Aspen Institute Arts Program Leader Dana Gioia to Join USC Faculty

November 5, 2010

Jeff Harris
Senior Public Affairs Coordinator
The Aspen Institute

Gioia to remain With Institute as Harman-Eisner Senior Fellow in the Arts

Washington, DC, November 5, 2010–– The Aspen Institute announced today that Dana Gioia will be stepping down from his position as director of the Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts, effective January 1, 2011. He was named Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California and begins teaching in the Fall of 2011. Gioia will continue his affiliation with the Aspen Institute as the Harman-Eisner Senior Fellow in the Arts.

“Dana has restored the arts to the critical position it played in the founding of the Aspen Institute,” said Institute EVP Elliot Gerson. “With superb arts programming at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the sponsorship of leading artists on our campus as Harman-Eisner Artists-in-Residence, and important convenings for leaders in the arts internationally in Washington, Aspen, and elsewhere, Dana has secured Aspen’s place as a leading global arts institution. We are delighted he will remain active with us as a Harman-Eisner Senior Fellow in the Arts and wish him great continued success as a writer and poet, and new successes as a teacher.”

Reflecting on the state of the arts and culture at the Institute, Dana Gioia said, “It has been an exciting mission to be the first Harman-Eisner director at the Aspen Institute and help create new programs in the arts and culture over the past two years. The huge success we experienced last month at the 2010 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum indicates how influential a role the Institute can play in culture. I am delighted to continue my involvement with Aspen in my new advisory role, and I look forward to staying active in the Institute’s many projects in the arts and culture.”

The Aspen Institute Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts was established to support and invigorate the arts in America and to return the arts and artists to the center of the Aspen Institute’s “Great Conversation”. It brings artists and art works to the Institute, and it also brings together leading artists, arts managers, sponsors and patrons to generate, exchange and develop ideas and policies to assure vibrancy and dynamism in all artistic realms, and to enrich civic culture in ways only the arts can do.

The Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts draws upon the Institute’s long-established convening power, and its well-known association with ideas, values and leadership. It responds to needs identified in a survey across the full spectrum of the arts in America for less isolation among arts advocates and directors, and for more communication and exchange of ideas and best practices. The program takes advantage of the Institute’s fertile nonpartisan and interdisciplinary foundations, and integrates arts and artists across the full breadth of the Institute’s programs.

Named after USC founder Judge Robert Maclay Widney, the title of Judge Widney Professor is reserved for eminent individuals from the arts, sciences, professions, business, and community leadership. Gioia’s university-wide appointment includes affiliations with the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Thornton School of Music, USC Marshall School of Business, and USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development.


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