National Endowment for the Arts Announces John E. Ostrout As New Director of State and Regional Partnerships
June 28, 2004
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today it is appointing John E. Ostrout as its Director of State and Regional Partnerships. In this position, Ostrout will be responsible for state and regional partnership initiatives and grants, which make up 40 percent of the NEA's grantmaking budget. He will assume his new responsibilities on July 12.
John Ostrout, 55, has been the director of cultural tourism for the past two years in Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development. Previously, he served for more than a decade as the Director of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, having been appointed by Republican, Independent and Democratic governors. During that period, a campaign for bipartisan support to use the arts to revitalize cities and towns resulted in Connecticut's national ranking in per capita state arts funding rising from 44th to first. In addition, the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund doubled, rising from $7 million in Fiscal Year 1995 to $14 million in FY 2002. The initiative, completely funded by legislative appropriations, annually distributes earnings to nonprofit arts organizations.
"Our partnership projects with the states are vitally important in our efforts to bring the best of the arts to all Americans," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "John Ostrout's experience running a state arts agency, together with his knowledge of the national field, make him the ideal choice to provide this crucial link between the NEA and the state arts agencies."
Ostrout was an elected officer of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies from 1997 to 2002, and was a board member of the New England Foundation for the Arts from 1990 to 2002. Prior to becoming Director of the Connecticut Arts Commission in 1990, Ostrout was the agency's Deputy Director from 1984 to 1990, and Director of Funding Programs from 1976 to 1984. He has produced several television documentaries broadcast on PBS featuring arts in education, arts partnerships, and urban artists.
"I am excited at the prospect of working with John in his new role. His experience, the perspectives he brings, the fact that he already has the respect of his state arts agency colleagues, and the excellent communication Chairman Gioia has maintained with our field, present great opportunity for advancing our federal-state partnership," said Jonathan Katz, Chief Executive Officer, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
Ostrout began his career as Assistant Managing Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and later held the position of General Manager at the Eastern Connecticut Symphony and the Connecticut Ballet Company. Ostrout has served on a number of National Endowment for the Arts' panels involving theater, state and regional partnerships, and arts education, and has been a theater site evaluator for the agency.
A Connecticut native, Ostrout received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Connecticut and his master's in theater management from the Yale University School of Drama.
For more information or to request an electronic image of John Ostrout, please contact the NEA Office of Communications at 202-682-5570.
Photo by A. Vincent Scarano.
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