ICYMI: NEA and White House Domestic Policy Council Host Convening on Whole-of-Government Approach to Arts and Culture

From National Endowment for the Arts: On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month, the White House Domestic Policy Council and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) co-hosted a convening to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to arts and culture. 

This National Arts and Humanities Month, the Biden-Harris Administration highlights its commitment to supporting the arts, humanities, and museum and library services and integrating them into federal policies and programs, including major investments in the NEA, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services. A year ago, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Arts and Humanities to spur investment and alignment of arts and culture across the federal government, make art more accessible to people from underserved communities, elevate new voices through the arts and humanities, and expand opportunities for artists and scholars. The Executive Order also re-established the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. 

In the meeting, Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden highlighted the anniversary of the 2022 Executive Order and discussed how arts and humanities are essential to a thriving democracy and should be integrated across federal agencies. NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson discussed current federal opportunities for the arts, including the administration’s focus on equity and justice, climate, the urgent need to repair our democracy, and challenges facing the arts sector in the wake of the pandemic. Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Steve Benjamin spoke about the value of engaging artists directly and bringing communities together through the arts. HHS Secretary Becerra highlighted the intersection of arts and health and well-being as well as NEA and HHS collaboration such as the new interagency working group on Arts, Health, and Civic Infrastructure. Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu discussed how we can connect artist workforce programs to the administration’s unprecedented bipartisan infrastructure law investments, ensuring infrastructure design is responsive to place and that it engages local communities. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo) discussed the importance of knowing our past to strive for a better future.

Learn more about the convening here.