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Newest Scholarship from The Meadows Foundation Honors José A. Bowen

Thanks to gifts from over 140 donors, SMU Meadows School of the Arts can now sustain 105 Meadows Scholars this year, a tenfold increase from when the program first started with 10 students in 2008. One of the donations this year was from The Meadows Foundation, which named a new $30,000 scholarship in honor of former dean José A. Bowen, who helped establish the Meadows Scholars Program shortly after his arrival at the school in 2006. Bowen led the school for eight years before departing to take over the presidency of Goucher College in Maryland in summer 2014.

"Dean Bowen made a positive, lasting impact on Meadows and the arts community in Dallas," says Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation Inc. "The Foundation wanted to commemorate his dynamic tenure as dean and celebrate the momentum he created that will surely keep Meadows in the minds of thought leaders across the country."

The first recipient of the José A. Bowen Meadows Scholar scholarship is Andrew Oh from Timonium, Md. Oh is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in film and media arts. "I researched and saw that SMU had a robust arts school and, more importantly, a film program," says Oh. "That pretty much met all my criteria. I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to study my passions and interests and intend to make good use of my time here at SMU."

From its inception, the Meadows Scholars Program has successfully brought top-ranked students from across the U.S. to Meadows School of the Arts. With typical SAT scores of 1410 and high school GPAs of 3.85+, these sought-after students are actively pursued by universities such as Harvard, Northwestern and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Over a four-year period, each Meadows Scholar receives an annual tuition grant plus a one-time exploratory grant that the Scholar may use for a creative project any time during his or her years at Meadows.

SMU continues to raise student scholarship support as it advances toward the end of the SMU Unbridled Campaign. An annual Meadows Scholar may be named for a $30,000 commitment payable over four years and is eligible for annual gala benefits. A permanently endowed Meadows Scholarship is available for $150,000, payable over up to five years. For more information, contact Director of Major Gifts Margaret Weinkauf at 214.768.4690.

SMU Alumna Jane Chu Appointed New Chairman of NEA

Alumna Jane Chu (M.M. Piano Pedagogy ’81) was appointed chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in June 2014. Her Meadows degree and four additional degrees from various universities, including a B.M. in piano performance and music education, an M.B.A., a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies and an honorary doctorate in music, have all prepared her to understand and bring together the sectors of art, business and philanthropy.

In her July swearing-in address, Chu said that of the NEA’s three top priority areas – fostering value, connection, and creativity and innovation in the arts – her most important job is to help Americans understand the value and meaning the arts have in their lives. “To do that, we have to tell the story of why the NEA’s work is so important and vital to individuals, to communities, and to the economy through the grants we give out to thousands of nonprofits and other organizations across the nation each year.”

To build connection, Chu will travel to sites across the country to see the work being carried out by NEA grant recipients, and she will urge the NEA “… to paint a vivid picture of why the arts matter on a larger level; how they connect us to each other … and provide us with a sense of belonging.”

On the topics of creativity and innovation, Chu said both are at the heart of what America is all about, and that arts education is critical to raising America’s next generations of creative, innovative thinkers. To that end, she will work to turn the focus from “STEM” education (science, technology, engineering and math) to “STEAM” education (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). “Synthesizing these differing perspectives can foster those creative and innovative thinkers to help us solve problems, think out of the box, and provide new insights,” she said.

At Meadows, Chu studied with former faculty member Louise Bianchi and current Professor of Piano David Karp. “She was a talented, diligent, serious and determined student,” recalls Karp. “It’s exciting to see how she went on to earn her additional degrees and continued to evolve as a leader. It’s wonderful to see her take over the chairmanship of the NEA.”

Two Studies Show Compelling Data

n March 2013, the U.S. House Committee on the Budget raised concerns that activities funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “are generally enjoyed by people of higher-income levels, making them a wealth transfer from poorer to wealthier citizens.”

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) explored that claim in a study titled “Do Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Represent a Wealth Transfer from Poorer to Wealthier Citizens?” It discovered two major findings: One, NEA grants are more frequently given to economically diverse communities that have a higher percentage of households that are below the poverty line as well as a higher percentage of wealthy households. And two, there is no relationship between arts attendance and median income of the local community. However, attendance at arts events actually increases as the percentage of households below the poverty line increases.

“Our analysis shows that the arts are available to Americans across the country, regardless of the income level of the local community, and that NEA funding of the arts is remarkably impartial to community wealth characteristics,” says Zannie Voss, director of NCAR. The study findings indicate that there is no bias in NEA grant-making toward or against arts organizations on the basis of income in the community. “As a percentage of the population, free attendance is significantly higher in NEA grant-receiving organizations than in organizations without NEA grants,” says Voss. The NCAR team arrived at their findings by examining the distribution of income and the median incomes in communities with and without NEA funding, as well as their patterns of arts attendance.

“Because federal funding for the NEA is often called into question, it is important to be able to answer the question of who benefits from NEA grants from a statistically sound, data-driven perspective,” says Voss.

The NCAR study was conducted by Zannie Voss; Glenn Voss, research director of NCAR; and Anne Marie Gan (M.A./M.B.A. ’15). Read more about the National Center for Arts Research at smu.edu/artsresearch.

TRACKING The Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships

Women hold fewer than 50 percent of art museum directorships, and female directors earn 79 cents for every dollar that male directors earn, according to a study released in March by the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) and the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). The study was designed to understand the gender gap in art museum directorships and to help AAMD members achieve greater gender equality.

While these are the averages, the gender differences are actually concentrated in art museums with budgets over $15 million, roughly the top quarter of American art museums. For that group, 24 percent of directors are female, and they earn 71 cents for every dollar males earn. By contrast, at museums with budgets under $15 million, the number of female directors nearly equals the number of male directors, and, on average, the women earn slightly more: $1.02 for every $1 a male director earns.

The study also found that both men and women promoted from within made less than directors hired from other institutions. In addition, directors who previously held a non-director job (e.g., deputy director or curator) made less than directors who had previously held the top position at another institution. “Since the number of women who have become directors through internal promotion is greater, these findings may help explain some of the gender salary differences,” says Dr. Zannie Voss, NCAR director.

For the study, NCAR analyzed data collected from 211 of the AAMD’s 217 members and also interviewed executive search consultants who work with art museums. The outlook of the consultants was heartening. “Overall, they observed that the historical bias toward men as art museum directors has been rapidly changing over the past five to 10 years,” says Voss. “The change has been accomplished through cultural shifts in both museums and the broader society, and the emergence of new generations of leaders. The consultants all expressed optimism that this fast pace of change will persist and that advances will continue to be made toward equality at art