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Mary Anne Carter Named NEA Chairman

Carter, the acting chairman since Jane Chu’s departure, is the 12th person to hold the position.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States Senate has voted to confirm Mary Anne Carter as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Since June 2018, Carter has served as acting chairman of the Arts Endowment. Carter succeeds Jane Chu, who stepped down last summer after four years to be an arts adviser for PBS.

Mary Anne Carter. (Courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts)

“From inspiring thousands of arts administrators and supporters in cities and states across America, to representing the United States abroad in demonstrating the importance of collaboration and communication across cultures at the International Federation of Arts Council and Cultural Agencies conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mary Anne understands the inherent value of the arts, the importance of using the arts to help enhance quality of life, and the transformative power it has to individuals as well as to places,” said Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch in a statement. “Americans for the Arts is grateful to have a partner who shares our steadfast commitment to providing access to the arts for all Americans, and we look forward to working with Mary Anne in the coming years.”

In the past year, Carter has worked to make the agency more accessible to the American people by expanding the agency’s arts therapy programs for U.S. service members and veterans. She has also supported the NEA’s national initiatives, including Shakespeare in American Communities, NEA Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and the Jazz Masters and National Heritage Fellowships. She’s a proponent of arts in the classroom and has observed the power of arts education and its affect on her daughter, who has learning differences. Carter has held several public meetings of the National Council on the Arts at locations outside the agency’s offices in an effort to expand the reach of the Arts Endowment. Previously, Carter was a public-affairs consultant and engaged in public-policy analysis, issue tracking, and corporate and campaign communications.

“I look forward to continuing to lead a talented and dedicated staff of professionals in our important work of ensuring that every American—in every community and in every neighborhood—has access to the arts,” said Carter in a statement.

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