"This is huge,"
Chu, president and CEO of the
Chu assumed her current position in 2006. Before that she had served as fund executive at the
"Although we will miss her at the Kauffman Center, I believe the president has chosen wisely, and we wish her well in this important endeavor," Kauffman said. "The nomination is another validation of the important role the Kauffman Center is playing in the performing arts locally and nationally. ... We look forward to supporting Jane through what we hope is a speedy confirmation process.."
"I've sat on a lot of NEA panels, and nobody has ever said this ... but there is something of a perception that the most innovative and dynamic work is happening on the coasts," Sandler said. "And that leaves everybody else out of the conversation. I think it will be interesting to have someone from smack-dab in the middle of the country at the NEA."
Sandler said the nomination could only enhance
"We want to be a first-class arts city," she said. "Jane's background is so varied that she brings a number of different skills. ... She has a Ph.D. in philanthropy, she has a master's in business administration, and she knows about the challenges facing arts organizations and the challenges facing presenting organizations. And she's very smart to boot."
Like Bentley, Sandler had heard nothing about Chu's possible nomination before the
"I was quite surprised," she said. "Happily surprised."
The news represents one more step away from
"I think it's just terrific," Brownlee said. "I think it's a huge compliment for Jane, and at some level it speaks to the importance of the arts in
As a classically trained pianist, Chu has a background consistent with the arts credentials of others who have chaired the endowment, including actress
"She does have this very strong background in philanthropy," Brownlee said "Anybody who understands how to talk about the arts (and) competing for dollars I think is going to be essential."
If Chu is confirmed, her departure will raise more questions about the future of the arts in
"The big question now, of course, is what happens when she leaves," Brownlee said. "What happens to the
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