Welcome to the The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

The President’s Committee bridges the interests of federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives under our Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama.

Photo by Andrea Dylewski
Photo by Andrea Dylewski
Education Slide

The President’s Committee believes that the arts and humanities should be part of the education of every child in America. The PCAH honors organizations and supports initiatives that give young people the opportunity to experience the mastery, discipline and accomplishment that is part of being an artist and scholar.

Photo by Michael JN Bowles
Photo by Michael JN Bowles
Cultural Exchange Slide

International cultural exchange and cooperation in a increasingly interconnected world is more important than ever. By fostering those connections with audiences in the U.S. and abroad, the President’s Committee seeks to share ideas, broaden understanding of the riches of cultural traditions from around the world and expand cooperation to sustain and nurture artists, scholars, performers and institutions.

Photo: Dave Matthews and Cuban musician Carlos Varela (right) perform during PCAH cultural visit to Cuba.

Photo by Jocelyn Augustino
Photo by Jocelyn Augustino
Creative Economy Slide

Arts, humanities and heritage resources and their creative workers are a key to healthy, vibrant communities, increasing their competitiveness as places to live, work and visit. Festivals, galleries, studios, historic sites and buildings and a wealth of other cultural and historic assets are integral to the identity of communities and neighborhoods. The President's Committee focuses its leadership on the value of civic investment in these critical resources.

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC
Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC
Special Events Slide

A healthy cultural climate requires dedicated citizens and civic leadership. The President’s Committee embodies that principle as a dynamic link between the public and private sectors, which is used to support activities that recognize distinguished artists and humanists, as well as celebrate the diversity of American culture as a source of strength.

Photo by Tony Brown
Photo by Tony Brown

PCAH SpotlightPCAH Spotlight

President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 2008-2016: A Legacy of Action

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 2008-2016: A Legacy of Action highlights the results of the synergy of collaboration the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) forged with the private sector and each of the cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services—over the last eight years, catalyzing groundbreaking initiatives in arts education like Turnaround Arts  and expanding legacy programs like the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program awards. The transformation and change envisioned by PCAH’s Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama came about through the individual and collective creativity and energy of PCAH members. Together this President’s Committee built model programs that were similar too, but different than anything that had come before in nurturing the talents, aspirations and knowledge of our nation’s youth.

Read more.

PCAH Honors National Medals Winners

In a ceremony at the White House, ten National Medals for the Arts and twelve National Humanities Medals were presented by President Barack Obama to legendary artists, renowned scholars, musicians, historians, actors and institutions. The awards honor extraordinary contributions to the arts ... Read More »

PCAH and Save America's Treasures Honors National Preservation Day

Fifty years ago today, September 23, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was signed into law by President Johnson. The President’s Committee and its federal partners the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum ... Read More »

New Class of National Student Poets Announced by the White House

In a private ceremony at the White House, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) Honorary Chair Michelle Obama presented the fifth class of National Student Poets with their pins, signifying their role as poetry ambassadors for the coming year and identifying them as ... Read More »

PCAH Announces the Creative Youth Development National Partnership

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) has launched the Creative Youth Development National Partnership with the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Americans for the Arts. Creative youth development (CYD) is a recently coined ... Read More »
Paula Hannaway Crown

Re-investing in Arts Education: A Chicago Conversation

July 11, 2012 – Paula Hannaway Crown

Last fall, my husband Jim and I hosted a conversation on arts education in Chicago. One of four such conversations held around the country, the evening was designed to bring together thought leaders, administrators, philanthropists and members of President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) to discuss the national imperative of arts education and the PCAH’s landmark report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools. We were pleased to have co-chair Margo Lion, Vice Chair Mary Schmidt Campbell, and fellow PCAH members Damian Woetzel, Yo-Yo Ma, and Howard Gottleib join us for this important evening. Joining them were an impressive list of local academics and educators including: the head of Chicago Public Schools, Jean-Claude Brizard; President Walter Massey of the School of the Art Institute; President Robert Zimmer of the University of Chicago; Timothy Knowles of the Urban Education Initiative; and Deborah Rutter of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also joining us were a group of prominent civic leaders including Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert, Caryn and King Harris, Penny Sebring and Chuck Lewis, Julie and Brian Simmons, ... Read More »
Margo Lion

President's Committee Honored with National Award for Arts Education

October 27, 2011 – Margo Lion

On October 17 at their Gala Dinner in New York City, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) honored the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities with the Arts Education Award.  George Stevens, Jr,. Rachel Goslins, Liz Manne, Ken Solomon and Damian Woetzel joined me for the festivities, which also celebrated artists Frank Stella (Lifetime Achievement Award), Jenny Holzer (Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award) and Gabourey Sidibe (Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award).   Americans for the Arts (AFTA) really knows how to host an event, and this night was no exception. The evening was buzzing with lively conversation about the role of the arts—in education, in strengthening community and in economic development.  Given the enthusiastic response to our landmark report, Re-investing in Arts Education: Winning America's Future, AFTA chose arts education as a major theme for the evening.  It was deeply gratifying to hear echoed again and again the importance of our research and recommendations to those working tirelessly in the trenches.  There was an especially exciting moment when Stephen Jones, ... Read More »

Honorary ChairmanHonorary Chairman

First Lady Michelle Obama

The arts and humanities define who we are as a people.  That is their power -- to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common.  To help us understand our history and imagine our future.  To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”

— First Lady Michelle Obama

About Our MembersAbout Our Members

The President’s Committee’s success in engaging the public and private sectors depends on the expertise and leadership of its private and federal members, who embody and represent the diverse elements of the cultural sector.

Read more about the President's Committee and read the Chairmen's Letter »