Skip to main content

Full text of "National Endowment for the Arts : 1965-1985 : a brief chronology of federal involvement in the arts"

See other formats



A Brief Chronology 
of Federal Invoh 'ement 

in the Arts 

The National Endowment for the 
Arts is an independent federal 
agency created in 1965 to encour- 
age and support American art and 
artists. Its mission is to encourage 
artistic excellence and access to, 
and appreciation of, it. It fulfills its 
mission by awarding grants and 
through its leadership and advo- 
cacy activities. It makes grants botl 
directly to artists and arts institu- 
tions and indirectly through the er 
couragement and support of its 
public partners, the state and local 
arts agencies. On September 29, 
1985, the Endowment celebrated 
its 20th Anniversarv. 

' . T J V~!> A \J1 

Additional copies of this booklet 
may be obtained by writing: 

Office of Public Information 
National Endowment for the Arts 
Nancy Hanks Center 
1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, v\v 
Washington, D.C. 20506 

September 1985 



A Brief Chronology 

of Federal Involvement 

in the Arts 

"The Arts and Sciences, essen- 
tial to the prosperity of the State 
and to the ornament and hap- 
piness of human life, have a 
primary claim to the encour- 
agement of every lover of his 
Country and mankind. " 

George Washington 



he Endowment's 20th Anniversary 
on September 29, 1985, is not just a 
birthday celebration of a federal 
agency. It is a salute to the arts, all 
the arts in this nation. This chro- 
nology was compiled to show how 
our government first began to sup- 
port the arts, how the National En- 
dowment for the Arts came into 
being, and how this agency has 
grown up. It is not meant to be the 
definitive history 7 of federal arts 

The arts in America today are a 
great source of pride. In communi- 
ties of all types and sizes, they 
have become a vital and widely 
shared aspect of our national life. 
Our writers are read, our films 
seen, our music heard, all over the 
world. Our painters, sculptors, 
choreographers, playwrights and 
composers are often international 
trendsetters in their disciplines and 
in interdisciplinary work. Our fore- 
most symphony orchestras, theater 
groups, dance companies and op- 
era companies receive critical ac- 
claim both here and abroad. 

In the two decades since the En- 
dowment was established in 1965, 
the growth in the arts has been 
dramatic: organizations eligible for 
support have grown from 58 to 192 
orchestras, 27 to 102 opera compa- 
nies, 22 to 389 theaters, and 37 to 
213 dance companies; the list goes 
on and on. In the next two de- 
cades the Endowment will con- 
tinue to be a catalyst, providing 
both an impetus and a rallying 
point for the arts. 

The American system of arts sup- 
port rests primarily on private and 
local initiative. The Endowment's 
authorizing legislation specifically 

recognizes this. It is encouraging 
that private support for the arts and 
humanities (not including educa- 
tional institutions) has risen since 
1967 from $223 million to $4.6 bil- 
lion in 1984. The period 1981-84 
by itself experienced a more than 
50 percent rise. 

Over the past 20 years, the Arts En- 
dowment's budget has grown from 
$2.5 million to $1637 million, and 
the state arts agencies' budgets 
have grown from $2.7 million to 
$164 million; local public agencies 
receive over $300 million. 

On the occasion of the award of 
the first National Medals of Arts, 
President Reagan said: 

"In recognizing those who create 
and those who make creation pos- 
sible, we celebrate freedom. No 
one realizes the importance of 
freedom more than the artist, for 
only in the atmosphere of freedom 
can the arts flourish. ... In an at- 
mosphere of liberty, artists and pa- 
trons are free to think the unthink- 
able and create the audacious; they 
are free to make both horrendous 
mistakes and glorious celebrations. 
... In societies that are not free, art 
dies. In the totalitarian societies of 
the world, all art is officially ap- 
proved. It's the expression not of 
the soul, but of the state." 

There is much to be proud of in 
the history of arts support in Amer- 
ica. It is our hope that the Endow- 
ment, in partnership with other 
sources of support, both public 
and private, will continue to nur- 
ture the environment within which 
the arts in this country can con- 
tinue to flourish. 

Frank Hodsoll, Chairman 
National Endowment for the Arts 


1780 John Adams, in a letter to his 

wife, writes: "I must study politics 
and war, that my sons may have 
liberty to study mathematics and 
philosophy, geography, natural 
history and naval architecture, 
navigation, commerce, and agri- 
culture, in order to give their chil- 
dren a right to study painting, po- 
etry, music, architecture ..." 

1 785 Thomas Jefferson writes to James 
Madison: "You see I am an enthu- 
siast on the subject of the arts." 

1790 Establishment of the United 

States Marine Band marks the first 
federal support of a permanent 
musical ensemble. 

1800 The Library of Congress is estab- 
lished by Act of Congress to pro- 
vide "such books as may be nec- 
essary for the use of Congress." 
Art and music included in the 
early collection. 

1817 The 14th Congress commissions 
John Trumbull to paint four Revo- 
lutionary War scenes to hang in 
the Capitol Rotunda, the first U.S. 
federal support of the visual arts. 

1826 John Trumbull, President of the 
American Academy of Fine Arts, 
proposes to President John 
Quincy Adams a "Plan for the 
Permanent Encouragement of the 
Fine Arts by the National 

1846 Following protracted delibera- 
tion, the Congress accepts the be- 
quest of the late James Smithson, 
and the Smithsonian Institution is 
created by an Act of Congress. 
One provision calls for maintain- 
ing exhibits representative of the 

1859 President James Buchanan ap- 
points a National Arts Commis- 
sion to promote the arts. Ineffec- 
tive because of a lack of 
Congressional appropriations, it 
disbands in 1861. 

1879 Representative Samuel S. Cox (D- 
N.Y.) introduces a Joint Resolu- 
tion in Congress to establish "a 
council on art matters." No action 

1891 President Benjamin Harrison 

signs legislation establishing the 
National Conservatory of Music in 
New York City. The Conservatory 
opens in 1892 with Antonin Dvo- 
rak as its first artistic director. 

1897 Congressional proposal intro- 
duced for a National Office of the 
Arts. No action taken. 

1899 Utah Arts Institute established, 
the first state-created arts council 
in the nation. 

1906 The federal government accepts 
the donation of the Oriental art 
collection of Charles Lang Freer, 
who also provides for a building 
and endowment. The Freer Gal- 
lery, part of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, opens to the public in 1923. 

1909 President Theodore Roosevelt ap- 
points a 30-member Council of 
Fine Arts. The Council is dis- 
banded shortly thereafter by Presi- 
dent William Howard Taft for 
lack of funding. 

1910 President Taft, with Congres- 
sional approval, establishes a 
Commission of Fine Arts "to ad- 
vise generally upon questions of 
art when required to do so by the 
President, or by Congress." It 
deals primarily with the architec- 
tural appearance of Washington, 

1913 The National Institute of Arts and 
Letters is incorporated under a 
federal charter (not involving fed- 
eral funding) by an Act of Con- 
gress. The American Academy of 
Arts and Letters is incorporated 
under a similar charter three 
years later. The two organizations 
merge in 1976. 

1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt 
establishes the Treasury Depart- 
ment's Section on Painting and 
Sculpture, the first government 
bureau involving the arts, which 
assigns artists to decorate federal 
buildings around the country. 

1935 Public service employment pro- 
grams are established under the 
Works Progress Administration 
(WPA) . Such programs as the 
Federal Writers Project, the Fed- 
eral Theater Project, the Federal 
Art Project and the Federal Music 
Project are launched. 

1935 The American National Theatre 

and Academy is founded as a non- 
profit, tax-exempt organization 
under a charter granted by 

1937 Andrew W. Mellon donates his art 
collection to the United States, 
pledges funds for construction of 
a National Gallery of Art, and cre- 
ates an endowment for the Gal- 
lery. The National Gallery opens 
to the public in 1941. 

1937 In Congress, Representative Wil- 
liam I. Sirovich (D-N.Y.) intro- 
duces House Joint Resolution 79 
to establish a Department of Sci- 
ence, Art and Literature to be 
headed by a Cabinet-rank officer. 
Later in the year, Representative 
John M. Coffee (D-Wash.) intro- 
duces H.R. 8239 to establish a 
Bureau of Fine Arts. Neither pro- 
posal is reported out of 

1938 Then-Senator Claude Pepper (D- 
Fla.) introduces S. 3296 providing 
for creation of a Bureau of Fine 
Arts. The bill is not reported out 
of committee. 

1948-49 The country's first local arts agen- 
cies are established: the Quincy 
Society of Fine Arts in Illinois 
and the Winston-Salem Arts Coun- 
cil in North Carolina. 

1949 Congressman Jacob K. Javits (R- 
N.Y.) introduces House Joint 
Resolution 104 in the First Ses- 
sion of the 81st Congress to pro- 
vide for a national theater and na- 
tional opera and ballet. Javits 
stresses that he is not talking 

about a physical structure, but 
rather an "integrated, country- 
wide organization aided by the 
federal government." The Resolu- 
tion is not reported out of 

1951 President Harry S Truman asks 
the Commission of Fine Arts to 
investigate ways in which the arts 
could be helped by the federal 

1953 The Commission of Fine Arts re- 
ports to President Dwight D. Ei- 
senhower. Eventually acted upon 
(in 1958) is the report's recom- 
mendation that a cultural center 
be established in Washington, 
D.C., under the jurisdiction of the 
federal government. 

1955 President Eisenhower, in his State 
of the Union Address, advocates 
the establishment of a Federal 
Advisory Commission on the Arts: 

"In the advancement of the vari- 
ous activities which would make 
our civilization endure and flour- 
ish, the federal government 
should do more to give official 
recognition to the importance of 
the arts and other cultural 

1955 Numerous bills to support the 
arts introduced in Congress dur- 
ing 1955 and the next several 
years, but no action beyond very 
limited hearings taken. Nelson 
Rockefeller, then Undersecretary 
of Health, Education and Welfare, 
pushes for establishment of a Na- 
tional Council on the Arts but is 
unsuccessful in Congress. 

1957 The Ford Foundation launches 
the first national program of sup- 
port for the arts. This support, 
which by 1976 exceeds $320 mil- 
lion, continues today. 

1958 President Eisenhower signs PL. 

85-874 to establish a National Cul- 
tural Center in Washington, D.C., 
for all the performing arts, later to 
be named the John F. Kennedy 
Center for the Performing Arts. 

I960 New York State Council on the 

Arts founded by Governor Nelson 

I960 Associated Councils of the Arts 

founded to provide informational, 
training, research and publication 
services to state and community 
arts agencies and to act as a na- 
tional advocate for the arts. Name 
changed in 1977 to American 
Council for the Arts. 

Nov. 8, I960 John F. Kennedy elected Presi 
dent of the United States. 

Feb. 9, 1961 Representative Frank Thompson 
(D-N.J.) introduces H.R. 4172 to 
establish an advisory council on 
the arts, within the Department of 
Health, Education and Welfare, 
that would act as a coordinating 
body between private and gov- 
ernment arts activities. Hearings 
are held, but the bill is defeated 
in the House. 


Sept. 2, 1961 President Kennedy appoints 

Roger L. Stevens Chairman of the 
Board of Trustees of the National 
Cultural Center. 

March 1962 President Kennedy appoints Au- 
gust Heckscher as his Special 
Consultant on the Arts and asks 
him to prepare a report on the 
relationship between the arts and 
the federal government. 

Jan. 14, 1963 Senator Javits (R-N.Y.) introduces 
S. 165 "to establish a United 
States National Arts Foundation." 
Initial cosponsors are Senators Jo- 
seph Clark (D-Pa.), Hubert Hum- 
phrey (D-Minn.), and Claiborne 
Pell (D-R.I.). 

April 11, 1963 Senator Humphrey introduces 
S. 1316 "to establish a National 
Council on the Arts and a Na- 
tional Arts Foundation to assist in 
the growth and development of 
the arts in the United States." Ini- 
tial cosponsors are Senators Clark, 
John Sherman Cooper (R-Ky), Ja- 
vits, Russell B. Long (D-La.), Lee 
Metcalf (D-Mont.), Pell, Jennings 
Randolph (D-W.Va.), Abraham 
Ribicoff (D-Conn.), and Hugh 
Scott (R-Pa.). 

May 28, 1963 August Heckscher submits his re- 
port, "The Arts and the National 
Government," which recom- 
mends the establishment of an 
Advisory Council on the Arts and 
a National Arts Foundation to ad- 
minister grants-in-aid. 


June 12, 1963 By Executive Order 11112, Presi- 
dent Kennedy establishes the 
President's Advisor}" Council on 
the Arts. (xMembers are not ap- 
pointed before Kennedy is 

"We have agencies of the Gov- 
ernment which are concerned 
with the welfare and advance- 
ment of science and technology, 
of education, recreation, and 
health. We should now begin to 
give similar attention to the arts." 

Oct. 26, 1963 President Kennedy at the dedica- 
tion of a new library at Amherst 
College says: 

"I see little of more importance 
to the future of our country and 
our civilization than full recogni- 
tion of the place of the artist. If 
art is to nourish the roots of our 
culture, society must set the artist 
free to follow his vision wherever 
it takes him." 

Oct. 28, 1963 Senator Pell, Chairman of the 

Senate Special Subcommittee on 
the Arts, opens five days of hear- 
ings on S. 165 and S. 1316. 

Nov. 22, 1963 President Kennedy is assassi- 
nated. Lyndon B. Johnson is 
sworn in as his successor. 

Dec. 20, 1963 The Senate passes S. 23^9, which 
combines the provisions of the 
two earlier bills, S. 165 and 
S. 1316, to establish a National 
Council on the Arts and a Na- 
tional Arts Foundation. 


Jan. 8, 1964 In the House, Representative 

Thompson introduces H.R. 9586 
"to provide for the establishment 
of a National Council on the Arts 
to assist in the growth and devel- 
opment of the arts in the United 
States," and H.R. 9587 "to pro- 
vide for the establishment of a 
National Council on the Arts and 
a National Arts Foundation to as- 
sist in the growth and develop- 
ment of the arts in the United 

Jan. 23, 1964 President Johnson signs Senate 
Joint Resolution 136, renaming 
the National Cultural Center the 
John F. Kennedy Center for the 
Performing Arts and designating 
the Center as Kennedy's official 
memorial in Washington. 

May 13, 1964 President Johnson names Roger 
L. Stevens Special Assistant to the 
President on the Arts, the first 
full-time arts advisor. 

Aug. 20, 1964 H.R. 9586, to establish a National 
Council on the Arts, passes the 
House of Representatives by a 
vote of 213 to 135. 

Aug. 21, 1964 The Senate passes H.R. 9586 by 
voice vote. 

Sept. 3, 1964 President Johnson signs PL. 88- 
579 (the National Arts and Cul- 
tural Development Act of 1964) 
establishing the National Council 
on the Arts and providing for a 
chairman, the Secretary of the 
Smithsonian ex officio, and 24 
other members to "recommend 
ways to maintain and increase the 


cultural resources of the Nation 
and to encourage and develop 
greater appreciation and enjoy- 
ment of the arts by its citizens." 

Oct. 7, 1964 

PL. 88-635 signed, providing a 
Fiscal 1965 appropriation of 
$50,000 for the National Council 
on the Arts. 

Dec. 2, 1964 

President Johnson breaks ground 
for the Kennedy Center: 

"No act of Congress or Executive 
Order can call a great musician or 
poet into existence. But we can 
stand on the sidelines and cheer. 
We can maintain and strengthen 
an atmosphere to permit the arts 
to flourish, and those who have 
talent to use it. And we can seek 
to enlarge the access of all our 
people to artistic creation." 

Feb. -March 1965 

Special subcommittees of both 
Houses of Congress (chaired by 
Pell in the Senate and Thompson 
in the House) hold hearings on 
legislation to establish a National 
Arts Foundation. 

Feb. 23, 1965 

President Johnson appoints 24 
members and one ex-officio 
member as the National Council 
on the Arts. 

March 10, 1965 

President Johnson asks the 89th 
Congress to establish the National 
Foundation on the Arts and the 


"This Congress will consider 
many programs which will leave 
an enduring mark on American 
life. But it may well be that pas- 
sage of this legislation, modest as 
it is, will help secure for this Con- 
gress a sure and honored place in 
the story of the advance of our 

Administration bills are intro- 
duced in both Houses of Con- 
gress: Pell introduces S. 1483 in 
the Senate and Thompson intro- 
duces H.R. 6050 in the House. 

March 11, 1965 

President Johnson appoints Roger 
L. Stevens Chairman of the Na- 
tional Council on the Arts. 

March 19, 1965 

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is- 
sues the results of a two-year 
study entitled "The Performing 
Arts: Problems and Prospects" 
which lists a number of recom- 
mendations including one that 
says: "... while private support 
should remain dominant, the fed- 
eral government — together with 
state and local governments — 
should give strong support to the 
arts, including the performing 
arts, by appropriate recognition of 
their importance, by direct and in- 
direct encouragement, and by fi- 
nancial cooperation." 

Nancy Hanks is director of the 
Special Studies Project staff which 
compiles the report. 


April 9-10, 1965 The first meeting of the National 
Council on the Arts starts at the 
White House with President 
Johnson swearing in the members 
(see page 51): 

"Our civilization will largely sur- 
vive in the works of our creation. 
There is a quality in art which 
speaks across the gulf dividing 
man from man and nation from 
nation, and century from century. 
That quality confirms the faith 
that our common hopes may be 
more enduring than our conflict- 
ing hostilities. Even now men of 
affairs are struggling to catch up 
with the insights of great art. The 
stakes may well be the survival of 

June 10, 1965 Senate debates and passes an 
amended S. 1483 to establish a 
National Foundation on the Arts 
and the Humanities. 

June 24-27, 1965 Second meeting of the National 
Council on the Arts held at 
Tarrytown, N.Y. 

Sept. 15, 1965 House passes S. 1483, with 

amendments, in lieu of H.R. 9460. 
(H.R. 9460 incorporates the pro- 
posals of the Administration bill, 
H.R. 6050, and amendments re- 
flecting suggestions made by 

Sept. 16, 1965 Senate agrees with House amend- 
ments and passes legislation 
establishing the National Founda- 
tion on the Arts and the Human- 
ities as an umbrella for the Na- 
tional Endowment for the Arts 
and the National Endowment for 
the Humanities and their respec- 
tive Councils. 


Sept. 29, 1965 President Johnson signs PL. 

89-209, the National Foundation 
on the Arts and the Humanities 

"Art is a nation's most precious 
heritage. For it is in our works of 
art that we reveal to ourselves, 
and to others, the inner vision 
which guides us as a nation. And 
where there is no vision, the peo- 
ple perish." 

Under the new law, Arts Council 
membership is increased from 24 
to 26. The Chairman of the previ- 
ously established National Coun- 
cil on the Arts (Roger Stevens) 
becomes Chairman of the Arts En- 
dowment as well. (Henry Allen 
Moe becomes Chairman of the 
Humanities Endowment.) 

Fiscal 1966 With its first appropriations bill 
(July 1, 1965- signed October 31, 1965, the Na- 
June 30, 1966) tional Endowment for the Arts 

starts its first fiscal year with only 
eight months remaining, a budget 
of $2.5 million, and fewer than a 
dozen employees. 

The Endowment ends the year 
with six active programs: Music, 
Dance, Literature, Visual Arts, 
Theater and Education. Some 22 
institutions and 135 individuals 
are funded. Roger Stevens says: 
"We believe that the time has 
come for our society to give not 
merely ceremonial honor to the 
arts, but genuine attention and 
substantive support." 

* The Foundation is composed of the National 
Endowment for the Arts, the National Endow- 
ment for the Humanities, and the interagency 
committee of federal officials called the Federal 
Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The 
Foundation has no administrative or program- 
ming identity separate from its components. 
Each of the two Endowments is served by its re- 
spective advisory body, the National Council on 
the Arts or the National Council on the 


Nov. 13-15, Third meeting of the National 
1965 Council on the Arts held in 

Tarrytown, N.Y. The Council dis- 
cusses the question of whether to 
use outside panels and resolves 
that: "... the Chairman ... ap- 
point committees of interested 
and qualified persons or organiza- 
tions to advise the Council with 
respect to projects, policies or 
special studies as may be under- 
taken by the Council from time to 

The Council requests a feasibility 
study which later (1967) results 
in the establishment of the Amer- 
ican Film Institute. Programs of 
individual grants to choreogra- 
phers to create and produce 
dance works and professional 
theater company performances for 
secondary school students are 

Dec. 20, 1965 Vice President Hubert Humphrey 
presents a check for $100,000, 
representing the Arts Endow- 
ment's first grant, to the American 
Ballet Theatre. The New York 
Herald Tribune reports: 

"The Treasury of the United 
States has saved a national trea- 
sure. Not directly, perhaps, but 
the taxpayers, through the govern- 
ment's recently established Na- 
tional Council on the Arts, saved 
the American Ballet Theatre from 

Jan. 1966 The Dance Panel, the Endow- 
ment's first formal panel of out- 
side experts, meets and forwards 
its recommendations to the Na- 
tional Council. 


Feb. 11-12, National Council on the Arts 

1966 holds its fourth meeting, this time 
in Washington, D.C. The Martha 
Graham Dance Company is rec- 
ommended for funding to make 
its first national tour in 15 years, 
and a grant also goes to the Rob- 
ert Joffrey Ballet. "Dialogues on 
the Art of Poetry," the poets- in- 
the-schools pilot program, is 
launched by the Literature Pro- 
gram in school systems in New 
York City, Detroit and Pittsburgh. 
Based on the recommendation of 
its Film Advisory Committee, the 
Council recommends a contract 
to the Stanford Research Institute 
to study further the question of 
founding an American Film 

Roger Stevens announces the re- 
ceipt of $100,000 from the Martin 
Foundation, the first donation to 
the special "Treasury account," 
established under the legislation 
and requiring a 3 to 1 match in 
non-federal to federal funds. 

May 13-15, Fifth National Council on the Arts 
1966 meeting takes place in Tarrytown, 
N.Y. The Federal-State Partner- 
ship Program, mandated by law to 
begin in Fiscal Year 1967, is 
launched, with $2 million to be 
made available, on a matching ba- 
sis, to 50 states and five special ju- 
risdictions (American Samoa, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, Guam, Puerto 
Rico and the Virgin Islands) . 
Only American Samoa is unable 
to meet the provisions of the 

The first grants for not-for-profit 
professional theaters are recom- 
mended. Funds are set aside for 


an in public places. The Council 
discusses and later recommends 
ways to involve the United States 
in international arts events. 

Fiscal 1967 

(July I 1966- 

June 30, 196^) 

Chairman Stevens warns that 
"there is at the present time, in 
the performing arts alone, an in- 
come gap ... of about $20 to $23 
million per year. This figure will 
reach at least $60 million by 
1975." Stevens adds that "the fed- 
eral government cannot, and 
should not, be expected to carry 
the total burden. This must be a 
cooperative effort, to include pri- 
vate enterprise, foundations, state 
and municipal support, regional 
organizations and individual 

For its first full fiscal year of oper- 
ation the Endowment budget is 
$7,965,692 and new programs in 
Architecture, Planning and Design 
(now Design Arts), Federal-State 
(now State Programs) and Public 
Media I now Media Arts) are 
added. Expenditures include 
$1,00^,500 for Theater, $892," 7 80 
for Education and $39,500 for 
Folk Arts. A Music Advisory Panel 
is established. 

Aug. 26-27, 

At its sixth meeting, in Washing- 
ton. D.C.. the National Council on 
the Arts recommends the first 
grants to individual creative writ- 
ers, three pilot museum projects, 
opera touring, public television 
projects and others. 


Nov. 21, 1966 Professors William J. Baumol and 
William G. Bowen collaborate to 
produce "Performing Arts — The 
Economic Dilemma," published 
by The Twentieth Century Fund. 
The book supports the earlier 
Rockefeller Report and adds the 
sobering conclusion that "the 
need of the performing groups 
for contributed funds is likely to 
continue to grow ever larger." 

Dec. 14-15, Seventh meeting of the National 
1966 Council on the Arts is held at the 
State Department in Washington. 
An initial fund of $1.3 million is 
set aside for an American Film In- 
stitute and a series of grants is 
made in the field of architecture 
and design. A program of individ- 
ual grants for painters and sculp- 
tors is launched. 

May 12-14, At its eighth meeting, in 

1967 Tarrytown, N.Y., the National 

Council on the Arts formally rec- 
ommends that an American Film 
Institute be set up with $1.3 mil- 
lion coming from the Endowment 
and matching private donations of 
$1.3 million from the Ford Foun- 
dation and $1.3 million from the 
member companies of the Motion 
Picture Association of America. In 
Music, the Audience Develop- 
ment Project is established to 
fund presenters of local concert 
series for young or unknown art- 
ists, and grants are recommended 
to assist individual composers. 
The Literature Program offers as- 
sistance to non-commercial 


June 5, 1967 The American Film Institute is es- 
tablished as a non-profit, non-gov- 
ernment corporation with George 
Stevens, Jr., as Director and Greg- 
ory Peck as Chairman of the 
Board. The AFI is to preserve and 
develop the nation's artistic and 
cultural resources in film. 

June 20, 1967 President Johnson requests the 
Federal Council on the Arts and 
the Humanities to prepare a re- 
port on the status of the nation's 
museums. The Federal Council 
commissions the American Asso- 
ciation of Museums to undertake 
this project. 

Fiscal 1968 Endowment budget is $7.2 mil- 
Quly 1, 196" 7 - lion and grants are made to 187 
June 30, 1968) individuals and 276 organizations. 
Reauthorization is approved by 
Congress for two more years of 
operation despite some criticism 
about aiding the arts during the 
nation's growing involvement in 

Two endeavors are added: a 
dance touring program and grants 
for museums to purchase the 
works of living American artists. 
The "American Musical Digest" is 
launched with the Endowment's 
support to strengthen music criti- 
cism through excerpting, translat- 
ing and reprinting articles and re- 
views on American music and 
artists from local, national and in- 
ternational publications. The first 
grant for regional arts program- 
ming goes to the Federation of 
Rocky Mountain States for an au- 
dience development project. 


July 17, 1967 Ninth National Council on the 

Arts meeting held in Los Angeles. 
The conversion of the old Bell 
Telephone Laboratories on New 
York's Lower West Side into a na- 
tional artists' housing center is 
discussed. (An Endowment 
matching grant with the J.M. 
Kaplan Fund makes this project 
possible, and groundbreaking for 
Westbeth takes place on June 21, 
1968.) Six regional dance compa- 
nies are recommended for 

Nov. 3-4, 1967 Tenth meeting of the National 

Council on the Arts held in Wash- 
ington, D.C. Support for literary 
festivals and grants to young writ- 
ers are recommended, as is fund- 
ing to help establish the Theatre 
Development Fund. Arts dem- 
onstration projects in New York 
City, Buffalo, Minneapolis and 
Louisville are funded in partner- 
ship with the newly formed AFL/ 
CIO Council for Scientific, Profes- 
sional and Cultural Employees. 

Fall 1967 At the instigation of David Rocke- 
feller and other corporate leaders, 
the Business Committee for the 
Arts is established under the 
Chairmanship of C. Douglas Dil- 
lon to stimulate corporate support 
for the arts. 

June 14, 1968 At its twelfth meeting, in New 
York City, the National Council 
on the Arts discusses proposed 
support for inner-city arts pro- 
grams in 16 of the nation's largest 
cities during the summer of 1968. 
A fund-raising benefit is held 


June 26 in New York and raises 
$200,000 for the project. When 
matched by the Treasury account, 
$400,000 is available; this eventu- 
ally generates $1.2 million when 
matched at the local level. 

Fiscal 1969 

(July 1, 1968- 

June 30, 1969) 

Endowment budget is $7.8 mil- 
lion with $326,750 going to Ar- 
chitecture, $641,627 to Dance, 
$526,450 to Education, $332,000 
to Literature, $861,620 to Music, 
$222,200 to Public Media, 
$1,007,600 to Theater, $336,800 
to Visual Arts, $469,550 to Coordi- 
nated Arts, and $1.7 million to 
the Federal-State Partnership. For- 
mal panels now exist in Architec- 
ture, Dance, Music, Theater and 
Visual Arts; informal advisory 
groups serve Education and Lit- 
erature. A $100,000 transfer from 
the Office of Education/HEW to 
the Endowment's Education Pro- 
gram initiates a program placing 
visual artists in secondary schools. 

Nov. 25, 1968 

"The Condition and Needs of 
America's Museums" (The Bel- 
mont Report) is sent to President 
Johnson by the Federal Council 
on the Arts and the Humanities. 

Jan. 20, 1969 

Richard M. Nixon is sworn in as 
President of the United States. 

March 11, 1969 

Roger Stevens' term expires as 
first Chairman of the Endowment. 

June 1, 1969 

Leonard Garment named Special 
Consultant to the President. His 
responsibilities include the arts 
and humanities. 


Fiscal 1970 Endowment budget, prepared by 
(July 1, 1969- Roger Stevens, is $8,250,000. This 
June 30, 1970) includes $4.25 million for Pro- 
grams, $2 million for state block 
grants and an additional $2 mil- 
lion for the Treasury account. 

Building on the success of the vi- 
sual artists-in-residence project in 
1969, the Artists-in-Schools Pro- 
gram receives $900,000 in transfer 
funds from the U.S. Office of 
Education and brings more than 
300 artists to elementary and sec- 
ondary school students in 31 states. 

The Music Program expands to 
include pilot programs for jazz 
and for orchestras. The Endow- 
ment provides $600,000 from the 
Treasury account, matching pri- 
vate donations to help establish 
the National Opera Institute, a 
project initiated by Roger Stevens 
during his chairmanship. 

Oct. 6, 1969 Nancy Hanks is sworn in as Chair- 
man of the Endowment by Presi- 
dent Nixon. She says: 

"The arts, defined broadly, pos- 
sess enormous potential for 
stimulating humaneness, eco- 
nomic health and new life in our 

"It is part of the essential idea of 
our country that the lives of the 
people should be advanced in 
freedom and in comprehension 
of the tough and soaring qualities 
of the spirit. This is not possible 
without the arts. They are not a 
luxury; they are a necessity." 


Dec. 10, 1969 President Nixon, in a special mes- 
sage to Congress, says: 

"The attention and support we 
give the arts and the humanities, 
especially as they affect our 
young people, represent a vital 
part of our commitment to en- 
hancing the quality of life for all 

President Nixon asks the Con- 
gress to reauthorize the two En- 
dowments for another three 

Fiscal 1971 The first Nancy Hanks budget is 
(July 1, 1970- $15.1 million, almost double that 
June 30, 1971) for Fiscal 1970. The Museum Pro- 
gram is launched, as is the Expan- 
sion Arts Program for profes- 
sionally directed, community- 
based arts activities. A full pro- 
gram of support for symphony or- 
chestras is put into place. The Vi- 
sual Arts Program formalizes 
support for photography. 

Existing peer review panels are 
expanded and additional panels 
are established for the Literature, 
Museum, Expansion Arts, Public 
Media and Special Projects (now 
Inter- Arts) Programs. 

As American Samoa matches its 
first grant, all 55 eligible state and 
jurisdictional arts agencies are, for 
the first time, receiving Basic 
State Grants. 

May 26, 1971 President Nixon addresses the As- 
sociated Councils of the Arts 
meeting in Washington, D.C.: 


"The important thing now is that 
government has accepted support 
of the arts as one of its respon- 
sibilities — not only on the federal 
level, but on the state and local 
levels as well. And increasingly, 
governments at all levels see this 
not only as a responsibility but 
also as an opportunity — for there 
is a growing recognition that few 
investments in the quality of life 
in America pay off so handsomely 
as the money spent to stimulate 
the arts." 

The President directs all federal 
agencies and executive depart- 
ments to see how the arts can 
benefit their programs and how 
their programs might assist artists. 

Fiscal 1972 Endowment budget nearly dou- 
(July 1, 1971- bles again— to $29,750,000— and 
June 30, 1972) existing programs are expanded. 
Full programs of support are es- 
tablished for opera companies 
and for jazz. Dance Program ex- 
pands to offer assistance for re- 
gional development of resident 
professional companies. Museum 
Program launches major effort to 
support conservation and renova- 
tion projects to enable museums 
to preserve and care for their col- 
lections more effectively. Public 
Media Program expands to in- 
clude regional film center sup- 
port. The first regional represen- 
tative begins work in the 

There are now ten advisory pan- 
els. Nancy Hanks notes that panel 
members will serve on a rotating 
basis with terms of approximately 
three years. Under this new sys- 
tem, the first rotation will occur 
in July of 1972. 


May 16, 1972 

President Nixon, acting on the re- 
sponses to the 1971 survey of fed- 
eral agencies and executive de- 
partments and on the recommen- 
dations of the National Council 
on the Arts, announces govern- 
ment initiatives in design. The 
Arts Endowment is the lead 
agency for the Federal Design 
Improvement Program, to help 
upgrade federal architecture, de- 
sign and graphics. 

Fiscal 1973 

(July 1, 1972- 

June 30, 1973) 

Endowment budget is $38.2 mil- 
lion. Advisory panelists now num- 
ber over 200, including such 
well-known individuals as Zelda 
Fichandler and Harold Prince on 
Theater, Roy Lichtenstein and 
George Segal on Visual Arts, Ju- 
lian "Cannonball" Adderley, Rise 
Stevens, Robert Shaw and Gian- 
Carlo Menotti on Music, and Toni 
Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 
on Literature. 

The Visual Arts Program offers 
Craftsmen's Fellowships. The 
Artrain, begun in Michigan in 
1971 and supported by the En- 
dowment, moves west to visit 30 
towns in New Mexico, Arizona, 
Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, 
Wyoming and Nevada. 

April 2-3, 1973 

First Federal Design Assembly, 
sponsored by the Federal Council 
on the Arts and the Humanities, is 
held to increase the awareness of 
federal administrators of the im- 
portance of good design. 

Fiscal 1974 

(July 1, 1973- 

June 30, 1974) 

Endowment budget is 
$60,775,000: $46 million for Pro- 
grams, $8.3 million for the state 
arts agencies and $6.5 million for 
the Treasury account. President 


Nixon signs another reauthoriza- 
tion, and Nancy Hanks is ap- 
pointed to a second four-year 
term as Chairman. (During her 
first term, the budget increased 
from $8.25 million to $60.78 mil- 
lion, an increase of 637 percent.) 

A new effort is launched to ex- 
pand and coordinate Endowment 
support for the folk arts. The City 
Options program is started to pro- 
mote community cooperation in 
the design of future environ- 
ments. The Artists-in-Schools Pro- 
gram grows to 1 ,750 artists work- 
ing in elementary and secondary 
schools in every state and special 

The Council adopts a resolution 
encouraging greater accessibility 
of cultural activities for disabled 

The Endowment publishes "Mu- 
seums USA," the first comprehen- 
sive statistical study of the na- 
tion's museums. 

A Bicentennial Committee of the 
National Council is established. 
Nancy Hanks says: 

"As we approach the 200th birth- 
day of this nation, it is important 
to give thought to the kind of 
country we want to be in our 
third century and beyond, and to 
the deepening purpose of the arts 
in this projection for our future 

Spring 1974 A special $1 million two-year 
grant, a precursor of the Chal- 
lenge Grant Program, is given to 
the Metropolitan Opera. 


Fiscal 1975 Endowment budget is 
(July 1, 1974- $74,750,000. More than 14,000 
June 30, 1975) applications for aid are reviewed. 
Staffing is more than 250. 

Encouraged by the success of ear- 
lier specials featuring the Ameri- 
can Ballet Theatre and the Alvin 
Ailey American Dance Theatre, an 
Endowment grant to the Educa- 
tional Broadcasting Corporation 
(WNET-TV) initiates the "Dance 
in America" series on public tele- 
vision. The series premieres in 
January 1976 with a feature on the 
Joffrey Ballet. 

Beginning in Fiscal 1975, instead 
of authorizing a specific dollar 
amount for the state arts agencies 
as the original bill had done, the 
reauthorization stipulates that no 
less than 20 percent of all pro- 
gram funds must go to the state 
arts agencies and "regional orga- 
nizations," with 75 percent of this 
amount being divided among the 
state arts agencies in equal 
shares. Each of the 50 states and 
five special jurisdictions is eligi- 
ble to receive at least $200,000 to 
support local programs. 

The two-year City Spirit program 
is launched, with $2 million avail- 
able in matching grants for cities, 
towns and neighborhoods to 
strengthen and showcase their 
own cultural heritage and 

Aug. 9, 1974 President Nixon resigns the Presi- 
dency and Gerald R. Ford is 
sworn in to office. 

Aug. 23, 1974 In a letter to Nancy Hanks on the 
upcoming second Federal Design 


Assembly (September 11-12, 
1974), President Ford says: 

"I firmly believe that, in order to 
inspire the people's pride in their 
Government, we must provide 
them with manifest evidence of 
its vitality, creativity and effi- 
ciency by setting the highest stan- 
dards in architectural design, 
environmental planning and vi- 
sual communication." 

Sept. 12, 1974 

The National Assembly of State 
Arts Agencies is incorporated to 
represent the common interests 
of the 50 state and five jurisdic- 
tional arts agencies. (The forerun- 
ner to the National Assembly, the 
North American Assembly of State 
and Provincial Arts Agencies, had 
been set up as an affiliate of the 
Associated Councils of the Arts in 
June 1968.) 

Nov. 21, 1974 

The Arts Endowment and the Ex- 
xon Corporation announce a joint 
venture to help Affiliate Artists 
develop young conductors for po- 
sitions as music directors in 
American symphony orchestras. 
Exxon's partnership with the En- 
dowment, later extended to pub- 
lic television programs and other 
efforts, continues today. 

Fiscal 1976 

(July 1, 1975- 

June 30, 1976) 


Transition Quarter" 

(July 1, 1976- 

Sept30, 1976) 

Congressman Sidney R. Yates (D- 
111.) assumes Chairmanship of 
House appropriations subcommit- 
tee with responsibility for the 

Endowment budget is $82 mil- 
lion for Fiscal Year 1976 and $34 
million for the July 1 -September 
30, 1976 "Transition Quarter" 


which bridges the gap caused by 
the change in the federal fiscal year. 

Sept. 29-30 Tenth Anniversary of the Endow- 
1975 ment is celebrated at the Lyndon 
B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas, 
with the National Council, Lady 
Bird Johnson, Nancy Hanks, Hu- 
bert Humphrey, Jacob Javits, Kirk 
Douglas, James Wyeth, Robert 
Merrill and scores of others. Bev- 
erly Sills points out that although 
the Endowment budget has in- 
creased to $75 million, "what we 
cannot be is complacent or satis- 
fied because there are a great 
many cities in this country that 
don't give one nickel towards 
their own cultural institutions." 
Miss Sills also tells the two-day 
symposium that "... art is the sig- 
nature of civilization." 

"The Arts: Years of Development, 
Time of Decision," a report on 
that symposium, is later pub- 
lished by the Lyndon B. Johnson 
School of Public Affairs at the 
University of Texas. 

Dec. 20, 1975 President Ford signs into law 

S. 1800, the Arts and Artifacts In- 
demnity Act, authorizing the fed- 
eral government, under certain 
circumstances, to indemnify cer- 
tain art, artifacts and other objects 
to be exhibited internationally. 

Fiscal 1977 Endowment budget is $94 mil- 
(Oct. 1, 1976- lion and more than 300 panelists 
Sept. 30, 1977) help judge the merits of applica- 
tions from the field. The Media 
Arts Program sets up the Short 
Film Showcase to help show the 
works of independent filmmakers 
in commercial movie houses 


Oct. 8, 1976 President Ford signs into law re- 
authorization for the Endowment 
for four more years. Chief Con- 
gressional sponsors are Congress- 
man John Brademas (D-Ind.) and 
Senator Claiborne Pell. Council 
members, for the first time, re- 
quire Senate confirmation. Chal- 
lenge Grants are authorized. Con- 
gress establishes the Institute of 
Museum Services to provide gen- 
eral operating support to 

Nancy Hanks, commenting on the 
Challenge Grant Program, notes: 

"But regardless of who the suc- 
cessful applicants are, the Endow- 
ment has injected a stimulus into 
the arts that will be felt far be- 
yond the modest federal funds 
expended. One federal dollar can 
generate three or four private dol- 
lars and 75 percent of those pri- 
vate contributors are likely to 
contribute again." 

Nov. 2, 1976 Jimmy Carter elected President of 
the United States. 

May 13-15 1977 The National Assembly of State 

Arts Agencies' Federal/State Study 
Committee completes 18 months 
of work with a recommendation 
that "an ongoing, structured pro- 
cess of policy planning between 
the Endowment and the state arts 
agencies be established on a for- 
mal, Endowment- wide basis." 

May 23-27, The first White House Confer- 

1977 ence on Handicapped Individuals 
focuses attention on the accessi- 
bility of cultural programs and fa- 
cilities and the participation of 
disabled individuals in the arts. 


June 16-17, National Support the Arts Confer- 
1977 ence held in Washington, D.C., to 
"find ways to help local arts insti- 
tutions help themselves in their 
efforts to gain long-term stability 
and independence," Nancy Hanks 
tells the conference. 

July 27, 1977 Round I Challenge Grants an- 
nounced with 59 grants, benefit- 
ing 66 organizations, funded at 
$27,345,000 over two years. 

Aug. 1977 As one of her last acts at the En- 
dowment, Nancy Hanks estab- 
lishes a Task Force on the Educa- 
tion, Training and Development 
of Professional Artists and Arts 

Aug. 12-14 A year-long reassessment of the 
1977 federal-state partnership in sup- 
port of the arts culminates in a re- 
port to the National Council on 
the Arts calling for expansion of 
the partnership concept to in- 
clude federal, state, regional and 
local public arts agencies; leader- 
ship in national arts advocacy; 
and leadership in addressing the 
needs of new and minority 

Fiscal 1978 Fiscal 1978 budget is 
(Oct. 1, 1977- $123,850,000, and on October 2, 
Sept. 30, 1978) 1977, Nancy Hanks leaves the 

Chairmanship of the Endowment 
at the close of her second term. 
(The Arts Endowment's budget 
increased 1,400 percent during 
her two terms.) 


Vice President Walter Mondale's 
wife Joan is named Honorary 
Chairperson of the Federal Coun- 
cil on the Arts and the Human- 
ities and takes an active role in 
promoting the arts. 

Nov. 11-13, 1977 The Endowment encourages 
establishment of a 23-member 
task force to determine the needs 
of the Hispanic arts community in 
the U.S. and to recommend ways 
to strengthen their arts and their 
relationships with the Arts 

Nov. 30, 1977 Livingston L. Biddle, Jr., nomi- 
nated by President Carter, is 
sworn in as third Chairman of the 

"The arts . . . embark us on the 
oceans of self-discovery. They 
quicken our awareness. They ex- 
tend our imagination. They 
sharpen our eyes and ears and 
minds toward opportunities for 
new insights." 

Chairman Biddle stresses "access 
to the best — access for all Ameri- 
cans to art of the highest quality." 
During Fiscal 1978, Biddle re- 
moves grant ceilings to give the 
advisory panels more discretion 
in recommending grant amounts. 
He also reorganizes the Endow- 
ment administration, naming 
three deputy chairmen: for Pro- 
grams; Policy and Planning; and 
Intergovernmental Activities. He 
places limits on the terms of of- 
fice for program directors. 

The Folk Arts Program, once part 
of Special Projects, is made a sep- 
arate program to support the 
preservation and presentation of 


traditional arts. The Opera-Musi- 
cal Theater Program is begun to 
help "broaden the concept of 
music theater and to make this art 
form available to an expanding 
audience." The Office of Minority 
Concerns is created to act as liai- 
son between the Endowment and 
minority arts groups and artists. 
The number of grant applications 
reaches nearly 20,000. 

Summer 1978 

The National Assembly of Com- 
munity Arts Agencies, a commit- 
tee within the Associated Coun- 
cils of the Arts since the early 
1970's, sets itself up as an inde- 
pendent organization to represent 
the interests of local arts agen- 
cies. (Name is changed to Na- 
tional Assembly of Local Arts 
Agencies in 1982.) 

Fiscal 1979 

(Oct. 1, 1978- 
Sept. 30, 1979) 

Endowment budget, initiated by 
Nancy Hanks in fall 1977, is 
$149,585,000. The Endowment 
now involves more than 500 pan- 
elists and 325 staff members. An- 
nual state appropriations for the 
arts have increased from $2.7 mil- 
lion in 1966 to more than $80 
million. The number of commu- 
nity arts agencies has increased 
from about 150 in 1966 to some 

The International Communica- 
tion Agency (now the United 
States Information Agency) and 
the Endowment agree to work to- 
gether on American arts program- 
ming abroad. The Music Program 
recognizes choruses and chamber 
music as separate categories of 
need and support. A National 
Council on the Arts/National As- 
sembly of State Arts Agencies 
Joint Policy Committee is estab- 
lished to advise the National 

Council on policy issues involv- 
ing the public arts agency part- 
nership. The Commonwealth 
Council for Arts and Culture of 
the Northern Mariana Islands be- 
comes the 56th agency to receive 
Basic State Grant support. 

Oct. 10, 1978 Challenge Grant Program, in its 
second round of grants, awards 
102 grants totalling $30,730,500 
to benefit 125 organizations. 

Dec. 1978 The Endowment establishes a 
Task Force on Community Pro- 
gram Policy to examine and make 
policy recommendations regard- 
ing the relationships between the 
Endowment and state and local 
arts agencies and organizations. 

Fiscal 1980 Endowment budget is 
(Oct. 1, 1979- $154,610,000 (up only marginally 
Sept. 30, 1980) over Fiscal 1979 due to increasing 
concern over federal budget 
deficits) . 

A White House reception marks 
the Endowment's 15th Anniver- 
sary, and Chairman Biddle says: 

"Nothing is more enviable — or 
daunting — than the opportunity to 
make a practical reality out of a 
visionary dream. Yet today we see 
the phrases of the legislation that 
created the National Endowment 
for the Arts 15 years ago trans- 
lated into goals, programs and 

The Inter- Arts Program , formerly 
Special Projects, formalizes its 
support of arts presenters, artists' 
colonies, services and interdisci- 
plinary arts projects. The Folk 
Arts Program announces the 


establishment of National Heri- 
tage Fellowships to honor exem- 
plary traditional artists. The Music 
Program offers support for festi- 
vals, recordings of American mu- 
sic, professional training, and solo 
recitalists. The Theater Program 
extends its support of playwrights, 
directors, designers and other 
theater artists through fellowships 
and funding of residencies. 

The Office of Federal -State Part- 
nership splits into two offices: 
State Programs, which gives block 
grants to state and regional arts 
agencies, and Partnership Coordi- 
nation, which works with other 
federal arts programs, state, re- 
gional and local arts agencies and 
professional arts organizations. 
The Artists-in-Schools Program 
evolves into the Artists in Educa- 
tion Program with grants to state 
arts agencies for artists' residen- 
cies in schools and other settings, 
special pilot learning projects and 
technical services. 

The first Advancement Grants, 
ranging from $20,000 to $150,000, 
are given to a select group of Ex- 
pansion Arts organizations that 
produce excellent work in their 
field but need help to develop as 

Fiscal 1981 Endowment budget is 
(Oct. I 1980- $158,795,000. The agency is re- 
Sept. 30, 1981) authorized through Fiscal Year 
1985. Media Arts Program 
launches support on a regional 
basis for individual media artists. 
Record number of applications — 
27,000— received. 

Nov. 4, 1980 Ronald Reagan elected President 
of the United States. 


Feb. 1-3, 1981 As part of the White House Con- 
ference on Aging, the Endow- 
ment sponsors a symposium fo- 
cusing on the need, demand and 
character of arts and humanities 
programs for older Americans. 

June 5, 1981 President Reagan appoints a 
Presidential Task Force on the 
Arts and the Humanities (see 
page 51) to review the purposes, 
activities and records of the Arts 
and Humanities Endowments. Co- 
chaired by Charlton Heston, 
Hanna H. Gray, President of the 
University of Chicago, and Daniel 
J. Terra, Ambassador-at- Large for 
Cultural Affairs, the Task Force is 
asked to find methods of increas- 
ing private support for the arts 
and humanities; to bring more 
non-governmental professionals, 
private groups and individuals 
into the Endowments' decision- 
making processes; and to find 
ways of improving the manage- 
ment, organization and structure 
of the two Endowments and the 
Federal Council on the Arts and 
the Humanities. 

When naming the Task Force, 
President Reagan notes: "Our cul- 
tural institutions are an essential 
national resource. They must be 
kept strong." 

Fiscal 1982 Endowment budget is 
(Oct. 1, 1981- $143,456,000 (a cut of 10 percent 
Sept. 30, 1982) due to rising federal budget 

The first National Heritage Fel- 
lowships in the Folk Arts honor 
15 outstanding folk artists. 


Fall 1981 With the help of Endowment 

grants, the National Assembly of 
State Arts Agencies publishes "All 
in Order: Information Systems for 
the Arts," which includes the Na- 
tional Standard for Arts Informa- 
tion Exchange. The Standard pro- 
vides a basis for coordinated 
information management in the arts. 

Oct. 14, 1981 At a White House luncheon, Pres- 
ident Reagan introduces to the 
Presidential Task Force on the 
Arts and the Humanities Frank 
Hodsoll, Deputy Assistant to the 
President, as his nominee for 
Chairman of the Endowment. 
The Task Force Report is submit- 
ted and includes recommenda- 
tions that the existing structure of 
the two Endowments be kept; 
that the professional panel review 
systems be continued; that adjust- 
ments in the tax code be made to 
stimulate private philanthropy; 
and that coordination and cooper- 
ation among federal, state and lo- 
cal arts agencies be strengthened. 

In accepting the Task Force Re- 
port, President Reagan says: 

"The Endowments, which began 
in 1965, account for only 10 per- 
cent of the donations to art and 
scholarship. Nonetheless, they 
have served an important role in 
catalyzing additional private sup- 
port, assisting excellence in arts 
and letters, and helping to assure 
the availability of an and 

Nov. 6, 1981 Frank Hodsoll tells Senator Rob- 
ert T Stafford (R-Vt.) at his con- 
firmation hearing: 


"I believe we have to rely more 
on state and local, and particularly 
private, support ... It has always 
been the case in America that the 
preponderance of support for the 
arts and humanities, and indeed 
for a number of other institutions, 
has come from the private 

Nov. 13, 1981 Following Senate confirmation on 
November 10th, Frank Hodsoll is 
sworn in as the fourth Chairman 
of the Endowment by Chief Jus- 
tice Warren E. Burger. Former 
Chairmen Stevens, Hanks and 
Biddle are present for the swear- 
ing-in, which occurs at the begin- 
ning of the 70th meeting of the 
National Council on the Arts. 

Chairman Hodsoll stresses the 
Endowment's mission is to "foster 
the excellence, diversity and vital- 
ity of the arts and to help broaden 
the availability and appreciation 
of such excellence, diversity and 
vitality." The key themes, he says, 
are "excellence" and "reaching 
all Americans." Hodsoll also pre- 
pares for longer-range support of 
the arts through strengthening the 
Challenge and Advancement Pro- 
grams, increasing the emphasis 
on excellence in Endowment 
funding, improving and stream- 
lining the Endowment's adminis- 
tration and strengthening the 
public/private partnership to en- 
courage greater private support. 


June 15. 1982 President Reagan establishes the 
Presidents Committee on the Arts 
and the Humanities to help stim- 
ulate increased private support 
and to promote recognition of ex- 
cellence in these fields. The 
Committee has a membership of 
up to 34 federal and non-federal 
members. The Chairman is An- 
drew Heiskell; the Vice Chairmen 
are Armand S. Deutsch and 
W Barnabas McHenrv. (See page 

Fiscal 1983 Endowment budget is 
(Oct. 1, 1982- $l43.8"'5.000. 
Sept. 30, 1983) 

President Reagan says: "We sup- 
port the work of the National En- 
dowment for the Arts to stimulate 
excellence and make art more 
available to more of our people." 

Among the initiatives begun by 
the Endowment is the Test Pro- 
gram of Support for Local Arts 
Agencies, designed to leverage 
sustainable increases in local gov- 
ernment support for the arts 
while improving administration 
and planning. The Literature Pro- 
gram starts a project to publish 
short stories in newspapers. 

Curriculum-based, sequential arts 
education from kindergarten 
through 1 2th grade is given a 
high priority* by Frank Hodsoll. A 
series of regional meetings is 
scheduled, and discussions with 
the J. Paul Getty Trust and others 
are begun to bring television 
more directly into the arts educa- 
tion process. 

Challenge II. Challenge Grants 
for which previous recipients are 
eligible, is begun; their purpose 
is focused on stimulating im- 


provements in balance sheets for 
the very 7 best arts institutions. Ad- 
vancement Grants are opened up 
to all of the discipline fields. A 
new initiative begins in the Inter- 
Arts Program to assist state and re- 
gional arts agencies to increase 
dance presentation nationwide. 
The Visual Arts Program begins 
assistance to regional arts orga- 
nizations to provide fellowships 
for emerging visual artists. 

The National Council on the Arts 
National Assembly of State Arts 
Agencies (NCA/NASAA) Commit- 
tee expands to include the Na- 
tional Assembly of Local Arts 
Agencies (NALAA). NCA/NASAA 
NALAA Committee meetings are 
scheduled regularly to precede 
each meeting of the National 
Council on the Arts. 

Jan. 7, 1983 Nancy Hanks, the Endowment's 
second Chairman, dies after a 
long battle against cancer. "She 
was an extraordinary lady who 
had her heart in the right place 
and the ability 7 to get things 
done,'" Hodsoll says. "That's a 
rare combination." 

Jan. 26, 1983 President Reagan requests Con- 
gress to name the Old Post Office 
complex in Washington, which is 
to be the new home of the two 
Endowments, the Nancy Hanks 
Center. On February 15, President 
Reagan signs Public Law 98-1, the 
first bill of the new Congress, into 
law, stating: 

"This designation is particularly 
apt since the renovation of the 
Old Post Office, its occupancy 
this year by federal cultural agen- 
cies and commercial enterprises 


and its exhibits are due in large 
measure to the foresightedness, 
persuasiveness, intellect and vigor 
of Nancy Hanks." 

April 19, 1983 The Old Post Office Building at 
the Nancy Hanks Center is re- 
dedicated as the new home of the 
two Endowments, the President's 
Committee on the Arts and the 
Humanities, the Institute of Mu- 
seum Services, and the Advisory 
Council on Historic Preservation. 

May 1 7, 1983 At a White House luncheon orga- 
nized by the President's Commit- 
tee on the Arts and the Human- 
ities, President Reagan honors 12 
artists and arts patrons for service 
to the arts. (See page 52.) 

The President also asks Frank 
Hodsoll to explore with Congress 
the possibility of creating a medal 
to honor artists and patrons of the 

July 13-16, The first National Symposium on 
1983 Access to Cultural Programs for 
disabled and older individuals is 
sponsored by the Endowment at 
Indiana University in Blooming- 
ton. Frank Hodsoll addresses the 
plenary session. 

Fiscal 1984 Endowment budget is $162 mil- 
(Oct. 1, 1983- lion. A Five -Year Planning Docu- 
Sept. 30, 1984) ment (1986-1990) is approved. 

The Endowment, working with 
the American Film Institute, helps 
establish a National Center for 
Film and Television Preservation. 

The Locals Test Program, in its 
first year of operation, distributes 


$2 million in federal funds, which 
are to be matched by $97 million 
in new publicly appropriated 
state and local funds. Folk Arts 
Apprenticeships are begun 
through state arts agencies. The 
Theater Program begins an Ongo- 
ing Ensembles category to assist 
groups of theater artists working 
together over time. The Dance 
Program starts a program placing 
choreographers with repertory 
dance companies to create new 
work. A touring-commissioning 
fund for major interdisciplinary 
work is begun in the Inter-Arts 

Frank Hodsoll, commenting on 
the growth in support for the arts, 

"The American Association of 
Fundraising Counsel reports that 
in 1983 private contributions to 
cultural activities increased to 
$4.08 billion, an increase of 36 
percent and $1 billion over 1981. 
Individuals continued in 1983 to 
provide the bulk of this support." 

Nov. 5, 1983 National Council on the Arts 

adopts new Mission Statement for 
the National Endowment for the 
Arts. The focus is on excellence 
and access. 

May 31, 1984 President Reagan signs into law 

legislation for a National Medal of 
Arts, authorizing the President to 
award up to 12 medals a year to 
"individuals or groups who in the 
President's judgment are deserv- 
ing of special recognition by rea- 
son of their outstanding contribu- 
tions to the excellence, growth, 
support and availability of the arts 
in the United States." The Presi- 


dent's awards are to be based on 
recommendations of the National 
Council on the Arts. 

Fiscal 1985 The National Endowment for the 
(Oct. 1, 1984- Arts is 20 years old. Its budget is 
Sept. 30, 1985 $163,660,000. The Expansion Arts 
Program starts a Community 
Foundation Initiative to secure 
new private funds for smaller arts 
organizations. The Music Program 
consolidates and strengthens its 
support for music presenters na- 
tionwide. A national jazz service 
organization is created with En- 
dowment assistance. Chairman 
Hodsoll says: 

"The sole purpose of all of us is 
to foster excellence, diversity and 
vitality in the arts, and help 
broaden the availability and 
appreciation of them. Our 
progress — or lack of it — must be 
measured only in these terms. As 
we look ahead to the coming 
years, it is my hope that we will 
rededicate ourselves to these cru- 
cial ends." 

Dec. 11, 1984 Frank Hodsoll announces 

Charlton Heston's appointment as 
Chairman of the Arts Endow- 
ment's 20th Anniversary Commit- 
tee, set up to focus attention on 
the growth of the public-private 
partnership support for the arts 
since the Endowment's birth in 

Jan. 16, 1985 The First Lady, Nancy Reagan, 

agrees to serve as Honorary Chair- 
man of the 20th Anniversary 
Committee, which includes lead- 
ing artists and arts patrons who 
have served as members of the 
National Council on the Arts. 
(See page 53) 


Jan. 30, 1985 

President Reagan presents the 
first Presidential Awards for De- 
sign Excellence to 13 federal 
projects in a variety of design 
areas. The President states: 

"I believe it is fair to say that 
good design unites art with pur- 
pose, and is an essential part of 
all that goes to make our nation 
without peer." 

March 25, 1985 

During the Academy Awards 
presentations, the National En- 
dowment for the Arts receives a 
special "Oscar" for its 20-year ser- 
vice to the arts: 

"... and its dedicated commit- 
ment to fostering artistic and cre- 
ative activity and excellence in 
every area of human genius — 
dance, literature, theater, music, 
visual arts, the media, opera, de- 
sign and the national heritage as 
represented by our folk arts." 

April 23, 1985 

First National Medals of Arts 
awarded to seven artists and five 
patrons of the arts at a White 
House luncheon. (See page 53.) 

May 2 and 
June 19, 1985 

Endowment reauthorization hear- 
ings held before the House (May 
2) and Senate (June 19) sub- 
committees. Chairman Hodsoll 
testifies on the recent substantial 
growth in private, state and local 
support for the arts, and notes 

"As the traditional boundaries 
distinguishing the disciplines . . . 
are redefined, we will need to 
adapt Endowment activities ac- 
cordingly Further, there are great 


artistic and audience differences 
among the states and regions, and 
the Endowment must respond in 
different areas in different ways. 

"Arts education provides us with 
a special challenge ... to seek 
comprehensive and sequential 
arts education as a basic element 
of the curriculum . . . Probably 
nothing that the Endowment 
could do would be of greater im- 
portance than to help effect a 
general increase in artistic literacy 
and appreciation." 

Aug. 3, 1985 The National Council on the Arts 
reviews concept paper on arts 
education, which proposes broad- 
ening the scope of the Artists in 
Education Program. The primary 
objective of the proposed change 
is to encourage art in education 
as a basic part of the curriculum, 
kindergarten through high 

Sept. 22, 1985 During its annual "Emmy" 

Awards program, the National 
Academy of Television Arts and 
Sciences recognizes the Arts En- 
dowment on its 20th Anniversary. 

Sept. 23-29, President Reagan recognizes Na- 
1985 tional Arts Week to celebrate all 
the arts on the occasion of the 
Endowment's 20th Anniversary. 

Sept. 27, 1985 President Reagan announces his 
intention to nominate Frank 
Hodsoll for a second term as 
Chairman of the Arts Endowment. 


On September 29, 1985, the Na- 
tional Endowment for the Arts 
celebrated its 20th birthday. It 
had been founded to encourage 
and support national progress in 
the arts based on Congress' find- 
ing that "a high civilization must 
not limit its efforts to science 
and technology alone but must 
give full value and support to 
the other great branches of 
man's scholarly and cultural ac- 
tivity in order to achieve a better 
understanding of the past, a bet- 
ter analysis of the present, and a 
better view of the future." The 
Endowment has tried to help in 
this — by encouraging and sup- 
porting artistic excellence and 
helping bring that excellence to 
more Americans. The purpose 
was and is: to help continue and 
expand our "high civilization." 

President Reagan quotes Henry 

"It is art that makes life, 
makes interest, makes impor- 
tance ... I know of no substi- 
tute whatever for the force 
and beauty of its process." 





(Sworn in by President Johnson 
on April 9, 1965) 

Roger L. Stevens, Chairman 

Elizabeth Ashley 
Leonard Bernstein 
Anthony Bliss 
David Brinkley 
Albert Bush-Brown 
Agnes de Mille 
Rene d'Harnoncourt* 
Ralph Ellison 
Paul Engle 
R. Philip Hanes, Jr. 
Rev. Gilbert Hartke, OP. 
Eleanor Lambert 

Warner Lawson* 
Gregory Peck 
William L. Pereira 
Richard Rodgers* 
David Smith* 
Oliver Smith 
Isaac Stern 
George Stevens, Sr* 
James Johnson Sweeney 
Otto Wittmann 
Minoru Yamasaki 
Stanley Young* 




(Appointed by President Reagan 
on June 5, 1981) 

Charlton Heston, Co-Chairman for the Arts 
Hanna H. Gray, Co-Chairman for the Humanities 
Daniel J. Terra, Co-Chairman for the Government 
W Barnabas McHenry, Vice-Chairman 

Margo Albert* 
Edward Banfield 
Anne Bass 
Daniel J. Boorstin 
William G. Bowen 
Joseph Coors 
Armand S. Deutsch 
Virginia Duncan 
Robert Fryer 
Henry Geldzahler 
Gordon Hanes 
Nancy Hanks* 
Paul Hanna 
Ernest J. Kump 
June Noble Larkin 
Robert M. Lumiansky 
Angus MacDonald 
Nancy Mehta 

Arthur Mitchell 
Franklin D. Murphy 
David Packard 
Edmund P. Pillsbury 
George C. Roche III 
Richard Mellon Scaife 
Franklin J. Schaffner 
Beverly Sills 
Leonard L. Silverstein 
Robert I. Smith 
Roger L. Stevens 
John E. Swearingen 
Rawleigh Warner, Jr. 
Lucien Wulsin 





(As of September 1985) 

Andrew Heiskell, Chairman 
Armand S. Deutsch, Co-Vice Chairman 
W. Barnabas McHenry, Co-Vice Chairman 
Frank Hodsoll 

Executive Committee 
Executive Committee 
Executive Committee 
Executive Committee 

Robert McC. Adams 
Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson 
James A. Baker, III 
David William Belin 
Terrell H. Bell* 
William J. Bennett 
Daniel J. Boorstin 
Sidney F. Brody* * 
J. Carter Brown 
Gerald P. Carmen* 
Schuyler G. Chapin 
William P. Clark* 
Lloyd E. Cotsen 
Charles A. Dana, Jr. 
Susan L. Davis 
Joan Kent Dillon 
Stanley M. Frehling 
Robert Fryer* 
Terence C. Golden 
Nancy Hanks* * 
Donald Hodel 

Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr.* 
Karen Munro 
Gabriele Murdock** 
Franklin D. Murphy 
Susan E. Phillips* 
Donald T Regan* 
Arthur Schultz 
S. Dillon Ripley* 
Leonard L. Silverstein 
Francis Albert Sinatra 
Frank Stanton 
Roger L. Stevens 
Donald M. Stewart 
Lloyd M. Taggart 
Daniel J. Terra 
Lilla Tower* 
Rawleigh Warner, Jr. 
James G. Watt* 
Charles Z. Wick 
Isabel Brown Wilson 

* Former Member 
** Deceased 




(Awards presented by President Reagan 
on May 17, 1983) 

Cleveland Foundation 
Dayton Hudson Foundation 
Philip Johnson 
Elma Lewis 
James Michener 
Czeslaw Milosz 

Philip Morris, Inc. 

Frank Stella 

Texaco Philanthropic Foundation 

Luis Valdez 

Frederica Von Stade 

Pinchas Zukerman 





Nancy Reagan, Honorary Chairman 
Charlton Heston, Chairman 

Marian Anderson 
Livingston L. Biddle, Jr. 
Anthony Bliss 
Albert Bush -Brown 
Henry J. Cauthen 
Van Cliburn 
Kenneth Dayton 
Agnes de Mille 
Richard C. Diebenkorn 
Clint Eastwood 
Martin Friedman 
Lawrence Halprin 
Helen Hayes 
Richard Hunt 
James Earl Jones 
Eleanor Lambert 

Gregory Peck 
William L. Pereira 
Harold Prince 
Jerome Robbins 
Rudolf Serkin 
Beverly Sills 
Isaac Stem 
Roger L. Stevens 
Billy Taylor 
Edward Villella 
Eudora Welty 
Dolores Wharton 
Robert Wise 
Jessie A. Woods 
James Wyeth 


(Medals given by President Reagan 
on April 23, 1985) 

Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. 
Dorothy Buffum Chandler 
Ralph Ellison 
Jose Vicente Ferrer 
Martha Graham 
Hallmark Cards 

Lincoln Kirstein 
Paul Mellon 
Louise Nevelson 
Georgia O'Keeffe 
Leontyne Price 
Alice Tully 



(As of September 1985) 

Frank Hodsoll, Chairman 

Kurt Herbert Adler Samuel Lipman 

Norman B. Champ, Jr. Talbot MacCarthy 

C. Douglas Dillon Toni Morrison 

Allen Drury Carlos Moseley 

Joseph Epstein Jacob Neusner 

Helen Frankenthaler I. M. Pei 

Martha Graham Lloyd Richards 

Margaret Hillis Lida Rogers 

Celeste Holm George Schaefer 

Arthur I. Jacobs Robert Stack 

Robert Joffrey William L. Van Alen 

M. Ray Kingston James Wood 
Raymond Learsy 





Maurice Abravanel 
Margo Albert* 
Marian Anderson 
Martina Arroyo 
Elizabeth Ashley 
James Barnett 
Thomas Bergin 
Robert Berks 
Leonard Bernstein 
Theodore Bikel 
Anthony Bliss 
Angus Bowmer* 
Willard Boyd 
David Brinkley 
Richard F. Brown* 
Albert Bush-Brown 
Henry J. Cauthen 
Van Cliburn 
Jean Dalrymple 
Hal C. Davis* 
Kenneth Dayton 
Agnes de Mille 
Rene d'Harnoncourt* 
J. C. Dickinson, Jr. 
Richard C. Diebenkorn 
Charles Eames* 
Clint Eastwood 
William Eells 
Duke Ellington* 
Ralph Ellison 
Paul Engle 
Leonard L. Farber 
O'Neil Ford* 
Martin Friedman 
Virginia B. Gerity* 
Sandra Hale 
Lawrence Halprin 
R. Philip Hanes, Jr. 
Huntington Hartford 
Rev. Gilbert Hartke, O.P. 
Helen Hayes 
Charlton Heston 
Richard Hunt 
Judith Jamison 
Ruth Carter Johnson 
James Earl Jones 
Herman David Kenin* 
Eleanor Lambert 
Jacob Lawrence 
Warner Lawson* 
Harper Lee 
Erich Leinsdorf 
Bernard Lopez 

* Deceased 

Jimilu Mason 
Charles McWhorter 
Robert Merrill 
Gregory Peck 
William L. Pereira 
Sidney Poitier 
Harold Prince 
Jerome Robbins 
James D. Robertson* 
Richard Rodgers* 
Maureene Rogers 
James Rosenquist 
Rosalind Russell* 
Franklin Schaffner 
Thomas Schippers* 
Gunther Schuller 
Rudolf Serkin 
George Seybolt 
Robert Shaw 
Beverly Sills 
David Smith* 
Oliver Smith 
John Steinbeck* 
Isaac Stern 
George Stevens, Sr.* 
Geraldine Stutz 
James Johnson Sweeney 
Billy Taylor 
Edward Villella 
E. Leland Webber 
Harry Weese 
Donald Weismann 
Eudora Welty 
Dolores Wharton 
Nancy White 
Anne Potter Wilson 
Robert Wise 
Otto Wittmann 
Jessie Woods 
James Wyeth 
Rosalind W Wyman 
Minoru Yamasaki 
Stanley Young* 

Roger L. Stevens 
Nancy Hanks* 
Livingston L. Biddle, Jr. 


U 3 <<■< .2 

• ST 3 3