Long brings top federal arts official to Springfield for tour of the town

Posted on October 19, 2017 17:30 pm CDT

By Will Schmitt

Springfield Newsleader


A top federal arts official visited Springfield on Tuesday at the invitation of Rep. Billy Long. 


Jane Chu, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, helped with a grant-writing workshop at the Springfield Art Museum, took in a choir performance by students at Reed Middle School, and learned about goings-on at Springfield Little Theatre, according to a Wednesday news release from Long's office. 


Chu, a Midwesterner who was appointed to her post by former President Barack Obama, also toured the Creamery Arts Center, the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts and the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum at Top of the Rock, according to the release.


Long knew from the day he and Chu met "she was going to be one of President Obama's best picks," the Congressman said in a statement. He cited Chu's upbringing in Oklahoma and Arkansas and her work for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City as evidence that she "understands the value of middle America."


"I'm thrilled she accepted my offer to visit Missouri's 7th Congressional District to visit with leaders in the arts community and held non-profits with the grant writing process," Long continued. "I know the arts have played a huge role in my family's life as well as southwest Missouri."


Chu thanked Long and expressed her support for Missouri's arts community in a statement.


"The arts are important in many aspects of our lives, whether it's giving us the tools for self-expression and creativity, bringing vitality to our communities, or improve our physical and mental health," Chu said. "I want to thank Congressman Long for this opportunity to share more about the National Endowment for the Arts and how we can support the arts community in Missouri."


Long, R-Missouri, recently was involved in bringing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to Ozark for a rural broadband discussion and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield to ride horses and observe the grounds.


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