Obama makes key appointments to Committee on the Arts and Humanities

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A prominent movie and television producer, a New York theater producer and a high-ranking university arts scholar are headed to Washington to join the president’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

President Obama today said that he made the three appointments to the committee, whose goal is to encourage and coordinate private investment in the arts and humanities. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the honorary chairman of the committee.


George Stevens Jr., the veteran movie and television producer, will join the committee in the role of co-chairman. The son of Oscar-winning director George Stevens, he is the founding director of the American Film Institute in L.A. Over the years, he has produced such notable annual TV broadcasts as the Kennedy Center Honors and the American Film Institute Presents.

Stevens is also the author of the play ‘Thurgood,’ which ran on Broadway with Laurence Fishburne and will be produced at the Geffen Playhouse this season.

Joining him in the role of co-chairman will be Margo Lion, a New York theater producer who has worked on plays and musicals such as ‘Angels in America,’ ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Caroline or Change.’ Her most recent Broadway productions are August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’ and ‘The Wedding Singer.’ This season, she is working on the musical ‘Catch Me if You Can,’ which recently premiered in Seattle.

For the role of vice chairman, the Obama administration has appointed Mary Schmidt Campbell, who has served as the dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1991. She served as New York City’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs from 1987 to 1991.

-- David Ng