Trump wins: NEA chief quits

Trump wins: NEA chief quits


norman lebrecht

May 01, 2018

Jane Chu will step down in June, apparently exhausted at battling President Trump’s plans to scrap the National Endowment for the Arts. She has done well to keep it up that long.

Report here.



  • Sergio Mims says:

    She may have been tired of the battle but she won the war. According to the Washington Post

    “Although targeted by Trump for elimination, the NEA enjoys bipartisan support from Congress, which passed a spending bill — that Trump signed last month — increasing its annual funding to $152 million”.

    • william osborne says:

      There are municipal cultural budgets in the EU far larger than the NEA’s. And in the USA, the budget of the Met, for exmaple is over twice as large as the entire NEA budget. The budget of the NEA is so small that it is clear that neither party supports the agency.

  • John Gingrich says:

    This is, indeed, sad news. The next question is whether DJT thinks it best to leave the post vacant, as he has with so many ambassadorships, or appoint someone who is indifferent, or even hostile to the arts, following the format of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the meantime, let us enjoy one more month of Jane Chu.

  • Bill says:

    I see a bright future for Ted Nugent in arts endowment administration.

    • Sharon says:

      Ironically, when Trump was part of the NYC society scene he actually had a fairly strong connection with the Met. He attended operas from time to time and I believe it has been said that he actually proposed marriage to Melania at a Met gala. (Although unlike former mayor Bloomberg I doubt whether he actually contributed a lot).

      • Tiredofitall says:

        This is ABSOLUTELY not true. Not one word. What is true is that Bill Clinton was the last sitting president to attend the opera (thus sitting int the Presidential Box) and the Clintons go at least once every season, on their own, not guests of some Met trustee or donor. Trump, I addition to not attending, has never given one thin dime to the Met Opera. Much as it pains me to say it, this is fake news…

      • Tiredofitall says:

        If you Google it, Trump’s proposal (well, to Melania at any rate) was made at the Metropolitan Museum fashion gala, not the opera.

        • Sharon says:

          I apologize. I do remember that a magazine editor (I believe Vogue or Harpers Bazaar) wrote in her memoirs that many years ago she was at a dinner party with Trump, when he was still married to Ivanka, when he complained about having to sit through the Ring Cycle (or at least part of it)

  • william osborne says:

    I remember Trump suggesting Sylvester Stallone for the position….

  • Larry says:

    She will have been there for 4 years, which is quite a respectable amount time for such a high profile gig.

  • Sue says:

    Let me see if I’ve got this right: the ‘arts community’ slavishly denounces Donald Trump (even before he actually DOES anything) and then cry ‘wolf’ when he turns back to bite them. As Jordan Peterson would say, “grow the hell up”.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Dear Sue,

      I believe you are not an American (nor a thinker, but that’s another discussion). In the U.S. as it has been (not as Trump is trying to turn it into), one can have an opinion that is independent of one’s relationship to the government. In Kazakhstan or any President-For-Life-istan country, for example, it is the opposite.

      It sounds to me like you’re a lot more comfortable with how things work in Kazakhstan, and that you’d like to see that here.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Sue, do you follow US news?

    • Bill says:

      He’s being denounced because he already has done something. His budget called for the elimination of the NEA, and the only reason why it’s still in existence is that the congress put it back into the budget. He’s already proved that he has plenty of other ways of at least attempting to destroy an agency if he can’t get his way.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    The NEA is always a political football. The conservatives views government support of the arts as overreaching what government should do. (They don’t complain when the businesses in their districts get tax dollars for government purchases).

    It is truly a sad day for America where culture is viewed in such disdain, health care is a luxury, and the middle class continues to shrink.

    As one writer above has noted, the NEA will end up like the EPA. Led by someone who willingly will work to dismantle it by following the orders of our Fearless Leader.