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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                     (Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras)
For Immediate Release                                      March 9, 1999


It is my pleasure to transmit herewith the Annual Report of the National Endowment for the Arts for Fiscal Year 1997.

The Arts Endowment awards more than one thousand grants each year to nonprofit arts organizations for projects that bring the arts to millions of Americans. Once again, this year's grants reflect the diversity of our Nation's culture and the creativity of our artists. Whether seeing a classic theatrical production in Connecticut or an art exhibition in Arizona, whether listening to a symphony in Iowa or participating in a fine arts training program for inner-city students in Louisiana, Americans who benefit from Arts Endowment grants have experienced the power and joy of the arts in their lives.

Arts Endowment grants in 1997 supported:

       projects in theater, dance, music, visual arts, and the other
       artistic disciplines, demonstrating that our diversity is an
       asset -- and helping us to interpret the past, understand each
       other in the present, and envision the future;

       folk and traditional arts programs, which strengthen and
       showcase our rich cultural heritage; and

       arts education, which helps improve our children's skills and
       enhances their lives with the richness of the arts.

     The arts challenge our imaginations, nourish our spirits, and help

to sustain our democracy. We are a Nation of creators and innovators. As this report illustrates, the NEA continues to celebrate America's artistic achievements and makes the arts more accessible to the American people.


                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              March 9, 1999.

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