National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Deliver New Hampshire Institute of Art 2017 Commencement Address
The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) announced today that its 2017 commencement speaker will be National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu. Chairman Chu has a deep understanding of and commitment to the arts, and has long been an advocate for the transformative potential of the arts in communities across America.
“We’re honored to have Chairman Chu address our graduates and their families from across the nation,” said NHIA president Kent Devereaux. “Her commitment on behalf of the arts and the role they play in fostering a vibrant, creative, and healthy democracy is unquestioned, and the life lessons she can share with our students from her unique perspective as the child of immigrant parents who has risen to a position of national prominence will be invaluable.”
Chairman Chu will also receive an honorary doctorate at the commencement ceremony, which will take place at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover Street, in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday, May 21 at 2 p.m.
“I’m honored to participate in the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s commencement,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “This will be a time to celebrate the future roles that these graduates will play in connecting the arts to individuals and communities, as a result of their education.”
This year’s commencement will represent the third year in the college’s 119-year history that the New Hampshire Institute of Art confers graduate degrees on students from its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Art in Art Education (MAAE.) programs participating in the ceremony in addition to almost 100 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students.
About Chairman Jane Chu
Jane Chu is the eleventh chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She studied music growing up, and received bachelor's degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University, and master's degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Chu holds a master's degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a PhD in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.
Since her appointment as Chairman of the NEA in 2014, Chu has overseen the awarding of more than $240 million in grants, the issuance of new research reports on arts participation and the impact of the arts and cultural industries on the nation's gross domestic product, and personally traveled to hundreds of communities across the nation to see first-hand how the arts are impacting people and places.
From 2006 to 2014, Chu served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, overseeing a $413-million campaign to build the center. She was a fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. Previously, she was vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation from 1997 to 2002.