Arizona State University Scholar Is the New Head of the National Endowment for the Arts

Maria Rosario Jackson, an Institute Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is the new chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Professor Jackson, who is of Mexican American and African American descent, also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State. She is taking leave from her faculty duties while she serves as head of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“My commitment to the arts began at home,” Professor Jackson said. “My father, who retired from the U.S. Postal Service, and my mother, who worked for Los Angeles Unified School District, looked to the arts to teach my brother and me about the richness of our cultures. They wanted us to be proud of our origins and curious about the histories, struggles, and aspirations of other people, aware of our similarities, our differences, and our shared humanity. I have brought those same values to the work I have done throughout my career as a professor, researcher, board member, advisor, and administrator committed to understanding and advancing how arts and culture help build healthy, opportunity-rich communities.”

The NEA is in the midst of efforts to help arts and culture groups that are reeling from the effects of the pandemic shutdown. In 2020, Congress gave $75 million to the NEA through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The American Rescue Plan appropriated another $135 million to the endowment. In addition, the NEA has created a guide to reopening for arts organizations, which offers data and best practices.

The pandemic has opened the door for re-imagination at the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Jackson said. “I think the arts endowment is in a position to listen and learn from what is happening around the country and find ways, in addition to regular grant-making and extraordinary grant-making related to the pandemic specifically, figure out what that is. We’re not going back to what people think is normal.”

Professor Jackson holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Students at Three HBCUs in New Orleans to Participate in Power of Prosperity Initiative

The Power of Prosperity program will help remove barriers to students’ academic success by providing students and their families with free access to financial support and resources.

Yale University Scholar Wins Early Career Physics Award

Charles D. Brown II, an assistant professor of physics at Yale University, has been selected as the winner the Joseph A. Johnson Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Physics and the National Society of Black Physicists.

Three African Americans Appointed to New Administrative Posts at Universities

Arthur Lumzy Jr. is the new director of student career preparedness at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Sandra L. Barnes was named associate provost for undergraduate education and student success at Alcorn State University in Mississippi and Roberto Campos-Marquetti has been appointed assistant vice president for staff and labor relations at Duke University.

North Carolina A&T State University to Debut New Graduate Programs in Criminal Justice

The university's criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs are designed to provide high-quality graduate education and training in criminal justice with the four areas of specialization: investigative science, digital forensics, research methodology, and social justice.

Featured Jobs