Of the three new appointees to the National Endowment for the Arts' prestigious National Council on the Arts
, two are Minneapolis arts leaders: Ranee Ramaswamy, founder and co-artistic director of Ragamala Dance
, and Olga Viso
, executive director of the Walker Art Center
. The third appointee is Rick Lowe of Houston, Texas, founder of Project Row Houses.
The National Council on the Arts convenes three times a year to vote on funding recommendations for grants and rejections; to advise the chair on application guidelines, budget, and policy and planning directions; and to recommend to the President of the United States nominees for the National Medal of Arts. The three new appointees were confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Barack Obama.
The appointees "bring their varied experience--ranging from contemporary art curatorship, to classical Indian dance, and creative placemaking--to help the NEA advance its mission to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation in communities across the country," states the press release.
Ramaswamy has been a master choreographer, performer, and teacher of the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam dance since 1978. She founded Ragamala Dance in Minneapolis in 1992. Her work has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, American Composers Forum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and has been supported by the National Dance Project and the Joyce Foundation. Ramaswamy’s tours have been highlighted by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Dance Festival, and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, India. She's earned numerous regional and national awards for her work.
Prior to joining the Walker, Viso was director at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – Smithsonian Institution. She was a curator at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida from 1993 to 1995, and held several curatorial and administrative positions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia from 1989 to 1993. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. From 2003 to 2006, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions.
Source: National Endowment for the Arts