US President Joe Biden appointed queer icon Lady Gaga to co-lead the Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, together with producer Bruce Cohen. The President announced the news on Thursday, April 13, while travelling through Ireland for his visit to his “ancestral home”.
The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) was first established in 1982 with the aim of advising the US President on matters regarding cultural policy and it included a panel of prominent artists and scholars. However, in 2017 the Committee disbanded to protest Trump’s response to the violent white supremacist rally “Unite the Right” in Virginia, where many people were left injured and one person died.
After the former president failed to condemn the rally, 17 members of the Committee decided to exit it and released a statement to Trump, saying: “We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions”.
After this five-year absence, last September, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reinstate the Committee. “The arts, the humanities and museum and library services are essential to the well-being, health, vitality and democracy of our Nation,” the order read.
It further stated, “It is the policy of my Administration to advance the cultural vitality of the United States by promoting the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services.”
Joe Biden has appointed Lady Gaga as co-chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
The committee advises the President and the heads of U.S. cultural agencies on ways to enhance federal support for the arts and humanities. pic.twitter.com/X0aO0vZx3j
— Pop Base (@PopBase) April 13, 2023
On April 13, the Biden administration released new information on the Committee, including the announcement that Lady Gaga is to co-chair the board along with film producer Bruce Cohen. An LGBTQ+ icon and pop sensation, Lady Gaga has also always been a fervent supporter of President Joe Biden, even performing at the inauguration in 2021 after he and Kamala Harris won the election.
Other Committee members include singer Jon Batiste, actor George Clooney, producer Shonda Rhimes and writer Anna Deavere Smith, among others.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) April 13, 2023
Responding to the announcement, the Committee’s executive director Tsione Wolde-Michael stated: “The reinstitution of PCAH is an exciting moment for the arts and humanities sectors, and it is a privilege to be the first public historian and curator serving as its director.”
She added, “With this group of dedicated leaders and an Executive Order that expands PCAH’s mission, the committee is positioned to do meaningful work that will positively impact the arts, libraries, museums, and public humanities work in communities across the country.”
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