Senate Confirms Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson as NEA Chair

December 18, 2021

Photo credit: David K. Riddick

Today, the U.S. Senate approved President Biden’s nomination of Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson to lead the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Dr. Jackson is highly knowledgeable about the agency, having served on the National Council on the Arts during the presidency of Barack Obama. She is a tenured professor with the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, where she heads the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities. She has held positions with the Kresge Foundation and the Urban Institute and has served on many notable arts and culture boards, including the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the National Performance Network, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Fund for Folk Culture. She was an inaugural cochair of Los Angeles County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative Advisory Committee. Her confirmation is historic, as she is the first African American and Mexican American to lead the NEA.

The NASAA membership, board and staff stand ready to collaborate with Dr. Jackson as she assumes her new leadership post. In the coming days, NASAA will reach out to all of the states and territories to coordinate welcome activities. We are thrilled that Dr. Jackson already is familiar with state arts agencies, and NASAA looks forward to diving into conversations with her about how states and regions help the NEA to further advance its priorities around equity, COVID-19 recovery and community well-being. We’ll also look for opportunities to connect NASAA members with Dr. Jackson, to facilitate the strong federal-state partnership that is so beneficial across all of the 56 states and jurisdictions.