providing progressively longer contracts for all contingent instructors who have proven themselves during an initial probationary period.
3. Provide health insurance for all instructors, either through their college’s health insurance system or through the Affordable Care Act.
4. Support the quality education of our students by providing their instructors with necessary office space, individual development support, telephones, email accounts and mail boxes.
5. Guarantee fair and equitable access to unemployment benefits when college instructors are not working.
6. Guarantee eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to all college instructors who have taught for ten years, during which they were repaying their student loans.
7. With or without a time-in service requirement, allow all college teachers to vote and hold office in institutional governance, including faculty senates and academic departments.
This $5K Campaign has been endorsed by nearly a thousand individuals, by New Faculty Majority and by the statewide Executive Board and Delegate Assembly of the UUP, the nation’s largest higher education union. The $5K figure is not set in stone. Depending on the locale, it can be adjusted up or down, according to specific circumstances.
National Mobilization for Equity
The National Mobilization for Equity focuses on organizing May Day activities nationwide, either in support of the $5K Campaign or simply to highlight the plight of contingents and the need for change. On February 3, 2014, UUP’s full Delegate Assembly unanimously passed the following resolution:
Resolved, that the Contingent Employment Committee supports efforts by UUP members to form a National Mobilization for Equity that will, collectively with other unions and organizations, organize rallies and other events annually, beginning on May 1, 2014. These activities are intended to focus attention on the urgent plight of contingent academic labor and to publicly advocate for change. The Contingent Employment Committee asks the full Delegate Assembly for its endorsement of the National Mobilization for Equity and additionally requests UUP President Fred Kowal to reach out to NYSUT and AFT to secure their material support for this effort.
We need to create a MOVEMENT, to activate the one million contingents at the grass-roots’ level, which would greatly help those in organizational leadership positions working with state or federal agencies and legislatures. In addition to contingents, we need to activate tenure-track faculty, retirees, students and their parents, allied organizations, community groups and the general public. Organizing events around the country on May Day can help develop to organize a national grass-roots movement.
During the past decade, we have collectively spent thousands of hours and considerable financial resources working for equity. Our movement lacks any single MLK-like charismatic leader. Instead, there are many dedicated unionists and activists willing to work together to build an equity movement from the bottom up. Individuals or organizational leaders who want to work on this are invited to contact me. A Mobilization steering committee is being formed and will be announced shortly. Please join us!
Peter D.G. Brown, Chapter President
Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
United University Professions
SUNY, Lecture Center 6a
New Paltz, NY 12561
Please sign the Mayday Declaration here