Poet and former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Dana Gioia will deliver the keynote speech at the sixth annual Art Star Awards to be held on Sunday, April 1, in Laguna Beach.
At the gala, the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts makes awards in seven categories, presented to organizations, businesses and individuals who have contributed and shaped the arts and culture of the community and the county.
“Mr. Gioia has championed the importance of the arts at the highest level in our country,” said Wayne Baglin, chair of the 20-member LBaa. “What an honor it is to have him as the keynote speaker at this year’s Art Star Awards.”
Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks.
As chairman of the NEA, Gioia succeeded in garnering bi-partisan support in Congress for its Arts Endowments, as well as in strengthening consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education.
Business Week magazine referred to him as “The Man Who Saved the NEA.”
Through programs such as Shakespeare in American Communities, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, NEA Jazz Masters, American Masterpieces, and Poetry Out Loud, the Arts Endowment has reached millions of Americans in all corners of the country. After leaving the NEA after two terms in 2009, he received academic appointments at USC and the Aspen Institute.