Bennett College is a private four-year black liberal arts college for women in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was founded in 1873 as a normal school to educate freedmen and train both men and women as teachers. Coed, in 1926 it became a four-year women's college, it is one of two black colleges that enroll only women. It served 470 undergraduate students at the time. In 1956 Willa Beatrice Player was installed as the first African-American woman president of an accredited, four-year liberal arts college, she encouraged her students as activists in issues of the day. Beginning in 1960, Bennett students took part in the successful campaign in Greensboro to integrate white lunch counters at local variety stores; the college expanded its academic classes related to women's leadership. In December 2018, the college's regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, announced that it intended to revoke Bennett College's accreditation; the college had been on probation for two years due to its considerable financial challenges.
The college launched an emergency funding campaign and Progress for Bennett, to raise at least $5 million. By February, the campaign raised $8.2 million. On February 18th, 2019 the accreditor withdrew accreditation from the college despite fundraising efforts. Bennett College was founded August 1, 1873 as a normal school for seventy African-American men and women; the school's founder Albion W. Tourgee was an activist in the second half of the 19th century who championed the cause of racial equality; the school held its inaugural classes in the basement of Warnersville Methodist Episcopal Church North in Greensboro. Bennett was coeducational and offered both high school and college-level courses, in an effort to compensate for the lack of educational opportunity for many blacks; the year after its founding, the school became sponsored by the Freedman's Aid Society and Southern Education Society of the northern Methodist Episcopal Church. Bennett remained affiliated for 50 years with the Freedman's Aid Society.
In 1878, freedmen purchased land for a future college campus. Hearing of what was being done, New York businessman Lyman Bennett provided $10,000 in funding to build a permanent campus. Bennett died soon thereafter, the school was named Bennett Seminary and a bell was created in his honor. Hearing of Bennett's philanthropy his coworkers continued his mission by providing the bell for the school. In 1888, Bennett Seminary elected its first African-American president, the Reverend Charles N. Grandison. Grandison spearheaded a successful drive to have the school chartered as a four-year college in 1889. Two of the first African-American bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church were graduates of the college, including Robert Elijah Jones, an 1895 graduate and brother of future president David Dallas Jones. Under the direction of Reverend Grandison and succeeding President Jordan Chavis, Bennett College grew from 11 undergraduate students to a total of 251 undergraduates by 1905; the enrollment leveled out in the 1910s at 300.
In 1916, a survey conducted by the Phelps-Stokes Foundation recommended Bennett College be converted to a college for women. The Women's Home Missionary Society, which had supported women at the college since 1886, had found that there was not a four-year college for African-American women only, sought a school for that mission. North Carolina Board of Education offered Bennett College. After ten years, during which it studied other locations and conducted fundraising, the Women's Home Missionary Society and the NC Board of Education decided to develop the college in its current location. Bennett transitioned as a women's college in 1926. Note: The Women's Home Missionary Society's on-campus involvement with Bennett women dates back to 1886. In 1926, David Dallas Jones was installed as president of the new women's college. Under his leadership, the college expanded, reaching an enrollment of 400, it became known in the black community as the Vassar College of the south, Jones recruited faculty and student body, from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Although his leadership of the college was accomplished, it was marked with controversy. In 1937, Bennett students protested downtown Greensboro movie theaters because of the depictions of black women in film and segregation of movie theaters. President Jones' daughter Frances Jones, a freshwoman, led the protest; this protest during the Great Depression, with Jim Crow ruling in the South, was a catalyst for Jones to be visited by the FBI and other government agencies. They were concerned about communist and leftist activities and ordered him to prohibit the students from protesting. Jones refused. At his invitation, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt came to the college on March 22, 1945 to meet with an integrated group of school children from Greensboro. Other visitors to the campus included former Morehouse College president. Jones led the college for 30 years until he became ill in 1955, when he named Willa B. Player interim president. Note: In October 1956, Willa Beatrice Player was inaugurated as President of Bennett College.
She was the first African-American woman to be president of a four-year accr
Upsala College was a private college affiliated with the Swedish-American Augustana Synod and located in East Orange in Essex County, New Jersey in the United States. Upsala was founded in 1893 in Brooklyn, in New York City, moved to Kenilworth, to East Orange in 1924. In the 1970s, Upsala considered moving to Wantage Township in rural Sussex County as East Orange's crime problem and social conditions deteriorated. However, college administration and trustees chose to remain committed to East Orange. Declining enrollment and financial difficulties forced the school to close in 1995. Upsala College was founded at the 1893 annual meeting of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America, known as the Augustana Synod—a Lutheran church body with roots in the Swedish immigrant community; the Augustana Synod placed an emphasis on mission and social service. Meeting at Augustana College in Rock Island, the polity decided to open the college in Brooklyn, New York, in October 1893; the Synod chose the Rev. Lars Herman Beck, as the college's first president.
Beck, a Swedish immigrant to the United States, had received his Ph. D. from Yale University in the previous year and turned down a teaching position at Yale to assume the post at Upsala. The name Upsala was chosen to honor both the historic Uppsala University in Sweden and the Meeting of Uppsala; that 1593 meeting—exactly 300 years before the founding of Upsala College—firmly established Lutheran Orthodoxy in Sweden after the attempts by King John III to reintroduce Roman Catholic liturgy. On October 3, 1893, Upsala College opened in the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Bethlehem Church in Brooklyn; the first day, Beck began instruction with 16 students. By the end of the year, Upsala had 75 students. Early instruction had been in Swedish as the student body consisted of Scandinavian immigrants. In 1897, the college moved to Kenilworth, New Jersey when the "New Orange Industrial Association" offered the young school fourteen acres of land. Upsala erected its first building on the Kenilworth campus in 1899.
The college granted its first Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1905 to four students. By 1910, Upsala offered Bachelor of Arts in modern and classical languages, Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Sciences, while offering a three-year college preparatory program, instruction in music for preparing "teachers of music and choir leaders, in general to afford its students a musical education", instruction in commerce and business to "train young men and women for a business career" and in stenography for students seeking "to fill positions as stenographers and private secretaries." While the college was identified by its connexion with the Swedish Lutheran community, Upsala was the first college in New Jersey to admit women, it student body welcomed students from many other nationalities and religions. In 1908, the student body consisted of "79 Swedes, 2 Finns, 1 Jew, 1'American', 1 Chinese, 1 Korean, 1 Persian" The college moved to East Orange in 1924 after purchasing a 45-acre site in the city in the previous year.
After the passage of Title IX, Audrey Donnelly became the school's Women's Tennis Coach. In 1989, Upsala hosted the National Forensics Association national collegiate speech championship, which featured over 1,100 competitors over five days of competition. However, the surrounding community's crime rate increased, student enrollment declined throughout the late 1970s and 1980s. Upsala's men basketball team made it to the 1980 NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship, losing to North Park University, 83 to 76. During the tenure of Upsala's sixth president, Rodney O. Felder, Upsala sought to expand and acquired a 245 acres tract of land in rural Wantage Township in Sussex County in northwestern New Jersey for the construction of a second campus, called the "Wirths Campus." In 1978, the land a large family farm had been donated by Wallace "Wally" Wirths, a former Westinghouse Corporation executive, local newspaper columnist and radio commentator. Upsala did not erect any academic buildings on the property, in these formative years held classes in existing buildings.
A few graduates studied at the campus until 1992 when classes ceased and the trustees chose to remain committed to East Orange. But when the school closed down in 1995 and the school's assets were dissolved, the Wirths family bought back their farm in Wantage from the college for $75,000. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Upsala suffered from severe financial problems and a declining enrollment; the financial issues were exacerbated by students unable to pay tuition. The demographics of East Orange had changed in the aftermath of the Newark riots in the 1960s, Upsala began to enroll larger numbers of minority students—a move thought to have upset the older Caucasian alumni and donors. East Orange's tax base and socio-economic conditions continued to deteriorate with an increase in crime statistics which made the college an unattractive setting for prospective students. By the early 1990s, the student body had decreased from 1,500 to 435 when the school closed in 1995; the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools announced that as a result of the decline in academic standards and the school's ongoing financial problems, it would not be renewing Upsala College's accreditation.
On May 1, 1995, the college's board of trustees voted to close the school when its accreditation expired on May 31, 1995. The school closed with US$12,500,000 in debt; the school's ninth and last president, Paul V. DeLomba, a partner and project man
Vernacular architecture encompasses the vast majority of the world's built environment, thus resists a simple definition. It is best understood not by what it is, but what it can reveal about the culture of a people or place at any given time; the sheer range of global building types and developments--from Mongolian yurts to Japanese minka to American roadside commercial strips--suggests that vernacular architecture is everywhere, but tends to be disregarded or overlooked in traditional histories of architecture and design. As geographer Amos Rapoport has famously written, vernacular architecture constitutes 95 percent of the world's built environment: that, not designed by professional architects and engineers. While such an understanding has its limitations, it nonetheless indicates the vastness of the subject and helps us recognize that all aspects of the built environment can impart something about the society and culture of a people or place. If nothing else, vernacular architecture cannot be distilled into a series of easy-to-digest patterns, materials, or elements.
Vernacular architecture is not a style. How has vernacular architecture been understood? Quite and not always vernacular architecture is described as a built environment, based upon local needs; this is only one way to understand it, but traditionally, the study of vernacular architecture did not examine formally-schooled architects, but instead that of the design skills and tradition of local builders, who were given any attribution for the work. More vernacular architecture has been examined by designers and the building industry in an effort to be more energy conscious with contemporary design and construction--part of a broader interest in sustainable design. Vernacular architecture can be contrasted against elite or polite architecture, characterized by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements; this article covers the term traditional architecture, which exists somewhere between the two extremes yet still is based upon authentic themes.
The term vernacular means "domestic, indigenous". The word derives from an older Etruscan word; the term is borrowed from linguistics, where vernacular refers to language use particular to a time, place or group. The terms vernacular, traditional, common and popular architecture are sometimes used interchangeably. However, Allen Noble wrote a lengthy discussion of these terms in Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions where he presents scholarly opinions that folk building or folk architecture is built by "persons not professionally trained in building arts". Traditional architecture is architecture is passed down from person to person, generation to generation orally, but at any level of society, not just by common people. Noble discourages use of the term primitive architecture as having a negative connotation; the term popular architecture is used more in eastern Europe and is synonymous with folk or vernacular architecture. Although vernacular architecture might be designed by folks who do have some training in design, Ronald Brunskill has nonetheless defined vernacular architecture as:...a building designed by an amateur without any training in design.
The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally. Vernacular architecture is not to be confused with so-called "traditional" architecture, though there are links between the two. Traditional architecture includes buildings which bear elements of polite design: temples and palaces, for example, which would not be included under the rubric of "vernacular." In architectural terms,'the vernacular' can be contrasted with'the polite', characterised by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated by a professional architect for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements. Between the extremes of the wholly vernacular and the polite, examples occur which have some vernacular and some polite content making the differences between the vernacular and the polite a matter of degree.
The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World defines vernacular architecture as:...comprising the dwellings and all other buildings of the people. Related to their environmental contexts and available resources they are customarily owner- or community-built, utilizing traditional technologies. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values and ways of life of the cultures that produce them. Vernacular architecture is a broad, grassroots concept which encompasses fields of architectural study including aboriginal, ancestral and ethnic architecture and is contrasted with
Three Rivers Arts Festival
Three Rivers Arts Festival is an outdoor music and arts festival held each June in the Downtown district of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The festival features live music and performance art, as well as visual art and vendors who sell their wares; the event is centered in Point State Park. Founded in 1960 by the Women's Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the festival has presented more than 10,000 visual and performing artists. Stage performances have included Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Phillip Glass, Steven Reich, Smokey Robinson as well as literary legends Allen Ginsberg and Spalding Gray. Since 2015, the CREATE festival has been part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival; the Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery, located at 937 Liberty Avenue, is a year-round extension of the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Three Rivers Arts Festival Post-Gazette History of the Three Rivers Arts Festival Article on 25th anniversary in 1984 CREATE Festival
Chrysler Museum of Art
The Chrysler Museum of Art is an art museum on the border between downtown and the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. The museum was founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Sciences. In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. donated most of his extensive collection to the museum. This single gift expanded the museum's collection, making it one of the major art museums in the Southeastern United States. From 1958 to 1971, the Chrysler Museum of Art was a smaller museum consisting of Chrysler's personal collection and housed in the historic Center Methodist Church in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Today's museum sits on a small body of water known as The Hague; the museum's main building underwent expansion and renovation and reopened on May 10, 2014. During the renovation, the Glass Studio and the Moses Myers House remained open and art was displayed at venues throughout the community; the museum's grand reopening included the Rubber Duck floating sculpture from May 17–26, 2014. The museum had a courtyard, but during renovations in the 1980s, the courtyard was enclosed, creating Huber Court.
Concerts and events are held in Huber Court. The New York Times described the Chrysler collection as "one any museum in the world would kill for." Comprising over 30,000 objects, the collection spans over 5,000 years of world history. American and European paintings and sculpture from the Middle Ages to the present day form the core of the collection; the museum's most significant holdings include works by Tintoretto, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Salvator Rosa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Doré, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, Karen LaMonte and Franz Kline. The Chrysler Museum is home to the final sculpture of the Baroque master Gianlorenzo Bernini, a marble bust of Jesus Christ created as a gift for the artist's benefactor, Queen Christina of Sweden; the Museum houses one of the world's greatest collections of glass, distinguished holdings in the decorative arts, a fine and growing collection of photography.
The arts of the ancient world, Asia and Pre-Columbian America are well represented. The Chrysler Museum provides guided tours, films, family days, travel programs, publications; each year, over 100 Volunteer Docents welcome over 60,000 students from Hampton Roads' schools for tours at the museum. The Chrysler displays its permanent collection, several changing exhibitions including works from around the globe. Recent offerings include Rembrandt's Etchings: The Embrace and Darkness of Light, From Goya to Sorolla: Masterpieces from The Hispanic Society of America, To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Rodin: Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection and American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell; the Jean Outland Chrysler Library is one of the largest art libraries in the South. The collection covers the entire history of world art, with special emphasis on material relevant to the Chrysler's permanent collection; the library subscribes to several hundred art-related journals, has an extensive collection of current and historical auction catalogues, exchanges publications with 400 art museums around the world.
The library is named in honor of Jean Outland Chrysler, wife of the late Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. who played a leading role in its formation and expansion. The collection is based on the original holdings of the Norfolk Museum of Sciences library. In 1977, the library of the London art dealer M. Knoedler & Co. was purchased, adding major historical reference volumes and rare annotated sales catalogues. The library houses the museum's archives, which includes Mark Twain's original typescript of a speech he delivered at the Jamestown Tricentennial Exposition of 1907, a collection of papers from the Moses Myers family provides unique insights into the life of an important Tidewater merchant during the United States' early history; the Jean Outland Chrysler Library moved from the Chrysler Museum of Art into a new art building on Old Dominion University campus in 2014. In addition to its main building in downtown Norfolk, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two important historic houses; the Moses Myers House in downtown Norfolk is an example of Federal period architecture and retains 70 percent of its original contents.
The house and its furnishings allow visitors to experience first-hand the life of a prosperous Jewish merchant and his family during the early 19th century. Moses Myers moved to Norfolk in 1787 with his wife Eliza. Five years he purchased a large lot where he erected a home for his family. Today the house contains an important collection of American and French furniture, silver and portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, John Wesley Jarvis. All were acquired by members of the Myers family; the house is a two-story, Federal style brick townhouse. Its facade features a pedimented gable end roof and a small aedicula type portico surrounding the front door. In 1796, a two-story octagonal ended wing attributed to Benjamin H. Latrobe was added to the rear of the house to contain a large dining room. On the rear are a two-story service wing and an attached two-story kitchen. A historic renovation of the house occurred in 1906 in anticipation of the Jamestown Exposition; the house was converted to a house museum in 19
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River, its capital is Lansing, its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's largest metropolitan economies. Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas; the Lower Peninsula is noted as shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan; the Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair; as a result, it is one of the leading U.
S. states for recreational boating. Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles from a natural water source or more than 85 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline; the area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded this territory to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War; the area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as a free one, it soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is known as the center of the U. S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country's three major automobile companies. While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism thanks to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, agriculture and high-tech industry; when the first European explorers arrived, the most populous tribes were Algonquian peoples, which include the Anishinaabe groups of Ojibwe, Odaawaa/Odawa, the Boodewaadamii/Bodéwadmi. The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires; the Ojibwe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the largest. The Ojibwe were established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern and central Michigan, inhabited Ontario and southern Manitoba, Canada; the Ottawa lived south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern and southern Michigan, but in southern Ontario, northern Ohio and eastern Wisconsin.
The Potawatomi were in southern and western Michigan, in addition to northern and central Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Ontario. Other Algonquian tribes in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, the Sac, the Fox; the Wyandot were an Iroquoian-speaking people in this area. French voyageurs and coureurs des bois settled in Michigan in the 17th century; the first Europeans to reach what became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Père Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a base for Catholic missions. Missionaries in 1671–75 founded outlying stations at Saint Ignace and Marquette. Jesuit missionaries were well received by the area's Indian populations, with few difficulties or hostilities. In 1679, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph. In 1691, the French established a trading post and Fort St. Joseph along the St. Joseph River at the present-day city of Niles.
In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and discourage British aspirations; the hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in what was considered the wilderness of Michigan; the town became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The Église de Saint-Anne was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation remains active. Cadillac departed to serve as the French governor of Louisiana from 1710 to 1716.
French attempts to consol
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U. S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government; the NEA has its offices in Washington, D. C, it was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016. The NEA is "dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both established. Between 1965 and 2008, the agency has made in excess of 128,000 grants, totaling more than $5 billion. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Congress granted the NEA an annual funding of between $160 and $180 million. In 1996, Congress cut the NEA funding to $99.5 million as a result of pressure from conservative groups, including the American Family Association, who criticized the agency for using tax dollars to fund controversial artists such as Barbara DeGenevieve, Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, the performance artists known as the "NEA Four".
Since 1996, the NEA has rebounded with a 2015 budget of $146.21 million. For FY 2010, the budget reached the level it was at during the mid-1990s at $167.5 million but fell again in FY 2011 with a budget of $154 million. The NEA is governed by a Chairman appointed by the President to a four-year term and confirmed by Congress; the NEA's advisory committee, the National Council on the Arts, advises the Chairman on policies and programs, as well as reviewing grant applications, fundraising guidelines, leadership initiative. This body consists of 14 individuals appointed by the President for their expertise and knowledge in the arts, in addition to six ex officio members of Congress who serve in a non-voting capacity. On June 12, 2014, Dr. Jane Chu was confirmed as the 11th Chair of the NEA by the Senate, after having been nominated by President Barack Obama in February of the same year; the NEA offers grants in the categories of: 1) Grants for Arts Projects, 2) National Initiatives, 3) Partnership Agreements.
Grants for Arts Projects support exemplary projects in the discipline categories of artist communities, arts education, design and traditional arts, local arts agencies, media arts, music, musical theater, presenting and visual arts. The NEA grants individual fellowships in literature to creative writers and translators of exceptional talent in the areas of prose and poetry; the NEA has partnerships in the areas of state and regional, international activities, design. The state arts agencies and regional arts organizations are the NEA's primary partners in serving the American people through the arts. Forty percent of all NEA funding goes to regional arts organizations. Additionally, the NEA awards three Lifetime Honors: NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships to jazz musicians and advocates, NEA Opera Honors to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States; the NEA manages the National Medal of Arts, awarded annually by the President.
Artist William Powhida has noted that "in one single auction, wealthy collectors bought a billion dollars in contemporary art at Christie's in New York." He further commented: "If you had a 2 percent tax just on the auctions in New York you could double the NEA budget in two nights." The NEA is the federal agency responsible for recognizing outstanding achievement in the arts. It does this by awarding three lifetime achievement awards; the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the art of jazz. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships is awarded for artistic excellence and accomplishments for American's folk and traditional arts; the National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States and NEA for outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth and availability of the arts in the United States. Upon entering office in 1981, the incoming Ronald Reagan administration intended to push Congress to abolish the NEA over a three-year period.
Reagan's first director of the Office of Management and Budget, David A. Stockman, thought the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities were "good to bring to a halt because they went too far, they would be easy to defeat." Another proposal would have halved the arts endowment budget. However, these plans were abandoned when the President's special task force on the arts and humanities, which included close Reagan allies such as conservatives Charlton Heston and Joseph Coors, discovered "the needs involved and benefits of past assistance," concluding that continued federal support was important. Frank Hodsoll became the chairman of the NEA in 1981, while the department's budget decreased from $158.8 million in 1981 to $143.5 million, by 1989 it was $169.1 million, the highest it had been. In 1989, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association held a press conference attacking what he called "anti-Christian bigotry," in an exhibition by photographer Andres Serrano; the work at the center of the controversy was Piss Christ, a photo of a plastic crucifix submerged in a vial of an amber fluid described by the artist as his own urine.
Republican Senators Jesse Helms and Al D'Amato began to rally against the NEA, expanded the attack to include other artists. Prominent conservative Christian figures including Pat Robertson of the 700 Club and Pat Buchanan joined the attacks. Republican representative Dick Armey, an opponent of federal arts funding, began