A panel of poets and artists discusses the power and potential of the arts both within America and throughout the world. Their conversation touches on various issues with art in America as well as the American media's presence in the world.
Jeffrey Brown was named a senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in May 2005, responsible for conducting studio discussions and reporting from the field. His primary responsibilities are in the areas of culture, arts, and the media.
Mr. Brown has profiled and interviewed dozens of leading American and international writers, musicians and other artistic figures, including Philip Roth, John Updike, Isaac Stern, Nancy Wilson, Youssou N'Dour, Mark Morris, Kevin Kline, Richard Avedon, Nicholas Kristof and George Clooney among others. In addition, he contributes stories in other areas including music, religion and science.
Prior to joining the NewsHour, Mr. Brown was a producer and writer for the Columbia University Seminars on Media & Society, an independent television production headed by Fred W. Friendly. He produced many programs for public television on a wide variety of subjects, including foreign policy, ethics, and the Constitution.
Mr. Brown earned an undergraduate degree in Classics from the University of California, Berkeley and a masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He studied law at the UC Berkeley School of Law Boalt Hall.
Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and critic. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and three collections of criticism, most notably Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A best-selling literary anthologist, Gioia has edited or co-edited over two dozen collections of poetry, fiction, and drama. He has also written two opera libretti and has collaborated with composers in genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock. For six years (2003-2009) he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he gained strong bipartisan support for the previously imperiled agency and helped launch the largest literary programs in federal history, including The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. He was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. For two years he directed the arts and culture programs for the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and Colorado. He is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.
Dan Glickman is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. The program provides lawmakers with a stronger grasp of critical public policy issues by convening high-level conferences and breakfast meetings in which legislators are brought together with internationally-recognized academics, experts and leaders to study the issues and explore various policy alternatives.
He served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001. Under his leadership, the Department administered farm and conservation programs; modernized food safety regulations; forged international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets; and improved its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.
Sarah Jones is the Tony Award-winning playwright and performer of Bridge & Tunnel. She recently became an ambassador for UNICEF, performing for audiences in Indonesia, Ethiopia, the Middle East, and Japan.
A 2007 Brendan Gill Prize winner, she has also received commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and the Ford Foundation and awards including an NYCLU Calloway Award for being the first artist to sue the FCC for censorship. The lawsuit reversed an indecency ruling targeting her hip-hop poem recording, Your Revolution.
A regular guest on public radio, she has also appeared on Charlie Rose, the Today Show, Now, CBS Sunday Morning, and Sesame Street as "Ms. Noodle." She is developing a feature based on her characters for HBO films.
Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association, talks about Americas feel-good movie culture and why he feels it's so successful in transcending borders. Glickman discusses the success of Meet the Fockers in India and the international appeal of Walle.
An audience member suggests that an American movie featuring a Muslim woman as the heroine would be a great way to show America's respect for Middle-eastern people and their culture, and panelists discuss the idea and how it could support soft power.