Art Works Blog

This month we’re celebrating the 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Today we present a short film that takes an intergenerational look at Paiute culture, featuring 2013 honoree Ralph Burns, a master storyteller and tradition bearer of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. The documentary is by...
When Kenn Nesbitt found out he would be the new Children’s Poet Laureate , he said he was “floored.” We’re not sure why. After all, the poet has published over a dozen books and collections of poetry and has endeared himself to kids across the country with his instinctual...
By this time, I’m sure all of you have ooohd and aaahed over the stellar lineup at this year’s Poetry and Prose Pavilion at the National Book Festival . I know, I know—we’re impressed with it too. As you’ve studied the authors’ bios, you may have noticed a...
Just in case you haven’t heard the news, we added three new exciting novels to the Big Read canon: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea; The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri; and True Grit by Charles Portis. Throughout the year, we’ll be showcasing excerpts of audio that never made...
As a developmental psychologist, I find it amusing to consider the National Endowment for the Arts’ Research: Art Works program as something of a toddler. The program has entered its third year and continues to find its footing in the larger world of research grants. I came to the NEA in...
Knock knock. Who’s there? Winona Varnon. Winona Varnon who? Our new management and budget chief—and a former stand-up comedian—that’s who. Law school might have put an end to her comedy career, but lucky for us she still loves the arts! We spoke with Winona about her...
“If you’re creating things, you’re doing things that have a high potential for failure, especially if you’re doing things that haven’t been done before. And you learn from those things. No matter how you cut it, you say, “Well, that didn’t work,” or...
One of the neatest things about working at the NEA is seeing how many different ways a dollar can be transformed into art. For instance, the $4.725 million we awarded to our 2013 Our Town grantees will eventually be turned into a mural festival in Honolulu, public opera programs in Nashville, and a...
“If you want to be an innovator in a style, you need to be a preservationist also, because until you can speak the stylistic language fluently, you can’t really understand how to innovate in the style.” — Andy Statman, 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellow Read our full...
One of my many tasks here at the NEA is to transcribe interviews so that they can be turned into blog posts, articles, or archived for reference. It seems tedious when you explain the process, but I always enjoy listening to artists share words of wisdom or tell their life story. I’ve been...

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