President Clinton has announced that he is revitalizing the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and appointed John Brademas, a former president of New York University and a former congressman from Indiana, as its chairman.
Clinton named 32 other people to serve as members of the committee; among them were violinist Isaac Stern, musician Quincy Jones, actress Rita Moreno and playwright David Henry Hwang. The president said his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, would be the honorary chairwoman.The committee was established in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan to help increase private support for the arts and the humanities.
Clinton said he would ask the new committee members to support cultural programs that reach young people, expand philanthropic assistance for the humanities and the arts, encourage international cultural exchanges and develop new resources in the private sector for assistance to cultural organizations.
"At a time when our society faces new and profound challenges, when we are losing so many of our children and when so many people feel insecure in the face of change," Clinton said, "the arts and the humanities are fundamental to our lives as individuals and as a nation."
The president also named three vice chairmen of the committee: Peggy Cooper Cafritz, who heads the Ellington Fund, the fund-raising arm of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington; Cynthia Perrin Schneider, an associate professor of fine arts at Georgetown University, and Terry Semel, the chairman of Warner Brothers.
Noting that federal, state and local governments together provide only a small percentage of the support essential to the United States' cultural life, the president said "these appointments underscore the vital partnership between the government and the private citizens who do so much to enrich and preserve the arts and humanities in our country."
Brademas was a congressman from 1959 to 1981; he was a sponsor of the National Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, legislation that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.