WASHINGTON and SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Noted singer-songwriter and record producer Ben Folds will perform at The Americans for the Arts 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy on April 16 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The lecture is presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, in partnership with Ovation, the only television network celebrating art, artists and all forms of artistic story-telling.
"I am honored to join grassroots advocates from around the country on Arts Advocacy Day and to perform at the Nancy Hanks Lecture. I am proud to shine a spotlight on the necessity of public funding for arts education," said Folds. "The arts teach discipline, teamwork and creativity, which are the exact skills needed to succeed in the workforce. I am pleased to join Americans for the Arts to support this important cause."
"Ben Folds is a tremendous advocate for the arts and arts education, and has done remarkable work to increase both awareness and public support for arts education and music therapy," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "I am thrilled he's bringing his voice to Washington, D.C. and joining us as we fight to ensure the arts can reach all corners of our nation."
Folds will perform on the lecture stage prior to Emmy Award®-winning TV, film and stage actor and arts advocate Alec Baldwin delivering this year's Nancy Hanks Lecture. In addition, both artists will be participating in the 25th annual Arts Advocacy Day events in Washington, D.C. on April 17.
"Access to quality arts and arts education is imperative to the success and economic health of our nation," says Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation and honorary co-chair of Arts Advocacy Day. "But too few people realize that. That's why it's so important that as many people as possible receive the message that Ben Folds and Alec Baldwin will deliver while in Washington, D.C.: the arts are good for the spirit, good for the economy and good for America."
Ben Folds has enjoyed worldwide success throughout the course of his 18-year recording career, earning a massive following for his peerless stage presence, acerbic wit and versatile musicianship on multiple instruments. He was the front man and pianist of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, has performed as a solo artist, played with many major symphonies and has toured all over the world. In addition to contributing music to the soundtracks of the animated films "Over the Hedge" and "Hoodwinked!," Folds produced Amanda Palmer's first solo album and the forthcoming EP by Sara Bareilles at his Nashville studio that spawned two Grammy winning albums this year. Ben recently joined the board of The Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and has been instrumental in elevating the status of the arts in Nashville and founded the Ben Folds Keys To Music City campaign with the NSO. He is also a judge on the NBC-TV a cappella singing contest "The Sing-Off."
The Nancy Hanks Lecture is the leading national forum for arts policy providing an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of arts and culture to our nation's well-being. The annual event is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who devoted 15 years of her professional life to bringing the arts to prominent national consciousness. Past lecturers include Robert Redford, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wynton Marsalis, Kevin Spacey, Ken Burns, William Safire and Robert MacNeil. The lecture is part of the annual Arts Advocacy Day events in Washington, D.C. on April 16 and 17.
Americans for the Arts extends special thanks to Ovation for its partnership in presenting the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. We express additional gratitude to The Rosenthal Family Foundation (Jamie Rosenthal Wolf, David Wolf, Rick Rosenthal and Nancy Stephens), Bank of America, and General Dynamics for their generous support.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
Ovation is the only multi-platform network celebrating art, artists and all forms of artistic story-telling. Its programming tells the stories of artists, their work, and the powerful impact art has on each of us. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 51 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish and Verizon FiOS. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com. In addition to offering contests, trivia, facts and supplemental video online, the network has created an award-winning online community (www.ovationtv.com/community) for everyone from passionate artists to the curious. To date, over 190,000 pieces of original art have been uploaded to the site by members.