Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Del Rey’s Masumoto confirmed to National Council on the Arts

For third-generation Del Rey farmer and award-winning author David Mas Masumoto, it felt like an 11th-hour blur.

On New Year’s Day, the U.S. Senate took on a slew of last-minute confirmations.

There were, among others, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army promotions and Tennessee Valley Authority and State Justice Institute board of directors and Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Advisory

David Mas Masumoto

Board appointments.

Nearly all the way through, Masumoto’s June appointment by President Barack Obama to the National Council on the Arts was approved.

Masumoto got an email from the White House the following day. He flies Washington, D.C. in Feb for orientation and to be sworn in. The first formal meeting is in March.

“I’m very excited about the possibilities, but also know the realities,” Masumoto said. “The total (National Endowment for the Arts) budget is small if you compare it with other programs.”

But Masumoto also noted his term is six years — until September 3, 2018 — “so perhaps there’s some time to learn how things are done and navigate through the system.”

Masumoto sees the appointment as a chance to “meet and see the art world from a national perspective.”

At the same time, Masumoto wants to share some of not only California — but the Valley — with the nation.

“California is more than the Bay area and So Cal, and we in the Valley do have our own special art to showcase,” he said. “At least, this is my hope.”


Jackie Ryle says:

I am so pleased to see this appointment. Mas Masumoto is not only a lifelong farmer committed to growing the finest organic produce and an artist of real note through his writing, performance and creative production, he is an individual of deep thoughtfulness and great understanding. He will well represent not only this region, but the broadest range of stakeholders who will benefit from carefully and competently reasoned dialog and decisions. He is an individual who consistently sees the big picture, while at the same time incorporating relevant details. We are fortunate indeed to have Mas Masumoto representing our interests through this key appointment.

Judy Jones says:

Congratulations to Mas. It’ll be great to have Valley representation to the National Council on the Arts. There is so so much talent in the area. It’s time to be represented beyond the Bay Area and So Cal. I’m hopeful that the arts remains in the scholastic curriculum especially for grades K-12. Good luck, Mas.

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