Union Professionals, Including SDC’s Laura Penn, Appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Biden announced his appointees to the reestablished President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The appointees include Laura Penn, executive director of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and member of the Department for Professionals Employees’ (DPE’s) General Board, and members of DPE’s affiliated unions.

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities aims to facilitate public-private partnerships, promote interagency cooperation, and propose programs to enhance the arts, humanities, museums, and library services throughout the nation. Lady Gaga will co-chair the committee with producer Bruce Cohen. Other individuals appointed to the committee include actor George Clooney, television show creator Shonda Rhimes, and musician John Batiste. Additionally, the heads of key federal agencies, like the Chairs of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will serve on the committee. 

DPE President Jennifer Dorning released the following statement on the announcement of the appointees to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities:

“I applaud President Biden for restoring the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and for ensuring that union creative professionals have a seat at the table. I am thrilled that President Biden has appointed Laura Penn and other members of DPE’s affiliated unions to serve on this important committee.

Members of DPE affiliate unions play an essential role in powering the arts and humanities, and having their voice and expertise on this committee will be invaluable in building out a national strategy to advance the arts and humanities. 

With the addition of Laura Penn, the committee gains an individual of great caliber and character who brings decades’ worth of experience in the arts. As executive director of DPE affiliate SDC, Laura understands first hand that union professionals strengthen the arts sector through bargaining for good pay, benefits, and working conditions. The achievements of SDC and members of other DPE affiliate unions have ensured that the people working in the more than five million jobs in the creative sectors can earn a fair return on their work and sustain family-supporting careers.

I’m excited to see the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities raise the profile of the arts and humanities and take steps to bolster the sector and the professionals who work in it.”

About DPE:

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 24 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 170,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

For more information please contact:
General: comms@iatse.net
Press: press@iatse.net


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