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Home » Recent News » Dr. Jane Chu Confirmed as Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

Dr. Jane Chu Confirmed as Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts



Dr. Jane Chu Confirmed as Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

On June 12, the US Senate voted unanimously to confirm Dr. Jane Chu as the new chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The White House will make the official appointment in the coming days.

For AFM musicians who live in vibrant arts communities and for those who work with organizations that receive NEA funding, this is a welcome turn of events. Faced with the threat of draconian budget cuts and reorganization, the NEA now has a respected long-time advocate to represent the agency before federal legislators, while leading this important national treasure toward a brighter future.

Chu served as president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. There she became nationally recognized for creating an environment that attracted more than one million people to the center and to Kansas City to participate in the dynamic growth she helped bring about in the Kansas City arts community.

Chu received bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and in music education from Ouachita Baptist University and master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a PhD in philanthropic studies from Indiana University. In addition, Chu received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

As the new chair of the NEA, Chu steps in to lead an organization that has been without permanent leadership for a period of 18 months. Senior Deputy director Joan Shigakowa served as interim chair after the departure of the agency’s previous chair Rocco Landesman in December 2012.

AFM International President Ray Hair states, “On behalf of the 80,000 members of the American Federation of Musicians, I am happy to welcome Dr. Chu as a new energetic, and effective voice for artists at the national level. I look forward to working with Dr. Chu and the NEA to help bring more of the creative arts to citizens across the country.”

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