Dana Gioia Confirmed for Second Term as Chairman of National Endowment for the Arts
December 11, 2006
Washington, DC -- National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia received unanimous confirmation from the Senate today for his reappointment as leader of the NEA, marking the beginning of the chairman's second, four-year term. President George W. Bush sent his reappointment of Mr. Gioia to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on September 30, 2006 where it was also approved unanimously.
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.
Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 book Can Poetry Matter?, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. He is also a prolific literary anthologist. His anthology, Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, co-edited with X.J. Kennedy, is the best-selling college literary textbook in America.
Gioia was also a long-time commentator on American culture and literature for BBC Radio. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate and The Hudson Review. He has also written two opera libretti, including Nosferatu (2001), with composer Alva Henderson. The libretto was published by Graywolf Press and the opera performed by Opera Idaho and recorded by Rimrock Opera Company.
Chairman Gioia's tenure at the NEA has been defined by a significant expansion in vision and programming for the agency. He inaugurated the agency's national initiatives, a series of programs in different disciplines that provide excellent and varied arts experiences for audiences across the country.
Chairman Gioia has placed great emphasis on NEA-sponsored research, which has helped shape public dialogue on the arts. The 2004 report "Reading at Risk" sounded a warning bell on the decline of literary reading in America and has inspired a nationwide conversation about this vital topic. That report was a major impetus for the creation of The Big Read.
During Chairman Gioia’s tenure, the agency’s budget has increased each year. For FY06, the budget is $124.4 million, up $9 million from 2002 when he took office.The chairman has earned the respect of many members of Congress resulting in strong bipartisan support of the agency’s work. In addition, he has developed strong public/private partnerships that have brought added financial resources to the agency’s national initiatives.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency