College Art Association

CAA News Today

As reported last week, the cochairs of the Congressional Humanities Caucus—David Price (D-NC) and Tom Petri (R-WI)—are circulating a sign-on letter asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them in urging appropriators to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). As of this morning, nearly sixty members of Congress have agreed to sign.Last year, one hundred members signed a similar letter.While this is a difficult fiscal year, CAA supports at least level funding for the NEH.

An updated list of signers is below. Please take a moment to review these names. If your representative is not listed, you can still call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or email the office a request via NHA’s online advocacy tools. If a representative has already indicated their willingness to sign, but is NOT yet listed, please contact Jessica Irons, NHA executive director, at jirons@nhalliance.org or 202-296-4994.

The House “Dear Colleague Letter” requests total funding of $232.5 million for the NEH in fiscal year 2011, including $144 million for NEH National Programs and $60 million for the NEH Federal/State Partnership (a $65 million increase over the FY 2010 enacted level). It also opposes $7.2 million (5.6 percent) in cuts to NEH programs, proposed in the President Barack Obama’s budget request for NEH. The text of the sign-on letter is available.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, congressional offices should contact Kate Roetzer with Rep. David Price (5-1784) or Lindsay Punzenberger with Rep. Thomas Petri (5-5406). The deadline for representatives to sign the letter is Tuesday, March 16, 2010.

Sign-On List (as of March 15)

(AR-2) Vic Snyder
(AR-4) Mike Ross
(CA-5) Doris O. Matsui
(CA-6) Lynn Woolsey
(CA-14) Anna G. Eshoo
(CA-17) Sam Farr
(CA-28) Howard L. Berman
(CA-30) Henry A. Waxman
(CA-32) Judy Chu
(CT-2) Joe Courtney
(CT-3) Rosa L. DeLauro
*(DE-AL) Michael Castle PENDING
(FL-23) Alcee Hastings
*(GA-5) John Lewis PENDING
*(GA-8) Jim Marshall PENDING
*(GA-13) David Scott PENDING
(HA-2) Mazie K. Hirono
(IA-2) David Loebsack
(IL-1) Bobby L. Rush
(IL-9) Jan Schakowsky
(KY-3) John A. Yarmuth
(MA-3) James P. McGovern
(MA-5) Niki Tsongas
(MA-8) Michael E. Capuano
(MA-9) Stephen Lynch
(MA-10) Bill Delahunt
(MD-8) Chris Van Hollen
(ME-1) Chellie Pingree
(MI-3) Vernon J. Ehlers
(MI-12) Sander Levin
(MI-14) John Conyers, Jr.
(MI-15) John Dingell
(MN-8) Jim Oberstar
(MO-5) Emmanuel Cleaver II
(MP-AL) Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
(NC-4) David Price (cosponsor)
(NC-13) Brad Miller
(NH-1) Carol Shea-Porter
(NJ-2) Frank LoBiondo
(NJ-7) Leonard Lance
(NJ-8) Bill Pascrell, Jr.
(NJ-12) Rush Holt
(NV-1) Shelley Berkley
(NV-3) Dina Titus
(NY-8) Jerrold Nadler
(NY-12) Nydia Velazquez
(NY-14) Carolyn B. Maloney
(NY-23) Bill Owens
(OR-1) David Wu
(OR-3) Earl Blumenauer
(OR-4) Peter DeFazio
(PA-1) Robert Brady
(PA-6) Jim Gerlach
(RI-2) James R. Langevin
(TX-25) Lloyd Doggett
(VA-3) Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
(VA-11) Gerry Connolly
(WI-2) Tammy Baldwin
(WI-6) Thomas Petri (cosponsor)
(WV-3) Nick J. Rahall, II

The cochairs of the Congressional Humanities Caucus—David Price (D-NC) and Tom Petri (R-WI)—are circulating a “Dear Colleague Letter” in support of increased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The letter requests total funding of $232.5 million for the NEH in fiscal year 2011, including $144 million for NEH National Programs and $60 million for the NEH Federal/State Partnership (a $65 million increase over the FY 2010 enacted level).

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama’s FY 2011 budget request of $161.3 million represents $7.2 million (5.6 percent) in cuts to NEH programs. Your help is needed to oppose these cuts and to support increased funding for the NEH. Please write your representative today, using the National Humanities Alliance’s new online advocacy tools, and ask them to sign the NEH sign-on letter sponsored by the caucus cochairs.

The humanities represent critical modes of thought and fields of knowledge that foster a broadly educated workforce, undergird our civic institutions, inform complex policy challenges, and enrich individual lives. They support capacities especially relevant to the twenty-first century: knowledge of world cultures, religions, and languages; understanding of US history and democratic traditions; and humanistic perspectives to evaluate the implications of scientific and technological advances. Now is the time to increase—not diminish—federal investment in the humanities through the NEH.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, congressional offices should contact Kate Roetzer with Rep. David Price (5-1784) or Lindsay Punzenberger with Rep. Thomas Petri (5-5406). The deadline for representatives to sign the letter is Tuesday, March 16, 2010.

The sign-on letter, addressed to Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Moran (D/VA) and Ranking Member Mike Simpson (R/ID), is available. A list of members who have already agreed to sign is provided below.

Sign-On List (as of March 11)

(AR-2) Vic Snyder
(AR-4) Mike Ross
(CA-5) Doris O. Matsui
(CA-28) Howard L. Berman
(CA-32) Judy Chu
(CT-3) Rosa L. DeLauro
(FL-23) Alcee Hastings
(HA-2) Mazie K. Hirono
(IA-2) David Loebsack
(KY-3) John A. Yarmuth
(MA-3) James P. McGovern
(MA-8) Michael E. Capuano
(MA-9) Stephen Lynch
(MA-10) Bill Delahunt
(MD-8) Chris Van Hollen
(ME-1) Chellie Pingree
(MI-3) Vernon J. Ehlers
(MI-12) Sander Levin
(MI-14) John Conyers, Jr.
(MI-15) John Dingell
(MN-8) Jim Oberstar
(MO-5) Emmanuel Cleaver II
(MP-AL) Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
(NC-4) David Price (cosponsor)
(NH-1) Carol Shea-Porter
(NJ-7) Leonard Lance
(NJ-8) Bill Pascrell, Jr.
(NJ-12) Rush Holt
(NV-1) Shelley Berkley
(NY-8) Jerrold Nadler
(NY-12) Nydia Velazquez
(NY-14) Carolyn B. Maloney
(OR-1) David Wu
(RI-2) James R. Langevin
(TX-25) Lloyd Doggett
(VA-3) Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
(WI-6) Thomas Petri (cosponsor)
(WV-3) Nick J. Rahall, II

Our government needs to hear from you. At this critical time of federal budget reductions—cuts are scheduled for both the NEA and NEH—it is more important than ever that you let your congressional representatives know of your support for the visual arts, humanities, and art museums.

Between President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, released last month, and its approval by Congress later this year come three crucial events in Washington, DC: Humanities Advocacy Day, March 8–9; Museum Advocacy Day, March 22–23; and Arts Advocacy Day, April 12–13. Organized to assist those interested in visiting their representatives in the House and Senate in person, these advocacy days are timed so that our voices can be heard before funds are allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). CAA is a sponsor of these three advocacy events.

Previous lobbying experience isn’t necessary. Training sessions and practice talks take place the day before the main event—that’s why, for example, Arts Advocacy Day is actually two days, not one. Advocates are also prepped on the critical issues and the range of funding requested of Congress to support these federal agencies. It is at these training sessions where you meet—and network with—other advocates from your states. The main sponsoring organization for each event makes congressional appointments for you.

You may have mailed a letter or sent a prewritten email to your congressperson or senator before, but legislators have an algorithm of interest for pressing issues, in which a personal visit tops all other forms of communication. As citizen lobbyists, it’s also important to have a few specific examples about how arts funding has affected you: don’t be afraid to name-drop major cultural institutions—such as your city’s major museum or nonprofit art center—in your examples of why the visual arts matter in your state.

If you cannot attend the three advocacy days in person, please do send an email or fax to your representatives expressing your concern about continued and increased funding for the visual arts. If you don’t know your representative or senators, you can look them up at www.congress.org.

2011 Budgets

Through the Office of Management and Budget, a federal agency, President Obama has requested $161.3 million for the NEA for fiscal year 2011, a decrease of $6 million from the previous year. (The fiscal year begins on October 1.) The same amount, $161.3 million, is requested for the NEH, with the agency receiving a larger cut of $6.2 million (4 percent). The proposed budget for the IMLS, $265.9 million, remains the same as last year.

Humanities Advocacy Day, March 8–9

The eleventh annual Humanities Advocacy Day, presented in conjunction with the National Humanities Alliance’s annual meeting, will take place March 8–9. Both events are a unique meeting ground for both alliance members and others interested in humanities policy and advocacy, including higher-education leaders, college and university faculty, teachers, students, museum professionals, librarians, and independent scholars.

Annual-meeting activities will primarily take place on Monday, March 8, at the Marvin Center at George Washington University. That evening, the action will move to Capitol Hill for a reception with members of Congress and their staff. Advocates will return to the Hill on Tuesday morning, March 9 for visits to your senators and representatives.

The fee to attend Humanities Advocacy Day and the NHA meeting and activities is $50. This includes the luncheon and keynote address, legislative and policy briefing materials, advocacy training, and the Capitol Hill reception. The deadline for registration has passed, but you can still call Erin Mosley at 202-296-4994, ext. 150, if you’re interested in participating.

The NHA website has tips for congressional visits and other resources, including a map and schedule. Its Legislative Action Center can also assist you in defining the current issues for Humanities Advocacy Day.

Museums Advocacy Day, March 22–23

CAA invites your participation in Museums Advocacy Day, sponsored by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and taking place March 22–23. This event is your chance to receive advocacy and policy training and then take the case to Capitol Hill alongside fellow advocates from your state and congressional district.

AAM is working with sponsoring organizations, including CAA, to develop the legislative agenda for this year’s event. Likely issues will include federal funding for museums, museums and federal education policy, and charitable giving issues affecting museums. The entire museum field is welcome to participate: staff, volunteers, trustees, students, and museum enthusiasts.

March 22 will be a critical day of advocacy and policy training, to be held at the National Building Museum, featuring: a briefing on the museum field’s legislative agenda; tips on meeting with elected officials and the stats you need to make your case; instruction on how to participate in year-round advocacy and engage your elected officials in the ongoing work of your museum; and networking with advocates from your state. On March 23, advocates will take their message to Capitol Hill, gathering in groups by state and congressional districts to make coordinated visits to House and Senate offices.

Participants are asked to cover the cost of their meals and materials: $75. This includes: two breakfasts, one lunch, one evening reception on March 22 with members of Congress and their staff, and all training materials and supplies. Registration has closed, but you can still call 202-218-7703 with questions on how to participate.

Arts Advocacy Day, April 12–13

The twenty-third annual Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts, brings together a broad cross-section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

Legislative training sessions take place on April 12. Afterward, attend the twenty-third annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Speaking will be Joseph P. Riley, Jr., mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, and founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.

On April 13, hear from members of Congress and acclaimed artists at the Congressional Arts Kick Off on Capitol Hill. Then, join other arts advocates from your state to make the case for arts and arts education to your members of Congress.

Registration costs vary, so please visit the Americans for the Arts website for details. The advance registration deadline is March 29. The organization’s Arts Action Center also provides updates on arts advocacy issues.

The College Art Association (CAA) hosted its 98th Annual Conference in Chicago, February 10–13, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The program included three days of presentations and panel discussions on art history and visual culture; career-development workshops, mentoring programs, and job interviews with colleges and universities; a Book and Trade Fair of academic and trade art publishers and artist-materials distributors; and a host of special events throughout the Chicago area.

Here are some conference highlights.

Attendance

More than 4,000 art professionals from throughout the United States and abroad—including art historians, visual artists, students, educators, curators, critics, collectors, and museum staff—were in attendance.

Sessions

Conference sessions featured presentations from art-history scholars, graduate students, artists, and curators from institutions across the country and internationally. Conference sessions address a range of topics in art history and the visual arts. In total, over 150 sessions, developed by CAA members, affiliated societies, and committees, were offered.

Career Services

Career Services included three days of mentoring and portfolio-review sessions, career-development workshops, and job interviews. Approximately 185 (mentoring only) interviewees and 26 (mentoring only) interviewers were on hand to participate in Career Services.

Book and Trade Fair

This year’s Book and Trade Fair presented 135 exhibitors, including participants from the United States, Mexico, Turkey, England, Belgium, Scotland, and the Netherlands, displaying new publications, artists’ materials, digital resources, and innovative products of interest to artists and scholars. The Book and Trade Fair also featured book signings, lectures, and art-materials demonstrations, as well as three exhibitor-sponsored program sessions on art materials and publishing.

ARTspace and ARTexchange

ARTspace, a “conference within the conference” tailored to the needs and interests of practicing artists, presented this year’s Annual Artists’ Interviews: Tony Tasset was interviewed by John Neff, and Phyllis Bramson was interviewed by Lynn Warren. Over 150 people attended this extraordinary event. Programmed by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, ARTspace was made possible in part by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

ARTexchange, an open-portfolio event where CAA artist members displayed drawings, prints, photographs, small paintings, and works on laptop computers. Fifty-two artists participated in ARTexchange this year.

Convocation and Awards for Distinction

More than 600 people attended CAA’s Convocation and Presentation of the 2010 Awards for Distinction. The keynote address was delivered by the renowned photographer Dawoud Bey.

Recipients of CAA’s awards are as follows:

  • Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement: Suzanne Lacy
  • Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work: Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks
  • Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art: Holland Cotter
  • Frank Jewett Mather Award: Terry Smith
  • Distinguished Feminist Award: Griselda Pollock
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: Dean Nimmer
  • Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award: Richard Shiff
  • Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: Cammy Brothers, Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture
  • Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award: Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn, and Karni Singh Jasol, Gardens and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur
  • Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize: Michael Schreffler, “‘Their Cortés and Our Cortés’: Spanish Colonialism and Aztec Representation”
  • Art Journal Award: Joanna Grabski, “Urban Claims and Visual Sources in the Making of Dakar’s Art World City”
  • CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation: David Bomford

CAA’s well-attended Gala Reception was held at the Art Institute of Chicago’s newly inaugurated Modern Wing. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, this stunning space served as the kick-off venue for the conference.

Special Events

CAA’s Annual Exhibition, Picturing the Studio, was presented at the new Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sold-out tours explored the riches of Chicago’s arts and architecture, from Frank Lloyd Wright to the city’s historic skyscrapers.

Save the Date

CAA’s Centennial Celebration and 99th Annual Conference will be held in New York City from February 9 to 12, 2011.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other events. CAA focuses on a wide range of issues including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage, preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching.

The American Association of Museums (AAM) is organizing Museums Advocacy Day 2010, taking place March 22–23 in Washington, DC, and CAA invites your participation. This event is your chance to receive advocacy and policy training and then take the case to Capitol Hill alongside fellow advocates from your state and congressional district.

AAM is working with sponsoring organizations, which include CAA, to develop the legislative agenda for this year’s event. Likely issues will include federal funding for museums, museums and federal education policy, and charitable giving issues affecting museums.

The entire museum field is welcome to participate: staff, volunteers, trustees, students, or even museum enthusiasts. Museums Advocacy Day is the ideal chance for new and seasoned advocates to network with museum professionals from their state and meet with congressional offices.

Registration

Individual museum professionals, supporters, and trustees may register online. National, regional, and state organizations that would like to register as partnering organizations and individuals who prefer to complete a paper registration may use the Museums Advocacy Day 2010 Registration Form.

Participants are asked to cover the cost of their meals and materials: $75. This amount includes: two breakfasts, one lunch, one evening reception, and all training materials and supplies. Deadline: February 17, 2010.

The event hotel is the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. The Museums Advocacy Day rate is $209, available until February 15 or until sold out. Call 800-222-TREE and reference Museums Advocacy Day or the three-letter reservation code AVD, or reserve a room online and used the group code AVD.

Tentative Schedule

March 22 will be a critical day of advocacy and policy training, to be held at the National Building Museum, featuring:

  • A briefing on the museum field’s legislative agenda
  • Tips on meeting with elected officials and the stats you need to make your case
  • Instruction on how to participate in year-round advocacy and engage your elected officials in the ongoing work of your museum
  • Networking with advocates from your state on the following day’s Capitol Hill visits
  • An evening reception, with members of Congress and staff invited

On March 23, we will take our message to Capitol Hill. Advocates will gather in groups by state and congressional districts to make coordinated visits to House and Senate offices to make the case for increased federal support for museums.

Joan Shigekawa, senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), convened a roundtable discussion yesterday with national arts service organizations, regional arts organizations, and NEA staff to discuss the NEA’s 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation’s largest and most representative study of adults’ arts participation habits.

Representatives from forty organizations participated, including Linda Downs, CAA executive director, as well as leaders from the Association of Art Museum Directors, Dance/USA, the Future of Music Coalition, the National Association of Latino Art and Culture, the National Center for Creativity in Aging, the National Network for Folk Arts in Education, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

The convening began with a greeting from NEA chairman Rocco Landesman, followed by a summary presentation of the survey’s findings from Sunil Iyengar, NEA director of research. Representatives from three organizations offered formal responses—Helen De Michiel from the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Carlton Turner from Alternate ROOTS, and Jesse Rosen from the League of American Orchestras—following which Shigekawa led a frank, freewheeling conversation about how these findings should inform the arts community’s work going forward, as well as how the survey should be expanded and refined in the future.

“It is important that the National Endowment for the Arts have regular conversation with the arts community about how the public participates in the arts, and what we can do to connect more Americans with more art, more often,” said Shigekawa. “Our research shows a strong connection between arts participation and civic participation, but art only works when the public participates. Today was a chance for the NEA staff to hear and learn from the service organizations that work with our country’s arts organizations, and we look forward to many more such opportunities.”

The 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, which was conducted in partnership with the US Census Bureau, asked more than 18,000 people 18 years of age and older about their frequency of arts engagement. CAA reported on the findings of the survey, which has been conducted five times since 1982, in June. Here are a few more statistics about American participation in the arts:

  • Generation Y reports taking fewer arts classes and lessons. When people ages 18 to 24 were asked if they had taken an art class or lesson at some point in their lives, they reported lower rates of participation than previous generations for all art forms compared in this study (by 6 to 23 percentage points, depending on the art form, from 1982 to 2008)
  • Arts participation correlates with higher civic participation. People who participate in the arts are two to three times as likely to engage in positive civic and individual activities—such as volunteering, attending sporting events, and participating in outdoor activities—than nonarts participants
  • New England and Pacific region residents had some of the highest rates of attendance (42 percent of adults in each region) for the arts activities traditionally measured in the survey. In addition, the Plains states of Kansas and Nebraska have some of the highest participation rates for personal performance or creation of art nationwide. Twenty percent of adults in Kansas said they played a musical instrument. In Nebraska, that rate was nearly 18 percent. (Nationwide, 13 percent—or 29 million Americans—reported playing a musical instrument.)

A related research note on arts participation measured in regions and states will be released soon. The NEA will release additional topic-specific reports on the roles of age, race and ethnicity, arts learning, media use, and arts creation and performance. The survey, geographic research note, questionnaire, raw data, and user’s guide are available on the NEA website.

Media Coalition invites listeners to join an audio news briefing discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case US v. Stevens on Thursday, September 24, 2009, at 2:00 PM EDT. Speaking will be David Horowitz from Media Coalition; Laurie Lee Dovey of the Professional Outdoor Media Association; Joan Bertin of the National Coalition Against Censorship; and Chris Finan from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

In 2004, Robert J. Stevens was convicted under a federal statute, passed in 1999, which made it illegal to distribute or own media depicting animal cruelty. Stevens, a writer and filmmaker from Virginia, had assembled footage of pit bulls fighting and hunting, mainly in international locations where dogfighting is legal. Last year, Stevens’s conviction was overturned, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in this case on October 6, 2009. Read CAA’s description of the case and statement on this issue.

This summer, CAA signed an amicus curiae brief supporting the National Coalition Against Censorship’s claim that acts of expression, not actual involvement in illegal activities, are protected under the First Amendment and are not subject to criminal penalties. Media Coalition, a trade association that defends First Amendment rights of the mainstream media, filed its own amicus brief in late July.

To RSVP for the audio news briefing, please contact Kai-Ming Cha at 212-587-4025, ext. 12. To hear the briefing, call 1-888-387-8686 and enter access code 1066257.

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.

After receiving confirmation from the US Senate last Friday, Jim Leach was sworn in as the ninth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). A Republican, Leach previously served southeastern Iowa for thirty years in the US House of Representatives, where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He also founded and cochaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach was John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. In September 2007, he took a year’s leave of absence from Princeton to serve as the interim director of the Institute of Politics and a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In a recent staff “town hall” meeting about a new “bridging cultures” theme for the NEH, Leach said, “In an era where declining civility increasingly hallmarks domestic politics and where anarchy has taken root in many parts of the world, it is imperative that cultural differences at home and abroad be respectfully understood, rather than irrationally denigrated.”

Leach graduated from Princeton, received a master’s degree in Soviet politics from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University, and did additional graduate studies at the London School of Economics. He also holds eight honorary degrees and has received numerous awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities from the National Humanities Alliance; the Woodrow Wilson Award from Johns Hopkins; the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association; the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club; the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award; the Norman Borlaug Award for Public Service; and the Wesley Award for Service to Humanity.

An untitled bill introduced last week in the US Senate may loosen recent government restrictions on fractional gifts of works of art to museums, reports Shelly Banjo of the Wall Street Journal. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), whose state contains many important art museums, patrons, and philanthropists, is sponsoring S 1605, which would reform the rules regulating fractional charitable donations of tangible personal property.

Fractional gifts—which allow Americans to give partial ownership rights of an artwork to a museum or charitable organization and take an income-tax deduction for the donated portion of its value—were common practice in the museum world until 2006, when provisions put into the Pension Protection Act of 2006 by Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) made partial gifts less attractive for donors. (Namely, that work must be fully donated within ten years of the initial fractional gift, and that the value of the artwork is capped when the first gift is made.) Since then, museums noticed that the practice of fractional gifts has nearly disappeared.

Here’s more background information on fractional gifts in the New York Times in 2006 and 2008.