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...]

NEA wants to end Jazz Masters program

The National Endowment of the Arts' FY-12 Appropriations Request has just been posted, and cuts $21 million to return to its 2008 funding level. Among program "modifications": the establishment of "American Artists of the Year awards," which will "remove specific reference to Jazz, Folk, and Opera" and give discipline awards annually in two categories:Performing Arts: Dance/Music/Opera/Musical Theater/Theater  Visual Arts: Design/Media Arts/Museums/Visual Arts (including crafts)This evidently means the end of the Jazz Masters Fellowships, … [Read more...]

Journalist, yes. “Jazz” journalist — why?

Hank Shteamer, writer-on-music at Time Out New York and blogger at Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches, writes "I am not a jazz journalist" in response to "The State of Jazz Journalism Now and Immediate Prospects" town hall meeting at the Jazz Journalists Association's "New Media for New Jazz" conference yesterday (Jan 8). He doesn't deny that he loves jazz and writes about it, but considers putting the title off an insistence for diversity. I'm president of the JJA and a jazz journalist -- among other things. My response to him follows; not … [Read more...]