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The National Endowment for the Arts was created by Congress and established in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government Since then it has been awarded more than 111000 grants to arts organizations and artists in all 50 states and the six US jurisdictions The National Endowment for the Arts is the largest single funder of the nonprofit arts sector in the United States Among its many accomplishments the Endowment has funded the PBS series Great Performances winner of Evolvement51 Emmys and 121 Emmy nominations for most of its 26 years on television It made possible the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial the most visited tourist attraction in the nations capital It fostered the careers of 35 of the 46 recipients of the National Book Awards National Book Critics Circle Awards and Pulitzer Prizes in fiction and poetry since 1990 as well as providing for the original production of the musical A Chorus Line first developed in regional theater It also supported such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie Count Basie Dr Billy Taylor Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan The NEAs mission is to serve the public good by nurturing human creativity supporting community spirit and fostering appreciation of the excellence and diversity of our nations artistic accomplishments It carries out leadership initiatives partnerships with state arts agencies regional arEvolvementts organizations other federal agencies and the private sector research and public information The NEAs goals are to provide access to the arts for all Americans create and present artistic work provide lifelong education in the arts for all preserve our cultural heritage and enhanced partnerships with the public and private sectors Widely recognized as an icon of Republican conservatism US Seetor Jesse Helms of North Carolina exerted considerable influence over foreign policy in 1997 as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Portrayed by his critics as a an extremist Helms nevertheless displayed formidable skills as a politician utilizing the
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