Biden announces nominations for Arts and Humanities endowments

Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday announced his nominations for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), with both nominees having formally been appointed by former President Obama for different roles.

Biden nominated Shelly Lowe to be chair of the NEH and Maria Rosario Jackson to be chair of the NEA.

Lowe is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and has a long history of leading Native American studies in higher education, including at Harvard University and Yale University. She currently serves as a member of the National Council on the Humanities after being appointed by Obama.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be nominated by President Biden to serve as Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Lowe said in a statement.

“My time serving on the National Council on the Humanities has been immensely rewarding, and I look forward to continuing to serve and advance the humanities in this new role,” she added. “Ensuring the American people have access to humanities institutions, resources, and programs is absolutely critical in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.”

Jackson is currently a professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She has previously taught Urban Planning at UCLA. Obama appointed Jackson in 2013 to the National Council on the Arts. She also currently serves as a member of the advisory council for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

According to the NEA, Jackson’s work “blends social science, arts and humanities-based approaches to comprehensive community development, systems change, program and policy evaluation, and applied research.”

“Our art, culture, and creativity are some of our country’s most valuable resources. They are evidence of our humanity, our ability to learn from our examined experience, and our ability to imagine and innovate. The arts are critical to our well-being, to robust economies, and to healthy communities where all people can thrive,” Jackson said after her nomination was announced.

“I am continuously inspired by the myriad ways in which artists, designers, and culture bearers make a difference, whether it be through celebrated national and international careers or through careers where artists are embedded in our communities, institutions, and organizations helping us to see and act in new ways as we move towards a more perfect union,” added Jackson.

The chairs of the NEA and the NEH both serve four-year terms and must be approved by Congress.

In his 2021 budget proposal, former President Trump sought to cut funds to the NEA and the NEH along with a slew of other domestic programs that his administration deemed to be unnecessary. Trump had proposed cutting the budget for the NEA every year he was in office, but the agency survived his tenure and its budget actually grew, as The New York Times reported.

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump Humanities Joe Biden National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Humanities
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video