National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, October 16, 2015

(National Endowment for the Arts News)

Washington, DC—Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will visit Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday, October 16, 2015. Chairman Chu will be in town to deliver a keynote address at the Alliance of Artist Communities conference. As part of her second trip to Rhode Island as Chairman, she will also visit arts organizations in Providence and Newport and take part in an event with Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in honor of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary. Follow @NEAJaneChu on Twitter for updates and photos on her trip to Rhode Island.

Chairman Chu’s visit to Rhode Island will begin with a keynote address at the Alliance of Artists Communities conference. After an introduction by Congressman David N. Cicilline, Chairman Chu will speak about her vision for collaborating and connecting in the arts and will take questions from the audience. There will also be a short program featuring local artists, including playwright and director Ifa Bayeza and co-directors of Strange Attractor Theatre Jed Hancock-Brainerd and Rebecca Noon. Media who wish to attend this conference session should contact Flannery Patton at fpatton@artistcommunities.org or 401-351-4320.

Following this speech, Chairman Chu will join Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Lt. Governor Dan McKee, and Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza at The Steel Yard in Providence. The Chairman will tour The Steel Yard’s outdoor studio locations, learn about the weld-to-work job training program and public art program, meet with iron artists in residents, and visit teaching studios where local craftspeople teach ceramics, jewelry, welding and blacksmithing to youth and adults in educational workshops.

That afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit Newport, where she will tour the Newport Opera House and learn more about their restoration efforts. During this visit, Island Moving Dance Company will perform a site-specific work in several spaces in the building.

Next, Chairman Chu will join Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at the Newport Art Museum. They will tour the museum, after which the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Newport Art Museum, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County will host a reception in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts, which was founded in 1965 with the support of U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell. This event will include remarks by Chairman Chu, Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Rhode Island State Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, and Clay Pell, grandson of Senator Claiborne Pell. This event is open to the public but RSVPs are required. More details are available here.

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary, the NEA is creating a story bank of multimedia content that showcases the impact of the arts. To date, hundreds of people from across the country have submitted stories about how the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have impacted their lives. The NEA has also created a video in collaboration with Rhode Island State Council on the Arts that looks at the arts and culture of Rhode Island.

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