Arts Extension Service Marks 40 years with Symposium on Arts Policy and NEA

The Arts Extension Service (AES) is celebrating its 40th anniversary by opening the National Arts Policy Archives and Library (NAPAAL) at the Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives and by hosting the symposium “Arts Policy on the Ground: The Impact of the National Endowment for the Arts” on Sept. 26.

“The symposium will include panels filled with individuals in the arts representing national organizations including the NEA, Americans for the Arts, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and panelists from institutions that cross the United States. This will be a full day of discussion about arts policy and a rare chance to learn more about some of the many programs that the NEA offers,” said Dee Boyle-Clapp, director of the Arts Extension Service.    

Panels will include:

  • The National Arts Policy and Archives Library (NAPAAL): Moderator Maren Brown, co-founder of NAPAAL, will lead a discussion on the archives’ concept, partners, and unique holdings as well as its importance for the field of arts management and policy.  Brown will be joined by panelists Patrice Walker Powell, deputy chair for programs and partnerships at the NEA; Rob Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives; Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Alex Aldrich, the director of the Vermont Arts Council, in his role as a board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
  • Design and Public Art: Moderator Jason Schupbach, director of design programs for the NEA, will lead a presentation about the endowment’s rich history of supporting design and public art and a discussion about artistic contributions toward the livability of communities and their transformation into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Schupbach will be joined by Richard Andrews, president of the Skystone Foundation, which is responsible for James Turrell’s Roden Crater Project; Susan Chin, director of Design Trust; and Pam Korza, co-director of Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts.
  • Public Participation in the Arts: Moderator Sunil Iyengar, director of the Office of Research & Analysis at the NEA, will lead a panel discussion that examines how the arts has been progressing over the last several years, as charted through the federal government’s Survey of Public Participation of the Arts. Iyengar will be joined by panelists James Chung, president of Reach Advisors, a New York-based strategy, research and predictive analytics firm; Howard Herring, president and CEO of New World Symphony; and Ximena Varela, associate professor of arts management at American University.
  • Jazz and the National Endowment for the Arts: Moderator Wayne Brown, director of music and opera for the NEA, will lead a comprehensive review of the NEA’s efforts to support Jazz as an ever-evolving American art form. Brown will be joined by Bob Blumenthal, contributing editor of The Boston Phoenix and jazz critic for The Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly and The Village Voice; Willie Hill, director of the Fine Arts Center and professor in music education; and Tia Fuller, educator, performer, and recording artist who has four CDs and was the saxophonist in Beyonce’s All-Woman band. Fuller’s newest release, Angelic Warrior, was nominated for Best Jazz album by JazzWeek.
  • Arts Extension Service: 40 Years of Impacting the Arts: Moderator Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director of Animating Democracy and president of the Arts Extension Institute, will lead a panel discussion on how AES’s University based extension philosophy and investments from the NEA have helped to build the community arts movement in New England as well as nationally. Bacon will be joined by four panelists, each former Arts Extension Service directors; Craig Dreeszen, director of Dreeszen & Associates; Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts; state Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg, the founding director of AES; and Shirley Sneve, executive director of Vision Maker Media.

“The event is free and open to the public but requires advanced registration, see for information.  The lunch program costs $25 per person, $10 per student; however this portion of the event is at capacity.  Interested parties are asked to contact the Arts Extension Service to be placed on a waiting list. The reception following the symposium is free and open to the public, pre-registration is not required, and we welcome visitors to attend,” said Boyle-Clapp. 

The reception will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Campus Center 10th floor and will feature remarks from Provost Jim Staros, Julie Hayes, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Jay Schafer, director of Libraries.  All are welcome, cash bar.  For more information, contact the Arts Extension Service at 545-5260 or

This event is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, UMass Arts Council, Fine Arts Center, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the UMass Libraries and Special Collections.