Statement from the National Endowment for the Arts on the Passing of Claiborne Pell
The National Endowment for the Arts mourns the passing on January 1 of former U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell. Perhaps no single person had as much influence on the founding and early history of the NEA as Senator Pell. Beginning in 1963, he oversaw hearings on legislation to create the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities noting, "...as our cultural life is enhanced and strengthened, so does it project itself into the world beyond our shores." In addition to being a key force in the Arts Endowment’s inception in 1965, Senator Pell was a staunch supporter of the agency throughout his congressional tenure. Our arts organizations, arts educators, and the nation’s two million artists owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. We have lost a powerful advocate and a fine public servant.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency