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Former NEA Chairman John Frohnmayer to Offer 'Confessions of an Arts Warrior' Next Week

March 3, 1994

March 3, 1994, Greencastle, Ind. - John Frohnmayer -- the fifth chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts under the Bush administration, senior fellow at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center and author -- is scheduled to speak at DePauw University on Thursday, March 10. Frohnmayer's speech "Confessions of an Arts Warrior," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in DePauw's Center for Contemporary Media, Watson Forum. Frohnmayer's speech is part of the Working Press series.

After unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Frohnmayer served as chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts under the Bush Administration beginning in July 1989. Frohnmayer was fired, a casualty of the Republican presidential primary amid controversies surrounding NEA grants, in February of 1992.

Leaving Town Alive: Confessions of an Arts Warrior is the title of Frohnmayer's book, which is an account of his two and one half years as the NEA chair. His term as chair was fueled by controversies surrounding the works of artists such as Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe and Karen Finley. Frohnmayer's other published writings include numerous articles and two other books, Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms and War of Words: The Censorship Debate.

Frohnmayer received his B.A. in American History at Stanford University. Later he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York, served as an officer on active duty in the U.S. 103016Navy and was decorated for bravery. He holds a master's degree in Christian ethics from the University of Chicago.

His awards include the annual First Amendment Award from People for the American Way and the Oregon Governor's Arts Award, both in 1992. Frohnmayer is a native of Medford, Oregon. He is an accomplished singer and has appeared in numerous productions all over the country.

As a senior fellow at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center, Frohnmayer is developing a college course examining the intersections of art, politics, ethics and religion in our culture.