President Obama Appoints Additional Members to Serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and HumanitiesPresident Obama Appoints Additional Members to Serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

President Barack Obama appointed an additional six private members to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), joining the twenty-five private members who were appointed earlier. The new members will be sworn in at a ceremony at the Supreme Court on February 24. The President's Committee is led by Co-Chairs George Stevens, Jr. and Margo Lion and Vice-Chair Mary Schmidt Campbell, and its members also include twelve federal members whose agencies have cultural programs, among them the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the U. S. Department of Education, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The President's Committee's commitment to cultural philanthropy and its success in engaging the public and private sectors is made possible by the expertise and leadership of its private and federal members, who embody and represent the diverse elements of the U.S. interdependent system of support for the arts and humanities. The PCAH bridges the interests of the White House, federal agencies and the private sector to support arts and humanities efforts in three areas arts education, cultural diplomacy and the arts and humanities role in community revitalization.

The new members include:

  • Chuck Close, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Chuck Close is a visual artist noted for his highly inventive techniques used to paint the human face, and is best known for his large-scale, photo based portrait paintings. He is also an accomplished printmaker and photographer whose work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions in more than 20 countries, including major retrospective exhibitions at New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and most recently at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2000, Mr. Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Close is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has served on the boards of many arts organizations.
  • Fred Goldring, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Fred Goldring co-founded the prominent California-based entertainment law firm Goldring, Hertz and Lichtenstein which represents numerous global superstar recording and performing artists, and is also co-founder of entertainment strategic consultancy, MemBrain, which works with Fortune 500 companies and new media and technology enterprises regarding entertainment marketing strategy. Mr. Goldring is also the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rock The Vote, and has been the co-recipient of an Emmy Award, a Clio Award, a Global Media Award and an NAACP Image Award.
  • Sheila Johnson, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Sheila Johnson is the founder and CEO of Salamander Hospitality; co-founder of Black Entertainment Television; a documentary film producer; and the only African-American woman to co-own three professional sports teams. A classically trained violinist who began her career as a music teacher, Ms. Johnson is a long time advocate for the arts. She serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design and several boards including Americans for the Arts.
  • Pamela Joyner, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Pamela Joyner is the Founder of Avid Partners, LLC. Her other business experiences include holding senior positions at Bowman Capital, LLC and Capital Guardian Trust Company. Ms Joyner is a former Co-Chair and current Trustee Emeritus of the San Francisco Ballet. She is a Trustee of The MacDowell Colony, The School of American Ballet and Dartmouth College. Ms. Joyner also serves a Director of The California Healthcare Foundation and an Advisory Board Member of First Republic Bank.
  • Jhumpa Lahiri , Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Jhumpa Lahiri is a fiction writer whose debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, received the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Addison M. Metcalf Award, and the New Yorker magazine's Debut of the Year. Her novel, The Namesake, was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly. Her latest story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Vallombrosa-Gregor von Rezzori Prize.
  • Ken Solomon, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Ken Solomon is chairman of Ovation TV, a national cable and satellite network focused on bringing art, culture and personal creativity to all Americans. He is also chairman and CEO of Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour network dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. With more than 25 years of television and multimedia experience, Mr. Solomon has held top posts with the Walt Disney Corp., Universal Television, DreamWorks, News Corp. and Scripps. He is currently vice chairman of the Young Presidents Organization Bel-Air (YPO) and has been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by H.E.L.P. Group, one of the largest and most influential children's charities in the United States, for which he serves on the Circle of Friends advisory board.