NEA chairman makes inaugural visit to Arkansas

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 99 views 

FAYETTEVILLE — Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is in Northwest Arkansas today (March 12) to meet with various arts attractions and organizations, including the Walton Arts Center, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, TheatreSquared and the Northwest Arkansas Community Creative Center.

This is Landesman’s first visit to Arkansas. In fact, it is believed to be the first time any NEA chairman has visited the state. The scheduled visits are part of his national “Art Works” tour, which he started in November 2009, shortly after he got the job in August of that year. Landesman has been making his way across the country meeting with arts organizations and arts and civic leaders to learn about their efforts to use the arts to create vibrant, livable communities.

Landesman is the 10th NEA chairman. Before joining the NEA, he was most recently a Broadway theater producer.
At every stop on the local tour, Landesman will have the attention of the top executives of each arts organization and/or attraction. Joy Pennington, executive director of the Arkansas Arts Council, will attend most the meetings, as well.

On Tuesday (March 13) Landesman will move on to Little Rock to tour the Argenta Arts District and meet with the Argenta Arts Foundation, the Argenta Community Theatre and the Thea Foundation. Later in the day he will take part in a public panel discussion on creative placemaking in Arkansas at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

His outing will continue with meetings with arts organizations in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday (March 14) and Lawrence, Kan., on Thursday (March 15).