Bill Ivey is the Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, an arts policy research center with offices in Nashville, Tennessee and Washington, DC. He also directs the Center’s Washington-based program for senior government career staff, the Arts Industries Policy Forum. Ivey serves as Senior Consultant to Leadership Music, a music industry professional development program, and is immediate Past-President of the American Folklore Society. He served as Team Leader for Arts and Humanities on the Barack Obama Presidential Transition Team. Ivey’s book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, published by the University of California Press in the summer of 2008, has been described as “not just a vital book about the arts but a vital book about democracy.”
From May, 1998 through September, 2001, Ivey served as the seventh Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal cultural agency. Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA. Ivey’s Challenge America Initiative, launched in 1999, has to date garnered more than $20 million in new Congressional appropriations for the Arts Endowment.
Prior to government service, Ivey was director of the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee. He was twice elected board chairman of the Los Angeles-based National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Ivey holds degrees in History, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University, and Indiana University. He is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Album Notes category), and is the author of numerous articles on U.S. cultural policy, and folk and popular music.