F187. The NEA Turns 50: Celebrating a Half-Century of Support for Literature in America

Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


What do Ralph Ellison, Harper Lee, and John Steinbeck have in common? They were among the first council members of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1966 that argued for grants to creative writers. Since then, the NEA has been the unsung hero behind the successful careers of many thousands of writers and literary organizations. Join key members of the literary community in a discussion of the NEA and the literary landscape over the last 50 years, and what the next 50 years might look like.



Amy Stolls is the director of literature at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fiona McCrae has been the director and publisher of Graywolf Press since 1994.

Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of sixteen books, including Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Devil's Highway. A member of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame, he has also won an Edgar, American Book Award, Lannan Literary Prize, and Pacific Rim Prize. He is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Natasha Trethewey

Ken Chen is the executive director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for his poetry collection Juvenilia, which was selected by Louise Glück. He is one of the founders of CultureStrike, an arts organization dedicated to migrant justice.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center