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November 21, 2012

Rocco Landesman Stepping Down as NEA Chairman

Rocco Landesman, the Tony Award-winning Broadway producer appointed by President Obama in 2009 to lead the National Endowment for Arts, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the year, according to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

The stage mogul, whose hits include "The Producers" and "Angels in America," said he had always planned to serve only one term as chairman of the federal agency. Joan Shigekawa, the agency's senior deputy chair, will fill his position until a permanent successor is nominated by the White House and confirmed by Congress.

Mr. Landesman roiled the arts world in 2011 when he suggested there were too many culture nonprofits. In a statement released by the NEA, he cited expanding the agency's research capabilities and an arts partnership with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as key achievements of his tenure.