United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
Roy Claxton Acuff was an American country music singer and promoter, freemason. Known as the "King of Country Music," Acuff is credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful. In 1952, Hank Williams told Ralph Gleason, "He's the biggest singer this music knew. You booked you didn't worry about crowds. For drawing power in the South, it was Roy Acuff God."Acuff began his music career in the 1930s and gained regional fame as the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, although his popularity as a musician waned in the late 1940s, he remained one of the Opry's key figures and promoters for nearly four decades. In 1942, Acuff and Fred Rose founded Acuff-Rose Music, the first major Nashville-based country music publishing company, which signed such artists as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers. In 1962, Acuff became the first living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Acuff was born on September 15, 1903 in Maynardville, Tennessee, to Ida and Simon E. Neill Acuff, the third of their five children; the Acuffs were a prominent family in Union County. Roy's paternal grandfather, Coram Acuff, had been a Tennessee state senator, his maternal grandfather was a local physician. Roy's father was an accomplished fiddler and a Baptist preacher, his mother was proficient on the piano, during Roy's early years the Acuff house was a popular place for local gatherings. At such gatherings, Roy would amuse people by balancing farm tools on his chin, he learned to play the harmonica and jaw harp at an early age. In 1919, the Acuff family relocated to Fountain City, a few miles south of Maynardville. Roy attended Central High School, where he sang in the school chapel's choir and performed in "every play they had." His primary passion, was athletics. He was a three-sport standout at Central and, after graduating in 1925, was offered a scholarship to Carson-Newman University but turned it down.
He played with several small baseball clubs around Knoxville, worked at odd jobs, boxed. In 1929, Acuff tried out for the Knoxville Smokies, a minor-league baseball team affiliated with the New York Giants. A series of collapses in spring training following a sunstroke, ended his baseball career; the effects left him ill for several years, he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1930. "I couldn't stand any sunshine at all," he recalled. While recovering, Acuff began to hone his fiddle skills playing on the family's front porch after the sun went down, his father gave him several records of regionally renowned fiddlers, such as Fiddlin' John Carson and Gid Tanner, which were important influences on his early style. In 1932, Dr. Hauer's medicine show, which toured the southern Appalachian region, hired Acuff as one of its entertainers; the purpose of the entertainers was to draw a large crowd to whom Hauer could sell medicines for various ailments. While on the medicine show circuit, Acuff met the legendary Appalachian banjoist Clarence Ashley, from whom he learned "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Greenback Dollar", both of which Acuff recorded.
As the medicine show lacked microphones, Acuff learned to sing loud enough to be heard above the din, a skill that would help him stand out on early radio broadcasts. In 1934, Acuff left the medicine show circuit and began playing at local shows with various musicians in the Knoxville area, where he had become a celebrity and fixture in local newspaper columns; that year, the guitarist Jess Easterday and the Hawaiian guitarist Clell Summey joined Acuff to form the Tennessee Crackerjacks, which performed on the Knoxville radio stations WROL and WNOX. Within a year, the group had added the bassist Red Jones and changed its name to the Crazy Tennesseans after being introduced as such by a WROL announcer named Alan Stout. Fans remarked to Acuff how "clear" his voice was coming through over the radio, important in an era when singers were drowned out by string band cacophony; the popularity of Acuff's rendering of the song "The Great Speckled Bird" helped the group land a contract with ARC, for which they recorded several dozen tracks in 1936.
Needing to complete a 20-song commitment, the band recorded two ribald tunes—including "When Lulu's Gone"—but released them under a pseudonym, the Bang Boys. The group split from ARC in 1937 over a separate contract dispute. In 1938, the Crazy Tennesseans moved to Nashville to audition for the Grand Ole Opry. Although their first audition went poorly, the band's second audition impressed Opry founder George D. Hay and producer Harry Stone, they offered the group a contract that year. On Hay and Stone's suggestion, Acuff changed the group's name to the Smoky Mountain Boys, referring to the mountains near where he and his bandmates grew up. Shortly after the band joined the Opry, Clell Summey left the group and was replaced by the dobro player Beecher Kirby—best known by his stage name Bashful Brother Oswald—whom Acuff had met in a Knoxville bakery earlier that year. Acuff's powerful lead vocals and Kirby's dobro playing and high-pitched backing vocals gave the band its distinctive sound. By 1939, Jess Easterday had switched to bass to replace Red Jones, Acuff had added the guitarist Lonnie "Pap" Wilson and the banjoist Rachel Veach to fill out the band's lineup.
Within a year, Roy Acuff and the Smoky M
Pearl Eileen Primus was an American dancer and anthropologist. Primus played an important role in the presentation of African dance to American audiences. Early in her career she saw the need to promote African dance as an art form worthy of study and performance. Primus' work was a reaction to the lack of knowledge about African people, it was an effort to guide the Western world to view African dance as an important and dignified statement about another way of life. Born in Port of Spain, Pearl Primus was five years old when she moved with her parents, Edward Primus and Emily Jackson, to New York City in 1921. In 1940, Primus entered Hunter College as a graduate student in biology, while looking for work, joined the National Youth Administration group as an understudy, thus beginning her first theatrical experience, she improved in her abilities and, within a year, won a scholarship from the New Dance Group, a left-wing school and performance company located on the Lower East Side of New York City.
Primus began to research African dance by consulting books, articles and museums. After six months, she had completed African Ceremonial, it was presented along with Strange Fruit, Rock Daniel, Hard Time Blues, at her debut performance on February 14, 1943, at the 92nd Street YMHA. Her performance was so outstanding that John Martin of the New York Times states that "she was entitled to a company of her own."Her next performances began in April 1943, as an entertainer at the famous night club, Cafe Society Downtown, for 10 months. In June 1943, Primus performed at the Negro Freedom Rally at Madison Square Garden before an audience of 20,000 people. Primus choreographed a work to Langston Hughes's famous poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", performed at her Broadway debut on October 4, 1944, at the Bealson Theatre, she began to study more intensively at the New Dance Group and became one of their instructors. In the summer of 1944, Primus visited the Deep South to research the culture and dances of Southern blacks.
She picked cotton with the sharecroppers. Primus studied dance with Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, Ismay Andrews, Asadata Dafora. Dafora's influence on Primus has been ignored by historians and unmentioned by Primus. However, Marcia Ethel Heard notes that he instilled a sense of African pride in his students and asserts that he taught Primus about African dance and culture. Dafora began a movement of African cultural pride which provided Primus with collaborators and piqued public interest in her work. In December 1943, Primus appeared as in Dafora's African Dance Festival at Carnegie Hall before Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune. In December 1943, a solo artist, recruited other dancers and performed in concerts at the Roxy Theatre. African Ceremonial was re-choreographed for a group performance. At that time, Primus' African choreography could be termed interpretive, based on research and her imagining of the way in which a piece of African sculpture would move. In 1945 she created Strange Fruit, based on the poem by Lewis Allan about a lynching.
Hard Time Blues is based on a song about sharecroppers by folksinger Josh White. In 1946, Primus was invited to appear in the revival of the Broadway production Showboat, choreographed by Helen Tamiris, she was asked to choreograph a Broadway production called Calypso whose title became Caribbean Carnival. She appeared at the Chicago Theatre in the 1947 revival of the Emperor Jones in the "Witch Doctor" role that Hemsley Winfield made famous. Following this show and many subsequent recitals, Primus toured the nation with a company she formed. While on the university and college circuit, Primus performed at Fisk University in 1948, where Dr. Charles S. Johnson, a member of Rosenwald Foundation board, was president, he was so impressed with the power of her interpretive African dances that he asked her when she had last visited Africa. She replied, she received the last and largest of the major Rosenwald Fellowships for an 18-month research and study tour of the Gold Coast, Cameroons, Liberia and the Belgian Congo.
On December 5, 1948, dancer Pearl Primus closed a successful return engagement at the Café Society nightclub in New York City before heading off to Africa. Primus was so well accepted in the communities in her study tour that she was told that the ancestral spirit of an African dancer had manifested in her; the Oni and people of Ife, felt that she was so much a part of their community that they initiated her into their commonwealth and affectionately conferred on her the title "Omowale" — the child who has returned home. Pearl based her dance off of American and Indian/African lives. Still eager to further her academic knowledge, Primus received her PhD in anthropology from NYU in 1978. In 1979, she and her husband founded the Pearl Primus "Dance Language Institute" in New Rochelle, New York, where they offered classes that blended African-American and African dance forms with modern dance and ballet techniques, their performance group was called "Earth Theatre". As an artist/ educator, Primus taught at a number of universities during her career including NYU, Hunter College, the State University of New York at Purchase, the College of New Rochelle, Iona College, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Howard University, the Five Colleges consortium in Massachusetts.
She taught at New Rochelle High School, assisting with cultural presentations. As an anthropologist, she conducted cultural projects in Europe and America for such organizations as the Ford Foundation, US Office
Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts. The study includes painting, architecture, ceramics and other decorative objects. Art history is the history of different groups of people and their culture represented throughout their artwork. Art historians compare different time periods in art history; such as a comparison to Medieval Art to Renaissance Art. This history of cultures is shown in their art work in different forms. Art can be shown by attire, religion, sports. Or more visual pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures; as a term, art history encompasses several methods of studying the visual arts. Aspects of the discipline overlap; as the art historian Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art history much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited by three different, though not hostile tribes: the connoisseurs, the critics, the academic art historians". As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism, concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon individual works with respect to others of comparable style, or sanctioning an entire style or movement.
One branch of this area of study is aesthetics, which includes investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the artist come to create the work?, Who were the patrons?, Who were his or her teachers?, Who was the audience?, Who were his or her disciples?, What historical forces shaped the artist's oeuvre, how did he or she and the creation, in turn, affect the course of artistic and social events? It is, questionable whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily without considering basic questions about the nature of art; the current disciplinary gap between art history and the philosophy of art hinders this inquiry. Art history is not only a biographical endeavor. Art historians root their studies in the scrutiny of individual objects, they thus attempt to answer in specific ways, questions such as: What are key features of this style?, What meaning did this object convey?, How does it function visually?, Did the artist meet their goals well?, What symbols are involved?, Does it function discursively?
The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or wealthy individuals in western Europe. Such a "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of non-Western art, art made by women, vernacular creativity. Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians rely on formal analysis, semiotics and iconography. Advances in photographic reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the ability of reproductions of artworks; such technologies have helped to advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy comparisons of objects.
The study of visual art thus described, can be a practice that involves understanding context and social significance. Art historians employ a number of methods in their research into the ontology and history of objects. Art historians examine work in the context of its time. At best, this is done in a manner which respects imperatives. In short, this approach examines the work of art in the context of the world within which it was created. Art historians often examine work through an analysis of form; this approach examines how the artist uses a two-dimensional picture plane or the three dimensions of sculptural or architectural space to create his or her art. The way these individual elements are employed results in representational or non-representational art. Is the artist imitating an object or image found in nature? If so, it is representational; the closer the art hews to perfect imitation, the more the art is realistic. Is the artist not imitating, but instead relying on symbolism, or in an important way striving to capture nature's essence, rather than copy it directly?
If so the art is non-representational—also called abstract. Realism and abstraction exist on a continuum. Impressionism is an example of a representational style, not directly imitative, but strove to create an "impression" of nature. If the work is not representational and is an expression of the artist's feelings and aspirations, or is a search for ideals of beauty and form, the work is non-representational or a work of expressionism. An iconographical analysis is one. Through a close reading of such elements, it is possible to trace their lineage, with it draw conclusions regarding the origins and tra
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes used carving and modelling, in stone, ceramics and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast. Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, represents the majority of the surviving works from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, this has been lost. Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were an expression of religion or politics; those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa.
The Western tradition of sculpture began in ancient Greece, Greece is seen as producing great masterpieces in the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith; the revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo's David. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, the presentation of found objects as finished art works. A basic distinction is between sculpture in the round, free-standing sculpture, such as statues, not attached to any other surface, the various types of relief, which are at least attached to a background surface. Relief is classified by the degree of projection from the wall into low or bas-relief, high relief, sometimes an intermediate mid-relief. Sunk-relief is a technique restricted to ancient Egypt. Relief is the usual sculptural medium for large figure groups and narrative subjects, which are difficult to accomplish in the round, is the typical technique used both for architectural sculpture, attached to buildings, for small-scale sculpture decorating other objects, as in much pottery and jewellery.
Relief sculpture may decorate steles, upright slabs of stone also containing inscriptions. Another basic distinction is between subtractive carving techniques, which remove material from an existing block or lump, for example of stone or wood, modelling techniques which shape or build up the work from the material. Techniques such as casting and moulding use an intermediate matrix containing the design to produce the work; the term "sculpture" is used to describe large works, which are sometimes called monumental sculpture, meaning either or both of sculpture, large, or, attached to a building. But the term properly covers many types of small works in three dimensions using the same techniques, including coins and medals, hardstone carvings, a term for small carvings in stone that can take detailed work; the large or "colossal" statue has had an enduring appeal since antiquity. Another grand form of portrait sculpture is the equestrian statue of a rider on horse, which has become rare in recent decades.
The smallest forms of life-size portrait sculpture are the "head", showing just that, or the bust, a representation of a person from the chest up. Small forms of sculpture include the figurine a statue, no more than 18 inches tall, for reliefs the plaquette, medal or coin. Modern and contemporary art have added a number of non-traditional forms of sculpture, including sound sculpture, light sculpture, environmental art, environmental sculpture, street art sculpture, kinetic sculpture, land art, site-specific art. Sculpture is an important form of public art. A collection of sculpture in a garden setting can be called a sculpture garden. One of the most common purposes of sculpture is in some form of association with religion. Cult images are common in many cultures, though they are not the colossal statues of deities which characterized ancient Greek art, like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the actual cult images in the innermost sanctuaries of Egyptian temples, of which none have survived, were evidently rather small in the largest temples.
The same is true in Hinduism, where the simple and ancient form of the lingam is the most common. Buddhism brought the sculpture of religious figures to East Asia, where there seems to have been no earlier equivalent tradition, though again simple shapes like the bi and cong had religious significance. Small sculptures as personal possessions go back to the earliest prehistoric art, the use of large sculpture as public art to impress the viewer with the power of a ruler, goes back at least to the Great Sphinx of some 4,500 years ago. In archaeology and art history the appearance, sometimes disappearance, of large or monumental sculpture in a culture is regarded as of great significance, though tracing the emergence is complicated by the presumed existence of sculpture in wood and other perishable materials of which no record remains; the ability to s
Allan Capron Houser or Haozous was a Chiricahua Apache sculptor and book illustrator born in Oklahoma. He was one of the most renowned Native American painters and Modernist sculptors of the 20th century. Houser's work can be found at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D. C. and in numerous major museum collections throughout North America and Japan. Additionally, Houser's Offering of the Sacred Pipe is on display at United States Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Born in 1914 to Sam and Blossom Haozous on the family farm near Apache and Fort Sill, Houser was the first member of his family from the Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache tribe born outside of captivity since Geronimo's 1886 surrender and the tribe's imprisonment by the U. S. government. The tribe had been led in battle by the legendary spiritual leader Geronimo, who would rely on his grandnephew Sam Haozous, Allan's father, to serve as his translator.
In 1934, Houser left Oklahoma at the age of 20 to study at Dorothy Dunn's Art Studio at the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dunn's method encouraged working from personal memory, avoiding techniques of perspective or modeling, stylization of Native iconography. For the latter, Houser made hundreds of drawings and canvasses in Santa Fe and was one of Dunn's top students, but he found the program too constricting. In 1939, Houser began his professional career by showing work at the 1939 New York World's Fair and the Golden Gate International Exposition, he received his first major public commission to paint murals at the Main Interior Building in Washington, DC. He married Anna Maria Gallegos of Santa Fe, his wife for 55 years. In 1940, he received another commission with the US Department of Interior to paint life-sized indoor murals returned to Fort Sill to study with Swedish muralist Olle Nordmark, who encouraged Houser to explore sculpture, he made his first wood carvings that year.
But World War II interrupted Houser's life and career path, he moved his growing family to Los Angeles where he found work in the L. A. shipyards. Houser worked by day and continued to paint and sculpt by night, making friends among students and faculty at the Pasadena Art Center. Here, he was first exposed to the streamlined modernist sculptural statements of artists like Jean Arp, Constantin Brâncuși, the English sculptor Henry Moore; these three men – along with the English sculptress Barbara Hepworth, among the first sculptors to place sculptural voids within the solid planes of her works – would come to have a huge influence on Houser. After World War II, Houser applied for a commission at the Haskell Institute in Kansas. Haskell, a Native American boarding school, lost many graduates to the war and wanted a sculptural memorial to honor them. Though Houser had been carving in wood since 1940, he had never before sculpted in stone, he convinced the jury with his drawings and his conviction, completed the monumental work Comrades in Mourning from white Carrara marble in 1948.
It has become an iconic work, both for Native American art in general. In 1949, Houser received a Guggenheim Fellowship in sculpture and painting, which granted him two years to work on art and still provide for his family. By Houser had three sons and as the Fellowship came to an end, he accepted a job as an art teacher at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. A Navajo boarding school, the Intermountain Indian School was where Houser began to build the teaching part of his legacy, with generations of students working directly with the man to learn the skills, techniques and tenacity that he brought to his life and work; the Intermountain years gave Houser a time to teach, raise a family, focus on his painting. He completed hundreds of paintings there, experimenting with watercolors and other media. While at Intermountain, he worked as a children's book illustrator, providing drawings and paintings for seven titles – including an illustrated biography on the life of his granduncle Geronimo.
In 1962, Houser was asked to join the faculty of a new Native American art school, the Institute of American Indian Arts. He returned to Santa Fe with his family to head up the Institute's sculpture department. Casting his first bronzes in 1967, Houser was student and teacher as well, bringing forth his own history and ideas for a student body culled from every corner of Native America, he began working with the iconographies of other tribes, using modernist sculptural influences to forge the tribal and the abstract into a visual lexicon all his own. During the early 1970s, Houser continued to teach at the Institute and began the rigorous production and exhibition cycle for which he became well known; as head of the sculpture department, he felt compelled to work in as many sculptural media as possible, evidenced by his solo exhibition of stone and welded steel sculptures at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona in 1970. The following year, Houser exhibited paintings and sculpture at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, in 1973 was awarded the Gold Medal in Sculpture at the Heard Museum Exhibition.
Exhibitions and accolades continued. In 1975, he was asked to paint the official portrait of former U. S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; that same year, he had a solo exhibition at the Governor's Gallery at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. After thirteen years at IAIA, Houser retired from full-time teaching to devote himself to sculpture. Houser's retirement in 1975 marked the beginning of the most prolific stage of his career. With time and the family compound in southern Santa Fe county, Houser honed
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the United States National Cultural Center, located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D. C. named in 1964 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Opened on September 8, 1971, the performing arts center is a multi-dimensional facility: it produces a wide array of performances encompassing the genres of theater, dance and orchestral, jazz and folk music. In addition to the 3,500 performances held annually for audiences totaling nearly two million, the center hosts touring productions and television and radio broadcasts that, are seen by 20 million more. Now in its 45th season, the center presents music and theater and supports artists in the creation of new work. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the center's achievements as a commissioner and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets and musical works. Authorized by the 1958 National Cultural Center Act of Congress, which requires that its programming be sustained through private funds, the center represents a public–private partnership.
Its activities include educational and outreach initiatives entirely funded through ticket sales and gifts from individuals and private foundations. The building, designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, was constructed by Philadelphia contractor John McShain, is administered as a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. An earlier design proposal called for a more curvy, spaceship-inspired building similar to how the Watergate complex appears today, it receives annual federal funding to pay for its operation. The idea for a national cultural center dates to 1933 when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt discussed ideas for the Emergency Relief and Civil Works Administration to create employment for unemployed actors during the Great Depression. Congress held hearings in 1935 on plans to establish a Cabinet level Department of Science and Literature, to build a monumental theater and arts building on Capitol Hill near the Supreme Court building. A 1938 congressional resolution called for construction of a "public building which shall be known as the National Cultural Center" near Judiciary Square, but nothing materialized.
The idea for a national theater resurfaced in 1950, when U. S. Representative Arthur George Klein of New York introduced a bill to authorize funds to plan and build a cultural center; the bill included provisions that the center would prohibit any discrimination of audience. In 1955, the Stanford Research Institute was commissioned to select a site and provide design suggestions for the center. From 1955 to 1958, Congress debated the idea amid much controversy. A bill was passed in Congress in the summer of 1958 and on September 4, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Cultural Center Act which provided momentum for the project; this was the first time that the federal government helped finance a structure dedicated to the performing arts. The legislation required a portion of the costs, estimated at $10–25 million, to be raised within five years of the bill's passage. Edward Durell Stone was selected as architect for the project in June 1959, he presented preliminary designs to the President's Music Committee in October 1959, along with estimated costs of $50 million, double the original estimates of $25–30 million.
By November 1959, estimated costs had escalated to $61 million. Despite this, Stone's design was well received in editorials in The Washington Post, Washington Star, approved by the United States Commission of Fine Arts, National Capital Planning Commission, the National Park Service; the National Cultural Center was renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1964, following the assassination of President Kennedy; the National Cultural Center Board of Trustees, a group President Eisenhower established January 29, 1959, led fundraising. Fundraising efforts were not successful, with only $13,425 raised in the first three years. President John F. Kennedy was interested in bringing culture to the nation's capital, provided leadership and support for the project. In 1961, President Kennedy asked Roger L. Stevens to help develop the National Cultural Center, serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees. Stevens recruited First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as Honorary Chairman of the Center, former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower as co-chairman.
The total cost of construction was $70 million. Congress allocated $43 million for construction costs, including $23 million as an outright grant and the other $20 million in bonds. Donations comprised a significant portion of funding, including $5 million from the Ford Foundation, $500,000 from the Kennedy family. Other major donors included J. Willard Marriott, Marjorie Merriweather Post, John D. Rockefeller III, Robert W. Woodruff, as well as many corporate donors. Foreign countries provided gifts to the Kennedy Center, including a gift of 3,700 tons of Carrara marble from Italy from the Italian government, used in the building's construction. President Lyndon B. Johnson dug the ceremonial first-shovel of earth at the groundbreaking for the Kennedy Center December 2, 1964. However, debate continued for another year over the Foggy Bottom site, with some advocating for another location on Pennsylvania Avenue. Excavation of the site got underway on December 11, 1965, the site was c