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Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson Nominated to be Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

President Joseph R. Biden nominated Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, of Los Angeles, California, as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She will be the nation’s first African American and Mexican American to be appointed as NEA chair. The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that support research, education, and development across the arts through partnerships with state and local leaders, and the philanthropic sector. NEA works to affirm and celebrate America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and promote equal access to art resources and programs in communities across the nation.

About Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson

For more than 25 years, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson’s work has focused on understanding and elevating arts, culture, and design as critical elements of healthy communities. Her work blends social science, arts, and humanities-based approaches to comprehensive community development, systems change, program and policy evaluation, and applied research. Dr. Jackson has a long career in strategic planning, policy research, and evaluation with philanthropy, government, and nonprofit organizations. Her work appears in a wide range of professional and academic publications, and she has been a speaker at scores of national and international conferences. She has served as an advisor on philanthropic programs and investments at national, regional, and local foundations. Dr. Jackson is a tenured Institute Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) at Arizona State University, where she also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

In 2013, President Obama appointed Dr. Jackson to the National Council on the Arts. Dr. Jackson was co-chair of the County of Los Angeles Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and continues to serve as an advisory board member. She is currently on the advisory boards of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; the Equity Center at the University of Virginia; the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC); and L.A. Commons, an arts intermediary organization focused on bridging communities through stories and creative practice. She serves on the board of directors of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (The Music Center), the Association of Arts Administration Educators, and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. For 18 years, Dr. Jackson was at the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based national public policy research organization, and founding director of UI’s Culture, Creativity and Communities Program.  Dr. Jackson earned a PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master of public administration degree from the University of Southern California.

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