Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, began a tour of Dallas arts groups Monday. She watched a performance at Dallas Black Dance Theatre and spoke with members of the board. She visited Raul Quintanilla Middle School to learn about an after-school program coordinated by Big Thought, the arts-and-education non-profit. Both Dallas Black Dance and Big Thought have received NEA grants.
Chu has a master’s degree in music from SMU, and before being appointed head of the endowment by President Obama, she was president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. So Chu is aware of the changes in downtown Dallas and has helped both build and lead a performing arts center. Today she will address the Dallas Arts District Community Breakfast – and then she’ll tour the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony and the Dallas Opera.
Chu said, “We’re so appreciative of what the Dallas Arts District has done. They spark the vitality not only of individuals, they also bring communities together. There’s all kinds of spillover benefits related to the ways arts make us want to live in a certain place.”
Chu wouldn’t speculate about her future or the NEA’s under the Trump administration. She said she’s concentrating on her job, which is letting people know the arts belong to everyone.
Chu will talk about the NEA with Krys Boyd on Think at noon Tuesday on KERA.