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Bill  Ivey

Bill Ivey

Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts


Bill Ivey is the Founding Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, an arts policy research center with offices in both Nashville, Tennessee and Washington, DC.  He also directs the Center’s Washington-based program for senior government career staff, the Arts Industries Policy Forum, and serves as Senior Consultant to Leadership Music, a professional development program serving Nashville’s music community.  Ivey is a trustee of the Center for American Progress, and served as Team Leader for Arts and Humanities in the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition.  His book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, was published by the University of California Press in the summer of 2008. Read More >

Ivey served as the seventh Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from May 1998 through September 2001.  Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA.  Ivey’s Challenge America Initiative, launched in 1999, has garnered more than $15 million to date in new Congressional appropriations for the Arts Endowment.

Prior to government service, Ivey was director of the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee.  He was twice elected board chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and is a past President of the American Folklore Society.  Ivey holds degrees in history, folklore, and ethnomusicology, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University, and Indiana University.  He is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Album Notes category), and is the author of numerous articles on US cultural policy, and on folk and popular music. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Arts, Inc.: How Greed & Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights