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National Endowment for the Arts leaders to visit Ohio June 27-28

Ohio Arts Council, Press Release

Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, and members of the National Council on the Arts, will gather in Ohio June 27-28 for the council’s summer meeting.

Over two days of site visits and public events in Athens, Nelsonville and Columbus — organized in collaboration with the Ohio Arts Council — the chair and council will explore the importance of the arts in rural communities in Ohio and throughout the nation.

“The arts are key to expressing our full humanity and strengthening our ability to see that in others. The arts create connection, enhance economic vitality, emphasize a community’s sense of place and more,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “I am excited to visit Ohio and learn firsthand about the rich culture of rural communities and about how we can continue to do our part to help build artful, thriving places to live and work.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said, “Ohio is pleased to host and welcome members of the National Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts this month. In both rural and urban areas, Ohio is a showcase for the power of the arts and a destination for world-class cultural experiences. With support from the NEA and the Ohio Arts Council, the arts improve our communities, strengthen local economies, enhance educational outcomes, attract skilled workers, and benefit Ohioans’ quality of life.”

On Thursday, June 27, Chair Jackson and the council will visit Athens and Nelsonville. In Athens, they will visit Passion Works Studio, which creates opportunities for people with and without developmental differences to explore and socially connect through the process of making collaborative art.

Following that visit, they will meet with members of the Mount Zion Black Cultural Center for a tour of local sites in this Southeastern region of the Ohio River Valley's Underground Railroad to learn more about their participation in the NEA initiative Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design and efforts to restore the 120-year-old Mount Zion building into a vibrant community center.

That evening at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Chair Jackson will join Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. Collins, Ohio State Representative Jay Edwards, and special guests for a Town Hall meeting. The event will begin with a reception at 5 p.m., hosted by the Ohio Arts Council, followed by the Town Hall at 6:15 p.m. This event is open to the public; RSVP in advance. The meeting will also be available through a live webcast at (no advanced registration required).

On Friday, June 28, at 11:30 a.m. ET, Chair Jackson and National Council on the Arts members will participate in the public meeting of the National Council on the Arts at Lincoln Theatre in Columbus.

Following remarks by Chair Jackson, this meeting will feature a series of conversations with arts and design leaders exploring the contributions of arts and culture in rural areas through creating connections and strengthening the health and well-being of individuals and communities. There will be a meet and greet with Chair Jackson and the NCA members following the event. This event is open to the public; RSVP in advance. The meeting will also be available through a live webcast at (no advanced registration required).

The National Council on the Arts (NCA) advises the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, who also chairs the Council, on agency policies and programs, and reviews and makes recommendations to the chair on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives.

This will be the second meeting outside Washington, D.C. under Chair Jackson’s leadership; in June 2023 the NCA visiting New Orleans, Louisiana. Over the last five years (FY 2019-2023), the NEA distributed more than $23 million in federal funds to organizations in Ohio, either through direct grants or through state and regional partners.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit to learn more.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow on Instagram or visit

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