[JPL] NEA Jazz Masters Award To Disappear Under New Federal Budget Plan

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Tue Feb 15 20:56:20 EST 2011


President Obama's 2012 budget proposal, delivered to Congress on Monday, 
proposes to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters 
award. The change is one part of a significant budget reduction for the 
NEA at large.

The NEA Jazz Masters honor <http://www.nea.gov/honors/jazz/index.html>, 
given for lifetime achievement in jazz artistry or advocacy, has been 
bestowed on 119 artists and groups since 1982, all living at the time of 
their award. It currently comes with a $25,000 grant, plus opportunities 
to participate in educational programs across the country. Similar 
honors for opera and folk music will also be eliminated.

NPR Music, with WBGO and XM Satellite Radio, recorded and webcast the 
previous two NEA Jazz Masters ceremonies, in January of this year 
and last <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122457086>.

Somewhat in its place, the NEA American Artists of the Year honor will 
be introduced. Awards will be made available to participants in a wide 
array of performing and visual arts. The NEA's appropriations request 
(opens PDF) also specifies that both "individuals who have devoted a 
lifetime" and "extraordinary" artists in "mid-career" will be eligible.

The appropriations request did not specify specific the amount of 
American Artists of the Year to be recognized, or the monetary award 
they will receive. It did state the new honorific would be "a less 
expensive effort" than the multiple celebrations it replaces.

The restructuring of the award comes alongside an over 12 percent slash 
in the proposed budget for the National Endowment for the Arts, compared 
to the 2011 fiscal year. The NEA's proposed budget for 2012 is 
$146,255,000, a $21,245,000 reduction in from the 2010 and 2011 budgets. 
Budget cuts were also announced for the National Endowment for the 
Humanities, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National 
Gallery of Art, among other federal arts and humanities institutions.

The budgetary news comes on the heels of a heated discussion in the arts 
administration community after NEA chairman Rocco Landesman asserted, 
during a theater conference, that the U.S. had too many arts 
organizations compared to the size of its audiences. "You can either 
increase demand or decrease supply," he said. "Demand is not going to 
increase, so it is time to think about decreasing supply." He later 
expanded on his thoughts online <http://www.arts.gov/artworks/?p=5402>.

Requests for comment have been sent to NEA representatives. This space 
will be updated with further details when they are available.

Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
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SKYPE:  drjazz99

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