Release Date: April 9, 2008
NEA chairman visits Kennesaw State, hosts grant workshop
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(Above) From left KSU College of the Arts Dean Joseph Meeks, KSU President Daniel S. Papp and NEA chairman Dana Gioia
Photos by Steve Thackston
(Below) From left Gioia, Papp and Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey viewing selections from KSU's rare book gallery
KENNESAW, Ga.--Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey welcomed the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts‚ Dana Gioia‚ to campus on April 4 as Kennesaw State University hosted an NEA grant−writing workshop. The visit ended with a tour of the state−of−the−art Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center.
Gingrey and Gioia‚ accompanied by KSU President Daniel S. Papp‚ addressed about 200 workshop participants from school systems and arts organizations in Gingrey’s 11th District. The turnout was the largest since the NEA‚ the largest source of funding for the arts and arts education in the country‚ started offering the workshops in 2002‚ said the NEA.
KSU is the largest recipient of NEA funds in Gingrey’s district. In the past three years‚ the College of the Arts has received $30‚000 in grants for community outreach for its art galleries and music concerts. Prior to 2004‚ Gioia said‚ no NEA grants were awarded in the district.
The NEA‚ with a budget of $145 million‚ offers grants for projects that provide hands−on learning in the arts for children and youth; help preserve cultural traditions through exhibits; and present works of art.
Gingrey introduced Gioia‚ an award−wining poet who has been NEA chairman since 2003‚ to workshop participants as a poet and literary critic who also translates poetry from Latin‚ Italian and German. “I can’t even understand it in English‚” Gingrey joked.
During the visit Friday morning‚ Papp welcomed Gingrey and Gioia‚ as well as Susan Weiner‚ executive director of the Georgia Council for the Arts‚ and Earl Smith‚ chairman of the Cobb−Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority‚ to the Art Gallery in the Sturgis Library to view the Senior Art Exhibition. Then‚ they visited the Bentley Rare Book Gallery‚ where they examined several volumes‚ including a 1542 edition of “Chaucer’s Works‚” the most valuable book in the collection‚ and a 1502 edition of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”
Later‚ College of the Arts Dean Joseph Meeks gave the distinguished guests a personal tour of the $9 million Bailey Center‚ which opened last fall. There‚ they visited the D. Russell Clayton Gallery to see the Athos Menaboni painting exhibit and toured the concert hall. They were treated to a brief performance by voice professor Oral Moses‚ who sang to demonstrate the quality of the hall’s acoustics.
Gingrey spokesman Chris Jackson said the congressman was impressed with the Bailey Center and called it a “crowning jewel” for northwest Atlanta.
Gioia’s presence at the onset of the workshop underscored his vision to bring the best of the arts and arts education to all Americans.
“That is an impossible task‚” he said. When he took over as chairman in 2003‚ he said he realized “we did not reach everywhere in the United States.”
“We should be wherever Americans are‚” Gioia said.
Gioia‚ who was reappointed in 2006‚ talked about the importance of funding the arts in a free society and about their economic impact. The arts‚ he said‚ generate $7 to $8 for every dollar of public funds invested.
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 20,000 from 132 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.