Pop icon Lady Gaga has been tapped to co-chair the Biden administration’s newly reinstated President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Back in 2017, the PCAH disbanded after the former President, Donald Trump, refrained from condemning the violent white supremacist rally, “Unite the Right” – which left dozens of people injured and one person killed.
“We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” the committee members said in a joint statement, (per Politico).
Due to 17 members exiting the board, which included openly gay actor Kal Penn, the 45th president and his administration dissolved the group officially.
After a five-year absence, President Biden signed an executive order in 2022 confirming that the committee would be returning.
“The arts, the humanities and museum and library services are essential to the well-being, health, vitality and democracy of our Nation,” the order 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.”
On 13 April, President Biden released new information relating to the reestablished committee – including Gaga’s newly appointed role as co-chair alongside acclaimed film producer Bruce Cohen.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) April 13, 2023
The group’s 24 new members also include singer-songwriter Jon Batiste, actor George Clooney, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, Scandal star Kerry Washington, writer Anna Deavere Smith, historian Philip J Deloria and President of Berkeley City College M. Angélica Garcia.
In response to the news, PCAH’s executive director Tsione Wolde-Michael released a statement celebrating the committee’s new members.
“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,” Wolde-Michael said.
“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.”
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities was first established on 15 June 1982.
Over the last few decades, the board’s intellectual and creative members have advised the President on all matters regarding cultural policy – including the creation of “federal programs, creative economy, and the advancement of arts and humanities education.”