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Statement Announcing Appointments to the National Council on the Arts

October 27, 1970

IN ANNOUNCING the appointment of Maurice Abravanel, Kenneth Dayton, Charles Eames, Virginia Gerity, James Earl Jones, Charles McWhorter, Beverly Sills Greenough, E. Leland Webber, and Robert E. Wise to the National Council on the Arts, I wish to reemphasize the importance I place on the work of the Council.

The arts are playing an increasingly significant part in American life, not just in a few great centers but throughout the Nation. When I asked Congress last year to extend the life and substantially increase the funding of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, I noted that: "The arts have attained a prominence in our life as a nation and in our consciousness as individuals, that renders their health and growth vital to our national well-being."

The National Council on the Arts will have a key role in determining how Federal funds are to be used in order to bring more artistic enrichment into the lives of more people in more places. In a broader sense, the Council will be addressing itself continually to the question of how the Federal Government can best assist the arts and encourage the vital sources of private support.

With the current upsurge of interest in what has come to be called "the quality of life," we all should give special recognition to the role the arts play in enhancing that quality. They are vehicles of understanding, and of appreciation; they bring into our lives the priceless leaven of beauty, of harmony, and of spiritual fulfillment. Life without art would be drab indeed. By giving encouragement to the arts we can contribute substantially to the enrichment of our lives as a people and as a nation.

Note: An announcement of the appointments with biographical information on the Council members was released by the White House on the same day and is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, p. 1464).

Richard Nixon, Statement Announcing Appointments to the National Council on the Arts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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