The H.J. Heinz Company has contributed $450,000 to the National Endowment for the Arts, the money earmarked for children's arts programs. Scheduled to be distributed to projects over a three-year period, the gift is the largest private donation the NEA has received in its 30-year history. The NEA's new Office of Enterprise Development (OED) coordinated the donation process after being contacted by Heinz.
Noted actors Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Liam Neeson, and Blair Brown joined H.J. Heinz Co. Chairman Anthony J.F. O'Reilly at a Thurs., June 13 announcement of the gift at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
In receiving the Heinz donation, NEA Chairman Jane Alexander said, "This generous donation is a shining example of how public-private partnerships can improve the lives of children across the nation." She praised the Heinz company for "understanding what arts means to children--that art will not only open the doors to their creativity and imagination, but will help give them the problem-solving and communications skills they'll need to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
The NEA created the OED this year to help shepherd gifts offered by private donors, and to research formation of public-private par