WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 12, 2014) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate Dr. Jane Chu as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Chu is currently President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, a position she has held since 2006. If confirmed, Chu would succeed former Chairman Rocco Landesman and Acting Chairwoman Joan Shigekawa.
The NEA is an independent federal agency that funds and promotes excellence, creativity, and innovation in the arts. It was established in 1965 by the United States Congress, and has since awarded over $4 billion to individuals and communities, making it the largest single source support for the arts in the nation.
“Jane’s lifelong passion for the arts and her background in philanthropy have made her a powerful advocate for artists and arts education in Kansas City,” President Obama said. “She knows firsthand how art can open minds, transform lives and revitalize communities, and believes deeply in the importance of the arts to our national culture. I’m proud to nominate her as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.”
Chu received an A.A. in Visual Arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a B.M. in Piano Performance and a B.M.Ed. in Music Education from Ouachita Baptist University, an M.A. in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University, and a Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University.
Chu was a Fund Executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and served as Vice President of External Relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. She was Vice President of Community Investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation from 1997 to 2002.
Chu is a Trustee at William Jewell College and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Kansas City’s Nonprofit Connect recently announced her as their Nonprofit Professional of the Year.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus issued public congratulations to Chu for her NEA nomination.
CAPAC Chair and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), said that as the current President and CEO of Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Dr. Chu is exceptionally qualified to lead the NEA. Having worked with local arts and social organizations for nearly two decades, she understands the unique capability of the arts to transcend language barriers and bridge cultural divides, Rep. Chu said.
“I applaud President Obama for nominating another highly qualified Asian American candidate to lead an independent agency. I urge the Senate to move swiftly on Dr. Chu’s confirmation,” Rep. Chu said.
U.S. Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), said Chu is a well-qualified candidate with the expertise and leadership needed to lead the NEA.
“Her nomination is another positive step for the AAPI community and our nation’s arts community,” Bordallo said. “I urge the Senate to act swiftly on her nomination.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus, said that Chu’s lifetime of service to the arts makes her the right choice for this venerated institution.
“The NEA supports our nation’s artists and their creative endeavors and diversity plays a huge role in this process,” Honda said. “I have no doubt Dr. Jane Chu will continue this great tradition at NEA.”