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Statement on Appointing Nancy Hanks as Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts.

September 03, 1969

ONE OF THE IMPORTANT goals of my administration is the further advance in the cultural development of our Nation. We build on strong foundations; in almost every artistic field our country has had monumental achievement in this century. But the Federal Government has a vital role as catalyst, innovator, and supporter of public and private efforts for cultural development and its specific agency for this purpose is the National Endowment for the Arts, to which I have today appointed Miss Nancy Hanks of New York as Chairman. I anticipate that soon she will be joined by a deputy of equal stature.

Miss Hanks has my full confidence and will have my full cooperation.

The concept of the National Endowment for the Arts accords with the administration's policy of stimulating State action through Federal incentive. It is to be noted that a most important part of the national arts program is support of the arts councils of the various States. One major result of the activities of the Endowment is that every State now has an arts council.

Also, the Endowment seeks to assist both public and private cultural activities worthy of its support which would otherwise fall below the margin of feasibility. This cooperation with public entities on State and local levels and with private activities is another tenet of this administration.

Finally, the Endowment is designed to give special attention to areas of the country which would not otherwise be adequately reached by modern development in arts, theater, design, and other cultural activities; and this again--the broadening and deepening of the intellectual and cultural life of all areas of our country--is a fundamental objective of this administration.

It is my expectation that the States, colleges and universities, civic groups, and public cultural institutions at every level will both see and seize this new, historic opportunity for realizing the finest qualities of artistic creativity and enjoyment throughout our country. I shall hope to give leadership to this effort and urge the Congress to do the same, so that we may have the full benefit of what is for us a relatively new governmental activity in the cultural field but which has vital importance for the welfare of our people and the future of our Nation.

Note: The statement was released at San Clemente, Calif., together with a White House announcement of the appointment containing biographical information on Miss Hanks, and the text of a news conference she held on September 3, 1969.

Miss Hanks was confirmed by the Senate on October 2, 1969.

Richard Nixon, Statement on Appointing Nancy Hanks as Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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