2 women with Arizona roots are nominees for the humanities and arts endowments

Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 8:41am
Updated: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 8:04pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.14 MB)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate two women of color with ties to Arizona as chairs of the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts.

If confirmed, Shelly Lowe will be the nation’s first Native American to serve as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Maria Rosario Jackson will be the first African American and Mexican American to serve as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lowe grew up on the Navajo Nation and spent six years as the graduate education program facilitator for the American Indian Studies Programs at the University of Arizona. Lowe is the executive director of Harvard University's Native American program.

Jackson is a tenured professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University where she also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

The humanities and arts endowments were established by Congress in 1965 and are independent federal agencies that support research, education and development in the arts and humanities through partnerships with state and local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector.

Lowe is a member of the National Council on the Humanities, an appointment she received from President Barack Obama. Jackson was appointed by Obama in 2013 to the the National Council on the Arts, which advises the NEA chairman.

Associated Press contributed to this report.