Clinton Taps Ivey To Head Arts Group
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Dec. 19) -- President Bill Clinton said today he has settled on Country Music Foundation Director William Ivey to serve as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ivey, 53, was selected to replace the current NEA chairman, actress Jane Alexander. Once nominated, Ivey would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
Before Clinton's announcement, Ivey told the Washington Post, "This is a very important agency, particularly in its role nurturing excellence in all the arts. I would welcome the possibility of being able to work in a leadership role and it would be an ultimate job for me."
The Detroit native will have his work cut out for him at the helm of the embattled NEA. Though Congress voted to extend its funding through 1998, the arts agency still faces severe critics.
Many Republican conservatives have targeted the NEA, saying it uses taxpayer money for artistic projects they consider pornographic or blasphemous. The NEA has said that such grants are very rare.
Ivey has served as director to the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tenn., for over 25 years. He has also served on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and has been active in Washington in efforts to preserve historical recordings of classical and popular music.
An amateur guitarist and songwriter, Ivey has served on the board of the American Folklore Society and taught at both Brooklyn College and Vanderbilt University.
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Friday Dec. 19, 1997
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