On April 13, President Biden announced the reestablishment of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Broadway producer Bruce Cohen will co-chair the group alongside songwriter and performer Lady Gaga. A number of Broadway alums, including actors Kerry Washington, Jennifer Garner and Troy Kotsur, as well as playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith, will serve as members.
The committee also includes executive director of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Laura Penn and longtime producer of the Tony Awards telecast Ricky Kirshner.
Rounding out the cohort are members Jon Batiste, Constance M. Carroll, George Clooney, Philip J. Deloria, M. Angélica Garcia, Nora Halpern, Steve Israel, Marta Kauffman, Katie McGrath, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Arnold Rampersad, Shonda Rhimes, Kimberly Richter Shirley, Horacio Sierra, Joe Walsh and Pauline Yu.
Founded in 1982, the committee has advised the president on cultural policy. Historically, the group has facilitated public-private partnerships and developed programming to elevate the arts, humanities, museums and library services throughout the United States and will continue to do so. The cohort will also work with artists and scholars to promote the excellence of arts and humanities.
The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities had been disbanded during the Trump administration. This is the first appointment of such a committee since Biden took office in January 2021.