The New Republic
The New Republic is an American magazine of commentary on politics and the arts, published since 1914, with influence on American political and cultural thinking. Founded in 1914 by leaders of the progressive movement, it attempted to find a balance between a humanitarian progressivism and an intellectual scientism, discarded the latter. Through the 1980s and'90s, the magazine incorporated elements of "Third Way" neoliberalism and conservatism. In 2014, two years after Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, purchased the magazine, he ousted its editor and attempted to remake its format and partisan stances, provoking the resignation of the majority of its editors and writers. In early 2016, Hughes announced he was putting the magazine up for sale, indicating the need for "new vision and leadership", it was sold in February 2016 to Win McCormack. Domestically, The New Republic as of 2011 supported a modern liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to former editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it "invented the modern usage of the term'liberal', it's one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what liberalism means and stands for."
As of 2004, some, like Anne Kossedd and Steven Rendall, contended that it was not as liberal as it had been before 1974. The magazine's outlook was associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and "New Democrats" such as former US President Bill Clinton and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who received the magazine's endorsement in the 2004 Democratic primary; the magazine endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 general election. Prior to 2014, while defending federal programs like Medicare and the EPA, it advocated some policies that, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs used market solutions as their means, so were called "business-friendly". Typical of some of the policies supported by both The New Republic and the DLC during the 1990s were increased funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit program and reform of the Federal welfare system, supply-side economics the idea of reducing higher marginal income tax rates, which received heavy criticism from senior editor Jonathan Chait.
In its current incarnation, The New Republic is in favor of universal health care. On certain high-profile social issues, such as its support of same-sex marriage, The New Republic could be considered more progressive than the mainstream of the Democratic Party establishment. In its March 2007 issue, The New Republic ran an article by Paul Starr where he provided a definition of modern democratic liberalism: Liberalism wagers that a state... can be strong but constrained – strong because constrained... Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society; the New Republic does not focus on domestic policy, as it brings analysis and commentary of various international affairs.
Support for Israel was a strong theme in The New Republic under Martin Peretz, the former owner of The New Republic: "Support for Israel is deep down an expression of America's best view of itself." According to journalism professor Eric Alterman: Nothing has been as consistent about the past 34 years of The New Republic as the magazine's devotion to Peretz's own understanding of what is good for Israel... It is not too much to say that all of Peretz's political beliefs are subordinate to his commitment to Israel's best interests, these interests as Peretz defines them always involve more war. Unsigned editorials prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq expressed strong support for military action, citing the threat of weapons of mass destruction as well as humanitarian concerns. Since the end of major military operations, unsigned editorials, while critical of the handling of the war, have continued to justify the invasion on humanitarian grounds, but no longer maintain that Iraq's WMD facilities posed any threat to the United States.
In the November 27, 2006 issue, the editors wrote: At this point, it seems beside the point to say this: The New Republic regrets its early support for this war. The past three years have complicated our idealism and reminded us of the limits of American power and our own wisdom. On June 23, 2006, in response to criticism of the magazine from the blog Daily Kos, Martin Peretz wrote the following as a summary of The New Republic's stances on then-recent issues: The New Republic is much against the Bush tax programs, against Bush Social Security "reform", against cutting the inheritance tax, for radical health care changes, passionate about Gore-type environmentalism, for a woman's entitlement to an abortion, for gay marriage, for an increase in the minimum wage, for pursuing aggressively alternatives to our present reliance on oil and our present tax preferences for gas-guzzling automobiles. We were against the confirmation of Justice Alito; the magazine has published two articles concerning income inequality criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States.
In its May 2007 issue the magazine ran an editorial pointing to the humanitarian beliefs of liberals as being responsible for the recent plight of the American left. In another article The New Republic fav
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, he was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe was a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena, he contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace. In 1998 both these sites together with nine others were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name Classical Weimar. Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy.
In 1791, he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period, Goethe published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, his conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels written, while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, he was not involved in the city's official affairs. Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elizabeth Textor at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748, when he was 38 and she was 17. All their children, with the exception of Johann Wolfgang and his sister, Cornelia Friederica Christiana, born in 1750, died at early ages, his father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time languages. Goethe received lessons in dancing and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not. Although Goethe's great passion was drawing, he became interested in literature, he had a lively devotion to theater as well and was fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home. He took great pleasure in reading works on history and religion, he writes about this period: I had from childhood the singular habit of always learning by heart the beginnings of books, the divisions of a work, first of the five books of Moses, of the'Aeneid' and Ovid's'Metamorphoses'....
If an busy imagination, of which that tale may bear witness, led me hither and thither, if the medley of fable and history and religion, threatened to bewilder me, I fled to those oriental regions, plunged into the first books of Moses, there, amid the scattered shepherd tribes, found myself at once in the greatest solitude and the greatest society. Goethe became acquainted with Frankfurt actors. Among early literary attempts, he was infatuated with Gretchen, who would reappear in his Faust and the adventures with whom he would concisely describe in Dichtung und Wahrheit, he adored Caritas Meixner, a wealthy Worms trader's daughter and friend of his sister, who would marry the merchant G. F. Schuler. Goethe studied law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, he detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Anna Katharina Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre.
In 1770, he anonymously released his first collection of poems. His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Christoph Martin Wieland. At this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen; the restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Faust's 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the only real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. As his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768. Goethe became ill in Frankfurt. Durin
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States and the third largest in the world, it is a private, non-governmental, independently managed, nonprofit corporation operating with both private and public financing. The library has branches in the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and affiliations with academic and professional libraries in the New York metropolitan area; the city's other two boroughs and Queens, are not served by the New York Public Library system, but rather by their respective borough library systems: the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library. The branch libraries consist of circulating libraries; the New York Public Library has four research libraries, which are open to the general public. The library chartered as The New York Public Library, Astor and Tilden Foundations, was developed in the 19th century, founded from an amalgamation of grass-roots libraries and social libraries of bibliophiles and the wealthy, aided by the philanthropy of the wealthiest Americans of their age.
The "New York Public Library" name may refer to its Main Branch, recognizable by its lion statues named Patience and Fortitude that sit either side of the entrance. The branch was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, designated a New York City Landmark in 1967. At the behest of Joseph Cogswell, John Jacob Astor placed a codicil in his will to bequeath $400,000 for the creation of a public library. After Astor's death in 1848, the resulting board of trustees executed the will's conditions and constructed the Astor Library in 1854 in the East Village; the library created was a free reference library. By 1872, the Astor Library was described in a New York Times editorial as a "major reference and research resource", but, "Popular it is not, and, so is it lacking in the essentials of a public library, that its stores might as well be under lock and key, for any access the masses of the people can get thereto". An act of the New York State Legislature incorporated the Lenox Library in 1870.
The library was built on Fifth Avenue, between 70th and 71th Streets, in 1877. Bibliophile and philanthropist James Lenox donated a vast collection of his Americana, art works and rare books, including the first Gutenberg Bible in the New World. At its inception, the library charged admission and did not permit physical access to any literary items. Former Governor of New York and presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden believed that a library with citywide reach was required, upon his death in 1886, he bequeathed the bulk of his fortune—about $2.4 million —to "establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York". This money would sit untouched in a trust for several years, until John Bigelow, a New York attorney, Andrew Haswell Green, both trustees of the Tilden fortune, came up with an idea to merge two of the city's largest libraries. Both the Astor and Lenox libraries were struggling financially. Although New York City had numerous libraries in the 19th century all of them were funded and many charged admission or usage fees.
Bigelow, the most prominent supporter of the plan to merge the libraries found support in Lewis Cass Ledyard, a member of the Tilden Board, as well as John Cadwalader, on the Astor board. John Stewart Kennedy, president of the Lenox board came to support the plan as well. On May 23, 1895, Bigelow and George L. Rives agreed to create "The New York Public Library, Astor and Tilden Foundations"; the plan was hailed as an example of private philanthropy for the public good. On December 11, John Shaw Billings was named as the library's first director; the newly established library consolidated with the grass-roots New York Free Circulating Library in February 1901. In March, Andrew Carnegie tentatively agreed to donate $5.2 million to construct sixty-five branch libraries in the city, with the requirement that they be operated and maintained by the City of New York. The Brooklyn and Queens public library systems, which predated the consolidation of New York City, eschewed the grants offered to them and did not join the NYPL system.
In 1901, Carnegie formally signed a contract with the City of New York to transfer his donation to the city in order to enable it to justify purchasing the land for building the branch libraries. The NYPL Board of trustees hired consultants for the planning, accepted their recommendation that a limited number of architectural firms be hired to build the Carnegie libraries: this would ensure uniformity of appearance and minimize cost; the trustees hired McKim, Mead & White, Carrère and Hastings, Walter Cook to design all the branch libraries. The notable New York author Washington Irving was a close friend of Astor for decades and had helped the philanthropist design the Astor Library. Irving served as President of the library's Board of Trustees from 1848 until his death in 1859, shaping the library's collecting policies with his strong sensibility regarding European intellectual life. Subsequently, the library hired nationally prominent experts to guide its collections policies.
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university; the university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two'ancient universities' share many common features and are referred to jointly as'Oxbridge'; the history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent Colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world; the university operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden.
Cambridge's libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £1.965 billion, of which £515.5 million was from research grants and contracts. In the financial year ending 2017, the central university and colleges had combined net assets of around £11.8 billion, the largest of any university in the country. However, the true extent of Cambridge's wealth is much higher as many colleges hold their historic main sites, which date as far back as the 13th century, at depreceated valuations. Furthermore, many of the wealthiest colleges do not account for “heritage assets” such as works of art, libraries or artefacts, whose value many college accounts describe as “immaterial”; the university is linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as'Silicon Fen'. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the'golden triangle' of English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre.
As of 2018, Cambridge is the top-ranked university in the United Kingdom according to all major league tables. As of September 2017, Cambridge is ranked the world's second best university by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, is ranked 3rd worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th by QS, 7th by US News. According to the Times Higher Education ranking, no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects; the university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, politicians, philosophers, writers and foreign Heads of State. As of March 2019, 118 Nobel Laureates, 11 Fields Medalists, 7 Turing Award winners and 15 British Prime Ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty or research staff. By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford, most to have led to the establishment of the university: two Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman, without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities, who would take precedence in such a case, but were at that time in conflict with King John.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, most scholars moved to cities such as Paris and Cambridge. After the University of Oxford reformed several years enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from King Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members and an exemption from some taxes. A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach "everywhere in Christendom". After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290, confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318, it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses; the colleges at the University of Cambridge were an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself; the colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars.
There were institutions without endowments, called hostels. The hostels were absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane. Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridge's first college, in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries, but colleges continued to be established until modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800; the most established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010, making it the newest full college. In medieval times, many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders, were associated with chapels or abbeys; the colleges' focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. King Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching "scholastic philosophy".
In response, colleges changed
Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, short story writer and art critic of Polish-Belarusian descent. Apollinaire is considered one of the foremost poets of the early 20th century, as well as one of the most impassioned defenders of Cubism and a forefather of Surrealism, he is credited with coining the term "cubism" in 1911 to describe the emerging art movement and the term "surrealism" in 1917 to describe the works of Erik Satie. The term Orphism is his. Apollinaire wrote one of the earliest Surrealist literary works, the play The Breasts of Tiresias, which became the basis for the 1947 opera Les mamelles de Tirésias. Apollinaire was active as a journalist and art critic for Le Matin, L'Intransigeant, L'Esprit nouveau, Mercure de France, Paris Journal. In 1912 Apollinaire cofounded an artistic and literary magazine. Two years after being wounded in World War I, Apollinaire died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki was born in Rome and was raised speaking French and Polish.
He adopted the name Guillaume Apollinaire. His mother, born Angelika Kostrowicka, was a Polish noblewoman born near Navahrudak, Grodno Governorate, his maternal grandfather was a general in the Russian Imperial Army, killed in the Crimean War. Apollinaire's father is unknown but may have been Francesco Costantino Camillo Flugi d'Aspermont, a Graubünden aristocrat who disappeared early from Apollinaire's life. Francesco Flugi von Aspermont was a nephew of Conradin Flugi d'Aspermont, a poet who wrote in ladin putèr, also of the Minnesänger Oswald von Wolkenstein. Apollinaire moved from Rome to Paris and became one of the most popular members of the artistic community of Paris, his friends and collaborators in that period included Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Gertrude Stein, Max Jacob, André Salmon, André Breton, André Derain, Faik Konitza, Blaise Cendrars, Pierre Reverdy, Alexandra Exter, Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Ossip Zadkine, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp and Jean Metzinger. He became romantically involved with Marie Laurencin, identified as his muse.
While there, he dabbled in anarchism and spoke out as a Dreyfusard in defense of Dreyfus's innocence. In late 1909 or early 1910, Metzinger painted a Cubist portrait of Apollinaire. In his Vie anecdotique, the poet proudly writes: "I am honoured to be the first model of a Cubist painter, Jean Metzinger, for a portrait exhibited in 1910 at the Salon des Indépendants." It was not only the first Cubist portrait, according to Apollinaire, but it was the first great portrait of the poet exhibited in public, prior to others by Louis Marcoussis, Amedeo Modigliani, Mikhail Larionov and Picasso. In 1911 he joined the Puteaux Group, a branch of the Cubist movement soon to be known as the Section d'Or; the opening address of the 1912 Salon de la Section d'Or—the most important pre-World War I Cubist exhibition—was given by Apollinaire. On 7 September 1911, police arrested and jailed him on suspicion of aiding and abetting the theft of the Mona Lisa and a number of Egyptian statuettes from the Louvre, but released him a week later.
The theft of the statues was committed by a former secretary of Apollinaire, Honoré Joseph Géry Pieret, who had returned one of the stolen statues to the French newspaper the Paris-Journal. Apollinaire implicated his friend Picasso, brought in for questioning in the theft of the Mona Lisa, but he was exonerated; the theft of the Mona Lisa was perpetrated by Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian house painter who acted alone and was only caught two years when he tried to sell the painting in Florence. Apollinaire wrote the preface for the first Cubist exposition outside of Paris. In an open-handed preface to the catalogue of the Brussels Indépendants show, Apollinaire stated that these'new painters' accepted the name of Cubists, given to them, he described Cubism as a new manifestation and high art, not a system that constrains talent, the differences which characterize not only the talents but the styles of these artists are an obvious proof of this. The artists involved with this new movement, according to Apollinaire, included Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Henri Le Fauconnier.
By 1912 others had joined the Cubists: Jacques Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Francis Picabia, Juan Gris, Roger de La Fresnaye, among them. The term Orphism was coined by Apollinaire at the Salon de la Section d'Or in 1912, referring to the works of Robert Delaunay and František Kupka. During his lecture at the Section d'Or exhibit Apollinaire presented three of Kupka's abstract works as perfect examples of pure painting, as anti-figurative as music. In Les Peintres Cubistes, Méditations Esthétiques Apollinaire described Orphism as "the art of painting new totalities with elements that the artist does not take from visual reality, but creates by himself. An Orphic painter's works should convey an untroubled aesthetic pleasure, but at the same time a meaningful structure and sublime significance. According to Apollinaire Orphism represented a move towards a new art-form, much as music was to literature; the term
"Wanderer's Nightsong" is the title of two poems by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Written in 1776 and in 1780, they are among Goethe's most famous works. Both were first edited together in his 1815 Works Vol. I with the headings "Wandrers Nachtlied" and "Ein gleiches". Both works were set to music as lieder by Franz Schubert as D 224 and D 768; the manuscript of "Wanderer's Nightsong" was among Goethe's letters to his friend Charlotte von Stein and bears the signature "At the slope of Ettersberg, on 12 Feb. 76". One translation is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The tired wanderer impersonates Goethe himself, whose fame and fortune affected his creativity; the first line is a reference to the song of Nicolaus Zinzendorf "Der Du in dem himmel bist" alluding to the Lord's Prayer "Vater unser, der Du bist im Himmel…" – "Our Father who/which art in heaven". The German philologist Reinhard Breymayer has demonstrated this fact for the first time in 1998. Franz Schubert set the poem to music in 1815.
"Wanderer's Nightsong II is considered the most perfect lyric in the German language. Goethe wrote it on the evening of September 6, 1780, onto the wall of a wooden gamekeeper lodge on top of the Kickelhahn mountain near Ilmenau where he, according to a letter to Charlotte von Stein, spent the night. Goethe’s friend Karl Ludwig von Knebel mentioned the writing in his diary, it is documented in transcriptions by Johann Gottfried Herder and Luise von Göchhausen, it was first published—without authorization—by August Adolph von Hennings in 1800 and again by August von Kotzebue in 1803. An English version appeared in the Monthly Magazine in February 1801; the second poem was set by Franz Schubert, in 1823. As Goethe wrote to Carl Friedrich Zelter, he revisited the cabin more than 50 years on August 27, 1831, about six months before his death; the poet recognised his wall-writing and broke down in tears. After 1831 the handwritten text vanished, has not been preserved; the accomplished poem unites landscape and beings in evening silence, while man may still be restless but will expect sleep and eternal peace.
In one small piece of poetry, Goethe wanders the whole cosmos. The mountain hut had become famous as "Goethe's Cabin" by the late 1830s. Burnt down in 1870, it was rebuilt four years later. Parodies of "Nachtlied II" were written by Christian Morgenstern, Joachim Ringelnatz, Karl Kraus, Bertolt Brecht. A computational linguistics processing of the poem was the topic of a 1968 radio drama written by Georges Perec, it is cited in Daniel Kehlmann's 2005 novel Measuring the World, in Milan Kundera's novel Immortality, in Walter Moers' novel The City of Dreaming Books. John Ottman's musical score for Bryan Singer's 2008 film Valkyrie contains a requiem-like piece for soprano and chorus in the closing credits with "Nachtlied II" as lyrics. In the film's context, the poem serves as a lament on the miscarried assassination on Adolf Hitler on July 20th, 1944, mourns the proximate death of most of the assassins, with the last two lines forecasts the demise of those whom they failed to kill. Media related to Wandrers Nachtlied at Wikimedia Commons
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