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Deputy Director Applauds Picturing America Initiative

President's Park (White House)

National Park News

On Monday, July 28th, Lindi L. Harvey, National Park Service Deputy Director, Lisa Mendelson- Ielmini, National Capital Region Deputy Director, and Bruce Cole, Chairman National Endowment for the Humanities, hosted a joint press conference to celebrate the partnership between the National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). These two agencies have joined forces to make the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America initiative available to more people throughout the country and around the world. 

During this press conference, the two organizations announced that 10 reproductions of American art featured in the NEH’s “Picturing America” program would be on display at the White House Visitor Center from July 28th through the Labor Day weekend. This partnership brings Picturing America to the thousands of citizens who visit our national parks each year.

Deputy Director Harvey focused her remarks on reconnecting today’s youth to the parks,  Harvey said, “Together with our partners… teachers, librarians and concerned parents… we can make a real difference… we can replace images of video games and TV reality shows with the real story of America… the true history of our nation and the richness of our heritage.”   

Harvey applauded the NEH participants’ partnership with the NPS for fulfilling the goals of the Picturing America initiative. Harvey congratulated NEH Chairman Bruce Cole for this successful educational outreach initiative. 

Harvey told the audience, “Beginning with Independence National Historical Park in June, continuing with this exhibit at the White House Visitors Center for the next month, and an exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in September, we are highlighting these important images as a means of connecting America’s stories with the deep meanings of national parks,” she said.

Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, Deputy Regional Director of the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, gave welcoming remarks, noting that the NPS was very excited about this robust and fascinating Picturing America program. 

“Works of art are more than mere ornaments for the elite; they are primary documents of a civilization.  A written record or a textbook tells you one thing—but art reveals something else,” said NEH, Chairman Bruce Cole.  “Visitors to select NPS sites deserve to see American art that shows us where we have come from, what we have endured, and where we are headed.”  

The White House Visitor Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily and is located at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. For more information about the White House Visitor Center, please call (202) 208-1631 or visit, .

For more information about Picturing America, please visit


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