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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2012

CONTACT: Victoria Hutter,, 202-682-5692


National Endowment for the Arts Accepts Nominations for 2012 National Medal of Arts


Nomination form available at


Washington, DC—As the recipients of the 2011 National Medal of Arts return to their homes from the February 13, 2012 awards ceremony, the National Endowment for the Arts encourages the American public to nominate artists and arts patrons for the next round of medals. Visit the NEA website and the Lifetime Honors tab to submit a nomination for a 2012 National Medal of Arts. The deadline is March 31, 2012. The National Medal of Arts is presented by the President and is the highest award given to artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the United States. The nomination process is managed by the NEA.


Since the inception of the National Medal of Arts in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan, 290 individuals have been honored for their creativity, inspiration, and hard work. These exceptional individuals have significantly enriched the cultural life of our nation and include writers such as Saul Bellow and Ralph Ellison; visual artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Roy Lichtenstein; actors such as Meryl Streep and Al Pacino, musicians such as Aaron Copland and Jessye Norman; dancers such as Twyla Tharp and Suzanne Farrell, as well as architects, designers, arts educators, directors, and composers.  Arts organizations such as Oberlin Conservatory of Music have been recognized as have arts patrons including Irene Diamond and Emily Rauh Pulitzer.


NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman notes, “We at the Arts Endowment strive to support artistic excellence in the United States, and the National Medal of Arts recipients demonstrate that the arts are continuing to thrive. Dynamic, diverse, and original, the arts are an essential part of our American identity and civilization.”


Nominees for a National Medal of Arts must be U.S. citizens with a distinguished professional career that merits receiving the U.S. government’s highest award. Competitive nominees will be familiar to reviewers so, the purpose of the nomination is to remind reviewers that a nominee should be considered. Posthumous nominations are not accepted and all nominations must be made online.


Downloadable photos from the 2011 National Medal of Arts Ceremony at the White House are available on the Lifetime Honors page along with a transcript of the ceremony.


For further information, please contact the Arts Endowment's Office of the Chief of Staff at 202.682.5434.




Contact:  Terri Van Orman

(870) 269-8397


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Sign up now for 2012 Spring Craft Classes at the Arkansas Craft School

Daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding and it is a perfect time to experience spring in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The Arkansas Craft School in Mountain View invites you to sign up now for craft classes to be presented during the months of April and May.

The new season starts April 27 – 29 with an opportunity for an extraordinary get-away to the country-side studios of two very special artists.  Robert and Mary Patrick live and work in the beautiful rural area of Everton, Arkansas.  They are offering the rare chance for students to not only work in their personal studios, but for a very limited number of participants; to be able to stay there as well.  Mary will be presenting her class “Ozark Gizzard Baskets” at the same time that Bob will be presenting his “Basic Blacksmithing” class; promising an exciting and creative weekend retreat.

Starting off the month of May, Kip Powers will offer the course “Introduction to Woodturning” May 4 - 6.  Considered by some to be the premier woodturning studio in the state of Arkansas, the Arkansas Craft School will be the site for this foundational course.  The class will cover the equipment, tools, safety, and techniques used in the art of woodturning.  This class will be “hands on”, and students will come away with the firm foundation needed to begin turning wood safely; as well as small projects created while learning these new skills.  The class will also prepare students to be able to participate in several other upcoming wood turning workshops.

Fisherfolk – get ready for spring fishing!  Donnie Hyslip will be offering an intensive one-day fly-tying workshop May 5, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Students will be taught to tie the San Juan worm, egg pattern, sowbug /scud, pheasant tail and soft hackle flies; and will keep all flies that they tie for their own personal use.  This class is geared for any skill level, but you must have full use of your hands to take part.

Another blacksmithing workshop, on May 5 & 6 – just in time for Mother’s Day - forge a rose for your favorite mom or sweetheart!  Students will forge a 4-layered metal rose approximately six inches tall, perfect for a gift or for display; and come away with the skills to create other types of floral forms as well.  The class will be taught by local blacksmith Scott Riedy, and will be held at Heritage Springs Blacksmith Shop, in Mountain View.

On May 17 - 19, wildlife woodcarver Gerry Chisholm will be teaching a woodcarving class, where students can learn how to carve a songbird.  Participants may also choose other projects, with permission of the instructor.  Class lessons will include sharpening tools, choosing and working with wood, the carving process, making legs and feet; painting, finishing, and mounting. 

During another special artist’s studio workshop, Roberta Katz-Messenger will be offering an ‘Introduction to Stained Glass’ in her Clinton, Arkansas Glass Studio on May 24 - 26.  Students can expect to come away with a sun catcher and a small stained glass window, as well as the skills needed to continue to create colorful and light-filled objects of stained glass.

Spend Memorial Day weekend, May 25 – 27, learning the basics of string instrument building in a workshop taught by John Van Orman entitled “Building the Aeolian Harp”. An Aeolian Harp is a string instrument, often set up in the window, where it can catch the breezes which vibrate the strings to produce an ethereal sound.  The harp may be built to accommodate your personal window frame opening.    

Visit the Arkansas Craft School’s website, for more information on these and other upcoming classes, as well as registration forms and scholarship applications.  The registration process has recently been streamlined, with a $50.00 deposit now securing your place in class.  The Arkansas Craft School, located on Main Street in Mountain View, Arkansas is dedicated to the education of aspiring and practicing craft artisans for success in the Creative Economy.  The Craft School partners with Ozarka College which offers Continuing Education credits for all of its courses.  Support for the Arkansas Craft School is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment of the Arts.






DENVER, CO – The Museum Store Association (MSA) will hold its 57th Retail Conference & Expo in New Orleans, April 14–16, 2012, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The MSA Retail Conference & Expo is an indispensable opportunity for cultural commerce professionals to learn, buy and network.
MSA is a nonprofit, international association organized to advance the success of museum retail professionals. By encouraging high standards of professionalism, MSA helps cultural commerce professionals better serve their organizations. MSA also is focused on helping increase awareness about museum stores as unique shopping destinations for tourists and cultural travelers.
“This year’s exciting program includes several industry experts offering solutions and tools to meet the challenges today’s museum store managers face, and the MSA Expo features the leading product vendors in the specialty gift industry. Each museum store offers its own unique collection of culturally-oriented items and this is the premiere buying Expo for the cultural market,” said MSABoard President Valerie Troyansky.
The MSA Expo is arguably the most important annual buying event for the museum store community and the only tradeshow specifically for retailers in museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, aquariums, zoos, libraries and more.
In addition to building institution revenue through sales, museum stores provide a high-impact point of contact with cultural institution patrons. The store is a place to reinforce the experience of visiting a cultural institution and to re-emphasize the mission of the institution. As the entire cultural community faces the effects of tight economic times, building value within institutions is more important than ever.
At the Conference, museum store employees will:
1. Discover how to maximize store revenue
2. Share best practices with colleagues
3. Find solutions to take back to the store and implement immediately
4. Shop for mission-related merchandise
For further details visit To receive a press pass to the Conference, credentialed members of the media should contact Stephanie Petersat



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