Arts Caucus Co-Chair Slaughter Praises Obama's Nomination of Landesman

News   Arts Caucus Co-Chair Slaughter Praises Obama's Nomination of Landesman New York Congressman Louise M. Slaughter, who is chairwoman of the House Rules Committee and co–chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Arts Caucus, issued a statement May 13 following reports of Jujamcyn Theaters president Rocco Landesman's nomination as the new chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts.

"I am delighted with President Obama's selection of a new leader who is both energetic and dynamic," said Slaughter in the brief statement. "The agency can use his bold passion for the arts as it works to expand its reach and impact.

"I spoke with Mr. Landesman at the White House Tuesday night during the poetry jam and was impressed with him. He knows the power that arts can have in our lives and the role that musicians, artists and theater has played in our nation's culture. I look forward to working with chairman Landesman."

Slaughter added: "Direct support of the arts has the power to stimulate the economy by both creating jobs and helping local communities invest in their quality of life."

As previously reported, producer Landesman has been nominated as the next Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. An official announcement is expected May 13. Congress must first confirm Landesman's appointment.

Landesman would succeed Dana Gioia in the position. Jujamcyn Theaters owns and runs five Broadway houses: the St. James, the Eugene O'Neill, the Al Hirschfeld, the Walter Kerr and the August Wilson.

Some of the hits Landesman has backed as producer: the award-winning plays Doubt, Proof, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Angels in America, The Grapes of Wrath and The Piano Lesson; the Tony-winning musicals Jersey Boys, The Producers and Big River; the Tony-winning revivals of Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Nine and Kiss Me, Kate; and the Tony-winning revival of Death of a Salesman.

Congress created the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965.