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NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Congratulates Jon Parrish Peede on Eight Years of Service to the National Endowment for the Arts

Washington, DC - National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman congratulates Jon Parrish Peede on his eight years of service to the NEA.  Peede has served as Literature Director and as Counselor to the Chairman, and in these roles he has overseen leadership initiatives and grantmaking for a wide range of literature projects. 

“It has been an honor to serve at the Arts Endowment in support of writers, translators, publishers, and literary organizations,” Peede stated. “I have found my colleagues here to be gifted, engaged, and dedicated in their service to the public. As I have learned firsthand, the NEA plays an essential role in bringing the arts and artists to the country.”  Peede, who holds a Master’s Degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, will resume his career in writing fiction and literary criticism.

“The NEA is grateful for Jon Peede’s comprehensive literary expertise, his adept guidance of national partnership programs, and his dedicated service to the American public,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

During his tenure, Peede supervised prominent NEA programs.  He was program director for the Endowment’s critically acclaimed national initiative, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a landmark partnership among the NEA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Made possible by the Boeing Company, Operation Homecoming preserves the stories of U.S. military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their families. This groundbreaking program resulted in more than 60 writing workshops for troops and veterans in the U.S. and abroad; an award-winning anthology published by Random House; two documentary films; educational resources for writers; and a historic literary archive of submissions housed at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. 

Peede played a major role in bringing poetry and literature to the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival.  He organized the NEA Poetry and Prose Pavilion from 2004 through 2010, recruiting award-winning authors and poets such as Jonathan Franzen, Jane Smiley, Orhan Pamuk, and Natasha Trethewey to share their literary work at this popular festival, attended by 150,000 people in 2010. 

Peede’s experience as a literary publisher helped assure high quality publication of the anthologies produced in the NEA International Literary Exchange initiative.  He helped shepherd six literary anthologies of authors from Mexico, Russia, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, and China, along with six companion bilingual volumes, published in the partner countries, which share the work of American writers with foreign readers. 

Since July 2007, Peede has managed applications, panels, and grant awards for NEA literature fellowships, as well as NEA grant awards for literary presses, magazines, and organizations.  In FY 2011, the NEA’s Literature Program has invested in 183 grants to organizations and individuals totaling $4,210,000. Under Peede’s direction, the number of literary translation applications doubled due to changes he approved in the grant guidelines. 

An acting literature director will be announced shortly, and a national search for a replacement is currently underway.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA

Liz Stark

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