Dec. 3, 2004

Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

KU graduate appointed to National Council on the Arts

LAWRENCE -- The U.S. Senate has confirmed the appointment of University of Kansas graduate James K. Ballinger to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.

President George W. Bush nominated Ballinger, who received a bachelor's degree in history in 1971 and a master's degree in history of art in 1974 from KU and who has been director of the Phoenix Art Museum since 1982. He was confirmed along with Gerard Schwarz, music director of the Seattle Symphony, and Terry Teachout, drama critic of the Wall Street Journal.

Ballinger, a specialist in American art, has directed major exhibitions including “Americans in Brittany and Normandy 1860-1910,” “Diego Rivera: The Cubist Years,” “Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings” and “Frederic Remington's Southwest.” He is also author of a monograph, “Frederic Remington.” Ballinger has served on numerous grant panels for the NEA, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Phoenix Arts Commission. He sits on the board of the Association of Art Museum Directors, among several other arts boards. He is also a graduate of the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The National Council on the Arts advises NEA chair Dana Gioia, who also chairs the council, on agency policies and programs. The 13-member panel reviews and makes recommendations to the chair on applications for grants, funding guidelines and leadership initiatives. The council also recommends individuals and organizations to receive the National Medal of Arts, a presidential award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts in America.

Current board members include author/composer James McBride and opera singer Mary Costa. Previous board members have included Marian Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, Agnes de Mille, Duke Ellington, Helen Hayes, Charlton Heston, Harper Lee, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Richard Rodgers, Rosalind Russell, John Steinbeck and Isaac Stern.

For more information about the National Council on the Arts and its members, visit


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