NEA Head Hopes to Continue in Bush Administration

Halfway through his four-year term as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts , Bill Ivey is hoping to continue as head of the agency in the new Bush administration, the Boston Herald reports.

NEA chairs are appointed for a term but, according to the Herald, often don't survive a change of administration.

"That usually means when someone new comes in, they put in their own people," said Tom Birch, legislative director for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies . "But Bill Ivey is someone who has done an extraordinary job in working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to demonstrate how federal support for the arts works in all states of the country. We may happily find that the Bush administration would be comfortable with Ivey."

The subject of heated debate in Congress during Bill Clinton's first term, the NEA under Ivey has established politically popular priorities, including arts education and community-based programs as well as preservation of cultural treasures. The agency received a $7 million funding increase last year, its first since 1992.

"This is a job anyone who cares about art and culture would want," Ivey told the Herald. "There are things I have worked on in the past two years that I would like to continue and expand."

A decision on whether to replace Ivey might not be made for six months to a year, experts say.

Mary Jo Palumbo. "NEA Chairman Ivey Hopes He'll Grow on Bush Administration" Boston Herald 01/10/2001.