Abstract

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

In contributing to the National Arts Policy Archive and Library (NAPAAL), the NEA has authorized SCUA to digitize nearly forty years of publications on the arts and arts management. The collection reflects the impact of the arts (including music, literature, and the performing arts) on the everyday lives of Americans and include materials intended to support individual and classroom education, information on arts management, and reports on the status of the arts, along with several histories of the organization. The collection has been organized into fourteen categories reflecting the programs and priorities of the NEA, and some titles cross-listed. All titles are catalogued in the UMass Amherst Libraries online catalog and are included in the Internet Archive, where they are available for full-text searching.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275
413-545-2780
National Endowment for the Arts Collection
1970-2013
5 boxes (7.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 686

Background on the NEA

NEA logo, 2013

NEA logo, 2013

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the federal government that seeks to promote the arts and contribute to the growth and development of American culture. Over its existence, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. It extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

In his recent history of the NEA, Mark Bauerlein noted that from its inception the NEA was intended "to nurture American creativity, to elevate the nation's culture, and to sustain and preserve the country's many artistic traditions." Unlike previous federal efforts to promote the arts such as the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, it was neither a response to economic crisis nor aligned with any specific social or political agenda beyond bringing art to the people of our nation and nurturing our artistic creativity.

The immediate plans for the NEA were first proposed under the administration of John F. Kennedy. In January 1963, a group of Democratic senators introduced SR165 "to establish a U.S. National Arts Foundation," and in May, one month after August Hecksher published a seminal report on "The Arts and the National Government," Hubert Humphrey introduced SR 1316 "to establish a National Council on the Arts and a National Arts Foundation to assist the growth and development of the arts in the U.S." With bi-partisan support and Hecksher's vision in place, the President's Advisory Council on the Arts was established soon thereafter.

Delayed by the assassination of the president, the arts agency took a significant step forward on December 20, 1963, when the Senate passed SR 2379, effectively combining the two previous bills. Less than three weeks later, Rep. Frank Thompson of NJ introduced two bills into the House: HR 9586 "to provide for the establishment of a National Council on the Arts to assist in the growth and development of the arts in the U.S." and HR 9587 "to provide for the establishment of a National Council on the Arts and a National Arts Foundation to assist in the growth and development of the arts in the United States." HR 9586 passed in the House on Aug. 20, with the Senate agreeing on voice vote the next day, and the bull was signed into law by Pres. Johnson on Sept. 3. When signed into law, the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act stated:

"While no government can call a great artist or scholar into existence, it is necessary and appropriate for the Federal Government to help create and sustain not only a climate encouraging freedom of thought, imagination, and inquiry, but also the material conditions facilitating the release of this creative talent."

The impact of the NEA has been both substantial and sustained. By the year 2000, the NEA reported that it had awarded over 110,000 grants to artists and arts organizations, fueling a ten-fold growth of state and local agencies, and an increase in the number of non-profit theatre companies from 56 in 1965 to 340; symphony orchestras from 980 to 1,800, and opera companies from 27 to 113.

Contents of Collection

In contributing to the National Arts Policy Archive and Library (NAPAAL), the NEA has authorized SCUA to digitize nearly forty years of publications on the arts and arts management. The collection reflects the impact of the arts (including music, literature, and the performing arts) on the everyday lives of Americans and include materials intended to support individual and classroom education, information on arts management, and reports on the status of the arts, along with several histories of the organization. The collection has been organized into fourteen categories reflecting the programs and priorities of the NEA, and some titles cross-listed.

All titles are catalogued in the UMass Amherst Libraries online catalog and are included in the Internet Archive, where they are available for full-text searching. In late 2013, the files will be made publicly available and preserved through UMass's online digital repository, Credo.

Series descriptions
1970-2009
40 titles

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. As of 2013, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

See additional information about the NEA

1985-2003
3 titles

The NEA Office for Accessibility is the advocacy-technical assistance arm of the Arts Endowment to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people living in institutions.

See additional information on accessibility and the NEA.

1990-2009
96 titles

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to providing leadership in arts education and to enhancing the quality of and access to arts education for our nation's young people.

See additional information on arts education and the NEA.

1993-2007
3 titles

American dance is encyclopedic in scope and international in its aesthetic traditions. The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to advancing the nation's full range of dance artistry.

See additional information on dance and the NEA.

1972-2013
74 titles

From the typeface on this page to the neighborhood in which you live, every object and place is the result of design. Design surrounds us and has a direct impact on the quality of our lives.

See additional information on design and the NEA.

12 titles

The folk and traditional arts are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region. These vital and constantly reinvigorated artistic traditions are shaped by values and standards of excellence that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation, and practice.

See additional information on folk and traditional arts and the NEA.

1972-2008
80 titles

Through its literature, a nation expresses its hopes and fears, and tells its stories to its citizens and to the world. The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to providing opportunities for Americans to make literature a more important part of their daily lives.

See additional information on literature and the NEA.

1995
1 title

Media arts includes screen-based and print projects presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, video game consoles, transmedia storytelling, and satellite as well as media-related printed books, catalogues, and journals.

See additional information on media arts and the NEA.

22 titles

The National Endowment for the Arts supports museums and other exhibiting institutions and organizations that that exhibit, preserve, and interpret visual material through exhibitions, residencies, publications, commissions, public art works, conservation, documentation, services to the field, and public programs.

See additional information on museums and the NEA.

17 titles

The National Endowment for the Arts recognizes and supports a wide range of music, from classical to contemporary to America's indigenous jazz. It supports both performing ensembles and music presenting institutions including chamber music ensembles, choruses, early music programs, jazz ensembles, music festivals, and symphony orchestras.

See additional information on music and the NEA.

93 titles

The NEA works with more than 20 other federal agencies, state and local governments, state and regional arts agencies, and private nonprofits on projects that provide opportunities for thousands of Americans to experience quality arts programming throughout the country.

See additional information on NEA partnerships.

In addition to traditional presenting programs, this area supports artistic works and events that present multiple disciplines, combine and/or integrate art forms, explore boundaries between art disciplines, fuse or transcend disciplines, and look to new forms of expression.

See additional information on multidisciplinary arts and the NEA.

1977-2007
45 titles

Research into the value and impact of the arts is a core function of the National Endowment for the Arts. Through accurate, relevant, and timely analyses and reports, the NEA elucidates the factors, conditions, and characteristics of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts on other domains of American life.

See additional information on research and the NEA.

9 titles

The National Endowment for the Arts seeks to fund groundbreaking, innovative theater and musical theater in the American spirit that is bold, passionate, profound, creative, and engaging and that demonstrates serious, exceptional, and rigorous aesthetic values.

See additional information on theater and the NEA.

Collection inventory
About the NEA
1970-2013
40 titles

Box 4: 27
Arts Education
1990-2009
96 titles

Box 2: 19a

Box 2: 22b

Box 2: 22a
Design
1972-2013
74 titles

Box 4: 28

Box 5: 32

Box 5: 13
1983

Box 5: 53
Literature
1972-2008
80 titles

Box 3: 6

Box 2: 19a
2004

Box 2: 20

Box 2: 22b

Box 2: 22a
Museums and Visual Arts
1976-2008
22 titles

Box 4: 28

Box 4: 11
Music, Opera, and Jazz
1987-2013
17 titles

Box NEA:

Box 2: 18
Partnership Programs
1972-2008
93 titles

Box 3: 6

Box 4: 15a

Box 2: 18

Box 2: 22b

Box 2: 22a
Presenting and Multidisciplinary Arts
1972
1 title
Research
1977-2007
45 titles
Administrative information
Provenance

Gift of the National Endowment for the Arts, 2012-2013.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2013.

Bibliography

For the most recent history of the NEA, see Mark Bauerline, ed., National Endowment for the Arts, 1965-2000: A History, 1965-2008 (2009).

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: National Endowment for the Arts Collection (MS 686). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Art and state.
  • Arts--Management.
  • Barrier-free design.
  • Dance.
  • Government aid to the arts.
  • Jazz.
  • Museums--United States.
  • Music--Education.
  • Poetry.
  • Reading.
Names
  • Gioia, Dana.
  • National Endowment for the Arts.