Eom and LaFontaine Participated and Performed During National Arts Policy Roundtable Gathering at The Sundance Resort and Preserve in Utah

Monday, October 28, 2013

press release iconContact:
Catherine Brandt Vacovsky
[email protected]

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today announced that Peter Eom and Liisi LaFontaine were this year’s recipients of the National Arts Policy Roundtable Fellowship, an award given annually to alumni of the National YoungArts Foundation.

Fellowship recipients travel to Sundance, Utah to participate in the annual National Arts Policy Roundtable dialogue alongside the nation’s top thinkers in government, business, and the arts who envision new ways to advance the arts and its significance to American society. Americans for the Arts and the Sundance Institute, who co-host the Roundtable, feel strongly that it is important to have young voices around the table when talking about issues that impact the future of our nation.  In addition to participating in the high level conversations, the National Arts Policy Roundtable fellows perform during the convening, underscoring the gathering’s overall themes.

This year’s Roundtable participants—and Eom and LaFontaine’s audience—included Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak M.D., M.P.H.; US Public Health Service; General George W. Casey, Jr., 36th Chief of Staff, US Army, Retired; Commander Moira McGuire; Program Manager, Warrior Clinic and Director, Creative Arts Program, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Dr. Tommy Sowers; Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs; US Department of Veterans Affairs; artists Ben Folds, Vijay Gupta and Darden Smith.

Heralded as a performer “with energy and enthusiasm” and “inspiring to hear” by the Arizona Republic,  young cellist Peter Eom has spread his profound love for sharing music with audiences across the country.  Making his solo debut at the age of 10, Eom is an avid supporter of both the works of old masters and the explorations of new artists, and has performed with the Phoenix Symphony and the MusicaNova Orchestra, among others. A first-place winner of the Alexander & Buono International String Competition, Eom made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 16 and has also performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. Eom, a 2013 YoungArts Finalist in Music, was named a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts and was valedictorian of his high school graduating class in Gilbert, Arizona.  He is currently pursuing his music performance career.  

Liisi LaFontaine has been singing for as long as she can remember. Singing and acting is in her blood, as both of her parents were in the performing arts industry. Her mom, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, is a professional singer, and her late father, Don LaFontaine, was a professional voiceover actor.  LaFontaine was named a 2013 YoungArts Finalist for Pop Voice, and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), where she sang in the vocal jazz ensemble and the gospel choir. During her junior year, she was the lead in their musical theater production of Once on this Island, and also played Mimi in a production of RENT, directed by her older sister.  LaFontaine is half of the mother-daughter singing duo “The LaFontaines” on NBC’s The Winner Is and is currently enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  

The National Arts Policy Roundtable was launched in October 2006 by Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, president and founder of Sundance Institute, on the premise that issues important to the arts are also important to society. Since its inception, the Roundtable has convened more than 300 top level decision makers and thought leaders from the fields of business, government, the social sector, education and the arts in a unique cross-sector forum designed to discuss issues and propose solutions critical to advancing American culture and vitality.  Each Roundtable yields a series of specific, actionable policy recommendations to be shared with leaders in public and private organizations. Past topics addressed during the Roundtable include the future of private sector funding for the arts, the role of the arts in building a creative and globally competitive 21st century workforce, fostering civic engagement and strengthening global communities. The National Arts Policy Roundtable is currently organized and hosted by Sundance Institute and Americans for the Arts. Event organization is led by Keri Putnam, Executive Director Sundance Institute, and Nora Halpern, Vice President of Leadership Alliances, Americans for the Arts.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

The National YoungArts Foundation identifies emerging artists and provides them with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding young artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts. Learn more at www.youngarts.org.