encourage excellence and to bring art to all Americans, has used its funds as a spark for private beneficence.
The 20th century has been one in which artists in the United States have broken free from Old World antecedents, taking the various cultural disciplines in new directions with impressive, innovative results.
Music, film, theater, dance, architecture and other artistic expressions have been enhanced and transformed. A rejuvenation in music, new directions in modern dance, drama drawn from the U.S. heartland, independent filmmaking across the landscape, the globalization of the visual arts — all of these are part of the contemporary scene in the United States.
What is at the root of all the ongoing creative ferment? Dana Gioia, the poet who currently is chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, identifies one likely source: “The reason