Founder’s Message

A Message from Tim Strong

Founder / Artistic Director

It is my distinct privilege to serve as the Founder and Artistic Director of the National Arts Treasure Initiative (NATI). I conceived this concept as I was explaining a documentary project about the legendary jazz drummer and singer, Grady Tate. The Singapore native with whom I was talking exclaimed: “In my country, such an artist would be hailed as a National Living Treasure!” I then mentioned that while living and working in Korea, where my wife was the New Zealand Ambassador that we found the concept of National Treasures had extended to their artists, places and bodies of work, and that they were actually numbered. This we found very appealing and generally more respectful of culture and legacies than any instances we’ve experienced around the world. It was this symmetric that worked for me when trying to immortalize our culture of Jazz and Blues, an art form that has until now been relegated to being treated like the relative that you hope won’t show up for dinner…

“Grady Tate’s Windmills,” is the inaugural film in a larger documentary project— the National Arts Treasure Initiative. The goal is to annually produce one to two documentary films about living legends of Jazz and Blues.