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Greenwood to join national arts council

November 05, 2008|Mike Boehm

Lee Greenwood's main claim to fame is writing and singing the hit patriotic hymn "God Bless the U.S.A." Soon, however, it will be Greenwood's blessing that will matter on the American arts scene -- at least the part interested in tapping into federal largesse via grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate, the Nashville-based country singer is scheduled to be sworn in Nov. 17 as one of the 14 regular members of the National Council on the Arts. Council members advise the NEA chairman; their portfolio includes reviewing and making recommendations on applications for grants from the $145-million-a-year federal agency. Greenwood will serve a six-year term.

Greenwood, who grew up on a farm near Sacramento, is the lone council member appointed by Bush who will serve throughout the four years of the new president. The other 13 slots will come due during the next president's term.

More important, the next president will choose a new chairman of the NEA. Bush appointee Dana Gioia announced recently that he would leave in mid-January rather than serve the last two years of his term.

-- Mike Boehm

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