Ivey honored by national arts group

May 23, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bill Ivey, Harvie Branscomb Distiguished Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt, has received a Special Award for leadership and advocacy in the arts from Arts Management News Service in recognition of his work as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from 1998-2001.

Arts Management, America’s oldest periodical for arts professionals, was founded in 1962 by Alvin H. Reiss and Alvin Toffler and is published in association with the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago. It serves as a national news service for those who finance, manage and communicate the arts.

The organization recognizes outstanding managers in the private arts sector with its annual Career Service Awards. In the organization’s 33-year history, only five of the Special Awards have been given in recognition of extraordinary leadership from someone in the public sector.

In 1998 Ivey became the first chairman of the NEA to have developed and managed a nonprofit cultural institution. Reiss cited “Ivey’s tireless work as spokesman for the arts and his travel throughout the country to meet with local arts, business and education leaders.”

The association also particularly noted Ivey’s creation of the NEA’s first long-term strategic plan, which laid the groundwork for better relations with Congress and ultimately to the funding of his “Challenge America” and “Creative Links, Positive Alternatives for Youth” initiatives designed to foster stronger ties between arts organizations, community groups and federal agencies.

Reiss said colleagues recognized that Ivey came from the popular arts but proved to be a partisan for all the arts. “He was impassioned and held together an Endowment shaken from its fights with Congress and the arts community, ultimately achieving the first increase in NEA funding in a decade,” said Reiss. “His time was short but good.”

Ivey is currently working with Vanderbilt to create a center for the study and development of policy relating to government and private sector systems used in the creation, support and distribution of the arts. From 1971 to 1998, Ivey served as director of the Country Music Foundation and was elected to two terms as Chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). In 1994 he was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities where he was a major contributor to A Creative America, an analysis of American cultural life. The 33rd annual Arts Management Awards ceremony took place April 29 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Contact: David Glasgow, (615) 322-NEWS david.glasgow@vanderbilt.edu

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