NEA ends Jazz, Folk, Opera awards for “full range of American artists”

National Endowment for the Arts' FY-12 budget eliminates a 30-year-old Jazz Masters Awards program, and special recognition with National Heritage Fellowships and Opera honors, in favor of Artist of the Year Awards available for the entire spectrum of performing artists (all forms of music and theater as one). Here's the NEA's statement, issued through a spokesperson, regarding its "modification of honorifics," in response to some issues I alluded to yesterday, which seem sure to reverberate with diverse effects throughout the U.S.'s far-flung … [Read more...]

Who decides who’s an NEA Jazz Master

The National Endowment of the Arts panel determining recipients of the annual Jazz Masters Fellowships is a small one. In the interest of transparency, the NEA has supplied the names of panelists who chose the class of '09. It comprises five previously named Fellows, one "layperson," one independent record producer, and two longtime jazz adminstrator-activists (who both happen to be honorees of the Jazz Journalists Association's "A Team").Of course, if John McCain becomes president, it's all moot (as Lee Rosenbaum reports, the GOP has no arts … [Read more...]