President Trump, who has floated the idea of eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts on more than one occasion, today nominated Mary Anne Carter to be chairman of the agency, which provides funding for arts organizations throughout the United States.
Carter has been serving as acting chairman for the NEA since June, when the previous chairman, Jane Chu, an Obama appointee, announced her departure. Formerly chief policy adviser for Florida Governor Rick Scott, Carter joined the agency during the transition process after the 2016 presidential election and has been overseeing day-to-day operations since then.
The choice of Carter to lead the agency is unorthodox, since she has little background in the arts, unlike most of the NEA’s prior leaders. (Chu was president and chief executive of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri.) President Trump has repeatedly tapped people for key positions in areas where they seemingly have little experience.
A statement from the White House says that Carter’s “commitment to the arts stems from the challenges faced by her child with dyslexia. Finding schools that employ the arts as a teaching method make the learning process both productive and enjoyable for her daughter.”
In December of 2016, the Daily Mail reported that Cliffhanger star and painter Sylvester Stallone had been offered the post at the NEA. That ended up not coming to fruition.