Dance History Quiz | The National Endowment for the Arts

Fun facts for teachers & students

The National Endowment for the Arts was created by Congress and which U.S. president?

a. Gerald Ford
b. Franklin D. Roosevelt
c. Bill Clinton
d. Lyndon B. Johnson

d. Lyndon B. Johnson

Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the groundwork for the National Endowment for the Arts during his presidency, when the Federal Dance Project was established (at the urging of that era’s modern dancers, including Helen Tamiris) as part of the Second New Deal. The FDP, overseen by the Works Projects Administration (originally named the Works Progress Administration), was designed to support dancers, choreographers, and dance productions during the Great Depression; it ran from 1936 to 1939. Johnson, with Congress, created the NEA in 1965 as part of his Great Society legislation, which also sponsored the National Endowment for the Humanities. According to the LBJ Library, the first NEA grant was awarded to American Ballet Theatre on December 20, 1965. The amount was $100,000 and is credited with saving the company from closing its doors.

For more information:
The Federal Dance Project,” Dance Heritage Coalition

 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act Media Kit, LBJ Presidential Library