May 6, 1981

The President today announced the creation of a Task Force on the Arts and Humanities. Named to head the Task Force as the Chairman for the Arts is actor and American Film Institute chairman, Charlton Heston. Dr. Hanna H. Gray, president of the University of Chicago, will serve as Chairman for the Humanities. Chairman for the Federal Government will be the Ambassador at Large for Cultural Affairs-designate, Daniel J. Terra, Chicago arts patron. Barnabas McHenry, of New York City, was named as Vice Chairman.

The Task Force will recommend to the President ways in which private support might offset the cuts in the budgets of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. The Task Force will, however, direct its inquiry to all of the activities of both Endowments, as well as other Federal arts and humanities programs. Special attention will be paid to three areas: First is the possibility of increasing support to State and local programs; second is increasing the role of nongovernmental, professional judgment in award making; and third is the desirability of converting the Endowments into public corporations.