Tue., May 8, 2012 4:24pm (EDT)

NEA Chair Praises Macon
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman speaks to reporters in Macon (photo Josephine Bennett)
National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman speaks to reporters in Macon (photo Josephine Bennett)
The nation’s top arts official visited Macon. National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman was there to talk about the impact arts make on the community.

It’s Landesman’s first official visit to Georgia since being named chair by President Obama in 2009. He spoke to a packed audience at the Grand Opera House, in Macon for the Georgia Arts Network’s annual conference.

He says Macon has a committed political structure and everything else it needs for the arts to thrive.

“You need a committed private sector, foundations, philanthropy, corporations, individuals that are committed to the arts and care. And the one thing you have to have, you can’t do without, is some sort of history of artistic activity.”

Landesman says funding for the arts is always an issue. Recently Congress cut $22-million from the National Endowment's nearly $150-million dollar budget. This year 13 Georgia arts organizations received $2.5 million dollars in grants from the N.E.A.