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NEA, AU and U.S. Department of State Announce NEA International Arts Journalism Institute in the Visual Arts

WASHINGTON, DC.- American University (AU), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Department of State announced today that applications are being accepted for the inaugural NEA International Arts Journalism Institute in Visual Arts, to take place June 12-26, 2009. Applications for American journalists are due April 17, 2009.

The International Arts Journalism Institute in Visual Arts is a partnership between the NEA and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State (ECA) and is administered by American University. This first NEA journalism institute focused on visual arts demonstrates the NEA's commitment -- shared by ECA -- to supporting informed arts criticism. Previous NEA journalism institutes have focused on dance, music, and theater.

During the two-week visual arts institute, up to 12 writers, editors, and broadcast and online producers from the United States, as well as up to 12 journalists from overseas, will visit museums, attend lectures, and participate in writing workshops. All sessions will be conducted in English. Based at AU, the journalists will take day trips throughout the mid-Atlantic region, visiting art galleries and museums in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., with an emphasis on American art since 1860. The journalists will meet with visual art professionals ranging from curators at major museums to directors of small galleries. Acting NEA Chairman Patrice Walker Powell said, "Since 2004, the NEA's arts journalism institutes have offered American journalists a chance to hone their reviewing skills and expand their cultural knowledge. We are pleased to now share this unique experience with international journalists who benefit not only from the professional training and cross-cultural dialogue, but have an opportunity to view masterpieces of American art."

Referring to the partnership between the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the NEA, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchanges Alina L. Romanowski explained, "The U.S. Department of State is pleased to support the participation of international journalists in this new NEA institute. America's visual arts reflect important and unique aspects of our society and the international participants will thus deepen their understanding of the values, challenges and triumphs faced by Americans throughout our history. U.S. participants will likewise be able to benefit from the opportunity to dialogue with foreign counterparts."

American University Provost Scott Bass said the university and its museum will provide an exceptional home for the institute. "The AU Museum, in collaboration with the NEA and ECA, provides a unique combination of talent and resources to explore art forms from the perspective of the journalist," Bass said. "By engaging project participants from the United States and other countries, using professionals from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Communication, this institute will be encouraging those chosen to participate to make informed critical insights in the visual arts."

Jack Rasmussen, director and curator of American University Museum, will direct the NEA International Arts Journalism Institute in Visual Arts. Mr. Rasmussen stated, "The Institute will place American art in its historical and cultural context, and bring participants into close working contact with artists, curators, dealers, and critics in the United States today."

Since 2004, more than 250 journalists from all 50 states have attended NEA journalism institutes: the Institute for Music and Opera at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York; the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C; or the Theater and Musical Theater Institute at USC Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles. Funded by a multimillion-dollar NEA initiative, the institutes offer intensive training for arts reporters and their editors, especially those who live and work outside the major cultural centers.

By adding visual arts to the roster of available arts journalism institutes, the NEA continues building momentum for the visual arts. Visual arts milestones marked in 2008 include the addition of a domestic component to the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program and publishing the catalog for The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a project of the National Gallery of Art.

Applications for American journalists are due April 17, 2009. For more information, please visit:

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