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Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch gave the following statement on the approval of $160 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts:

“This afternoon the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that provides funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) approved a $35 million increase for the NEA in its FY 2008 spending bill. This increase is a strong step in the right direction, and I commend Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) for taking it.

“If this funding level is maintained by the Senate and signed into law by President Bush, it will represent the largest increase ever in NEA history. The agency, currently funded at $124.4 million, has seen increases of under 3 percent for the last several years.

“Earlier this year, Americans for the Arts called on Congress to restore full funding to the NEA at its FY 1992 level of $176 million, which spurred significant economic growth, artistic achievement, and accessibility to cultural organizations across the nation. According to Americans for the Arts’ study, “Arts & Economic Prosperity III,” the nonprofit arts industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity annually for the US economy, supports 5.7 million full-time jobs, and returns $12.6 billion in income-tax revenue back to the federal government.

“In his first public action on arts issues as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Rep. Dicks hosted a Congressional hearing, “Role of the Arts in Creativity and Innovation,” in conjunction with Arts Advocacy Day on March 13, 2007. It was the first hearing in more than twelve years held on the importance of investing in the arts.

“Rep. Dicks invited Americans for the Arts to organize witnesses to give official testimony. The six witnesses included: President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert Lynch; Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis; entrepreneur and arts philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson; corporate executive and arts patron James Raisbeck; Mayor of Providence David Cicilline; and film actor and arts education advocate Chris Klein.

“Also leading this effort to restore NEA funding in the House are Congressional Arts Caucus Cochairs Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Chris Shays (R-CT) both of whom appeared before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee at the public-witness hearing to provide testimony supporting a budget increase.”

Liz Kotz Named Art Journal Reviews Editor

Liz Kotz has been appointed reviews editor of Art Journal; she began her term January 1, 2007. Kotz is an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and an affiliate member of the Graduate Faculty in Art History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She succeeds Robin Adèle Greeley, associate professor of art history at the University of Connecticut, in the position.

Kotz received her PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University in 2002, with a dissertation on “Postwar Media Poetics from Cage to Warhol.” Her research investigates cross-disciplinary aesthetic practices that emerged in the post–WWII era, including visual art, film and video, sound art, and poetry. Her teaching and scholarship explore the relationship of these more contemporary practices to earlier twentieth-century avant-gardes and to cultural and aesthetic impacts of new technologies of recording, reproduction, and transmission.

Kotz writes, “Contemporary art has become a vast field of activity, one that is increasingly interdisciplinary and international in scope. Art Journal aims to review important and groundbreaking books that reflect this range—potentially covering not only work from university presses and other scholarly writing, but also the exhibition catalogues, small-press publications, and artist-produced books that animate our field. Perhaps because my background is cross-disciplinary, I would like to see Art Journal address artwork and scholarship in screen-based media, sound art, and the like, as well as the myriad philosophical and theoretical perspectives that inform recent art history and criticism. Because Art Journal reaches artists, art historians, curators, and other art professionals, it plays a vital role in articulating fresh critical perspectives and bringing coherence to this dynamic, constantly changing field.”

Her first book, Words to Be Looked At: Language in 1960s Art (forthcoming from MIT Press), is a critical study of uses of language in midcentury American art. It starts by examining scores and compositions by the experimental composer John Cage and tracing his impact on artists and poets in the sixties, including La Monte Young, George Brecht, Jackson Mac Low, Carl Andre, Vito Acconci, Lawrence Weiner, Douglas Huebler, and Andy Warhol. Her second book, Six Sound Problems, will address projects by Cage, Young, David Tudor, Bruce Nauman, Max Neuhaus, and James Tenney. She is also working on a collection of essays, Aesthetics of the Expanded Screen, that will explore film and video installations and the condition of the durational image.

Kotz’s writing has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, such as October, Cinematograph, Documents, Text zur Kunst, and Artforum, and in edited books and catalogues, including Jack Pierson, Desire/Despair (2006), The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945 (2006), and Dia’s Andy (2005). At the University of Minnesota, she has taught classes on visual culture and media history, documentary cinema, and film history, and seminars on Andy Warhol, film theory, and psychoanalysis.

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