Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Council on the Arts

January 16, 1969

To the Congress of the United States:

It gives me great pride to transmit the Annual Report of the National Endowment for the Arts for Fiscal 1968--the second full year of its existence.

Guided by the imaginative and expert recommendations of the National Council on the Arts, as well as by outside panels of cultural leaders across the country, the National Endowment for the Arts lists among its Fiscal 1968 programs some outstanding accomplishments:

--The American Film Institute was created, placing America at last alongside other leading nations in nurturing the art of the film. The Institute was further aided by a $1.3 million gift from the Ford Foundation, and an additional $1.3 million from member companies of the Motion Picture Association of America.

--The first major national artists' housing center has been launched through the cooperation of the Endowment, the J. M. Kaplan Fund, Inc., the Department of Housing and Urban Development , and New York City municipal authorities.

--The first issue of The American Literary Anthology, the first such anthology ever published in this country, has been printed. It contains the best writing from nearly 300 literary magazines of limited circulation, and marks the first official recognition of the invaluable role played by these small magazines in encouraging literary talent across our country.

--A new partnership has been launched between labor unions, community arts organizations, and the Federal Government. An Arts Endowment Grant will enable the AFL-CIO Council for Scientific, Professional and Cultural Employees to develop arts demonstration projects in four American cities.

--Last summer, the Arts Council, in cooperation with the President's Council on Youth Opportunity, drew thousands of inner city residents into arts activities and workshops, many for the first time, in 16 of America's largest cities.

--The Endowment has strengthened its ties and its cooperation with official State arts agencies which utilized Endowment grants to launch 1,100 projects in Fiscal 1968. These projects were conceived and directed by the State agencies, with their own particular knowledge of their States' cultural resources and needs.

When I transmitted the Arts and Humanities bill to Congress in 1965, I stated:

"This Congress will consider many programs which will leave an enduring mark on American life. But it may well be that passage of this legislation, modest as it is, will help secure for this Congress a sure and honored place in the story of the advance of our civilization."

The impressive record established during the short lifetime of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Council on the Arts surely serves to underline and emphasize that statement. I know that the Congress shares with me great pride in having launched this historic new program which has already done so much to enrich the quality of American life.

Through the efforts of the Endowment-for the first time in the history of the country-the Federal Government has joined with industry, private foundations, individuals, labor unions, and State and local governments in an unprecedented effort to aid America's creative talents. Such a partnership deserves your continued support and encouragement, and I commend this report to your attention.


The White House

January 16, 1969

Lyndon B. Johnson, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Council on the Arts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives