Meet and Ask the National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, June 14, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

An annual favorite returns! In addition to details on the various grant programs of the National Endowment for the Arts, come learn about new national initiatives, technical assistance tools, and other relevant resources.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain detailed understanding of the various NEA grant opportunities, categories, and deadlines.
  2. Learn more about current national initiatives, as well as how to access technical assistance and resources.
  3. Get an introduction to other non-NEA federal resources relevant to your work.


Lara Holman Garritano
Local Arts Agencies Specialists
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Lara Holman Garritano currently serves as the Local Arts Agencies Specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, managing funding opportunities available to the more than 4,500 Local Arts Agencies across the country. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Lara has worked on arts and culture policy and programming in a variety of communities and capacities. Previously, Lara was the Creative District Manager for downtown Colorado Springs in Colorado. In working to obtain a state-certified creative district designation, Lara developed and managed programming that integrated arts and creativity into downtown’s economic and livability efforts. Prior to that, Lara served at 4Culture, a local arts agency in Seattle, Washington, in positions that ranged from managing grant funding programs to addressing agency-wide priorities as the organization’s first Communications lead. Lara has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Michael Orlove
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Michael Orlove has been with the National Endowment for the Arts since 2012 having served as the Director of Artist Communities and Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works and responsibility over the agency's International programs. In April 2019, Orlove was named the Director of Regional, State and Local Partnership, a newly created position, and will also maintain supervision over the International portfolio.  Prior to working at the National Endowment for the Arts, Orlove spent 19 years as senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His tenure with the department led to nearly two decades of innovation, creativity, and passion for public service with the City of Chicago. Michael helped transform the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime downtown performing arts venue, as well as launched Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, two staples in the summer festival season. Michael also served as the director of music programming in Millennium Park since its grand opening in 2004. Honors include being named one of the 'Chicagoans of the Year' in music by the Chicago Tribune in both 1999 and 2009, as well as one of Chicago's 'Global Visionaries' by Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and the Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series.  He has a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in performing arts management from Columbia College Chicago.

Jen Hughes
Director of Design and Creative Placemaking
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Jen Hughes was appointed director of Design and Creative Placemaking for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in April 2018, having served as acting director since June 2017. In this position, she oversees grant portfolios that support the design and creative placemaking fields, as well as leadership initiatives that include the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design.

Since 2011, Hughes has fulfilled multiple roles as design specialist and community solutions specialist at the NEA, playing a significant role in shaping the agency’s creative placemaking and social impact design investments. At the NEA, she has managed federal, philanthropic and local relationships to strategically integrate arts, culture, and design into comprehensive community development plans. Prior to her work at the NEA, she was an urban planner for the District of Columbia and has held communications and business consulting positions in the private sector.

A Philadelphia native, she has a bachelors in management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a masters in city planning from University of California, Berkeley with a focus on community development and design.