Chairman LetterChairman Letter

October 24, 2011 – George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion

George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion

We see the Obama presidency as a time of opportunity to energize the cultural life of our country and enhance the role of the arts in American society. We had the opportunity to chair the Obama Arts Policy Committee during his presidential campaign and therefore know well his commitment to excellence in the arts and humanities.

The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities has a long and bi-partisan tradition in which public and private leaders work together to affirm the place of the arts and humanities in American life – and we look forward to broadening that tradition. The President's Committee, among other activities, has supported arts education programs that transform the lives of young people, worked to safeguard our cultural heritage, and used film and filmmakers as bridges to other countries.

We plan to continue the committee's excellent work and expand upon the efforts of our predecessors in new partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and other federal agencies. The importance of arts and humanities education will be a major focus of our efforts. We also see opportunities to place the arts and humanities at the forefront of cultural diplomacy overseas and in public service programs here in the United States, as well as to use them as tools in urban and economic revitalization.

We will work closely with our Vice-Chair, Mary Schmidt Campbell and draw upon the talent, experience and leadership of our committee members

The President's Committee will honor and support those creative men and women who explore ideas, write, dance, sing and contribute to this nation's rich cultural traditions with uniquely American voices.

This is an exciting time and we look forward to the challenges ahead.