On June 23, President Joe Biden nominated Fiona Whelan Prine to join the National Council on the Arts. Fiona Whelan Prine is the president of Oh Boy Records and wife of the late songwriter John Prine, who died last year at age 73 due to complications from COVID-19.
FWP, who was nominated alongside ukulele expert Jake Shimabukuro, was recognized for her non-profit programs like the Hello In There Foundation. During a White House Press Release on Wednesday, FWP was praised for all of her accomplishments.
“Fiona Whelan Prine brings an expansive viewpoint to the American roots music community as President of Oh Boy Records, the country’s second oldest independent record label still in operation,” the press release reads. “In that role, she oversees the multiple Grammy Award-winning recordings and publishing copyrights of her late husband, American songwriter, John Prine.”
Songwriter John Prine died on April 7, 2020 due to COVID-19 complications, for which he was deemed to be in a “critical situation.” When former President Donald Trump tweeted about how great he felt after leaving Walter Reed Hospital, it infuriated FWP, and in response she tweeted, “I wish I could just have visited with @JohnPrineMusic in the hospital while he was still awake – we would not have needed a joy ride. This BS is excruciating to witness and disrespectful to the 207,000 grieving families.”
The National Council on the Arts was created by congress in 1965. It is a federal agency that funds numerous art programs and fosters other organizations such as the National Edowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.