Secretary of the Arts Petition

The Abbeville blog has MOVED! You can now read this post here.


Filed under Art

4 responses to “Secretary of the Arts Petition

  1. Exactly what we need in these financially difficult times. Yes! Let’s form another office to spend millions of dollars to study the arts and then millions more to promote whomever lobbies most effectively to get handouts.

    What we need is less government, less handouts and more freedom to create or not.

  2. So I take it you’re against the notion of “WPA Federal Arts Project II – This time, it’s digital!”

    Without seeing an actual plan on the table, I think it’s unwise to speculate on whether the decision would be good or bad. Speculation sans merit is likely to lead to the dreaded slippery slope.

    I think a government program that focused on putting introduction to art classes in schools, that exposed students to the tools to discover art, would be a good thing.

    I think that a government program like the WPA FAP could work out well, but would need a very steady and sure hand to helm it.

    And I think that should the government attempt to co-op and declaw art, they would quickly learn that this is a mistake. After all, art is one of the oldest forms of insurgency. Creating a de facto artistic counter culture could do wonders for inspiring the youth of today to become the artists of tomorrow.

    A bit backwards, I know.

  3. abbeville

    Bradley–we’re wary of completely rejecting a proposal that hasn’t been spelled out yet, but we’re even warier of signing a petition on behalf of a proposal that hasn’t been spelled out yet. Given the current state of the economy, the burden of proof right now–proof of necessity, feasibility, cost-effectiveness–seems to rest with those in favor of the large new federal expenditure, not with the skeptics. And making that case will involve putting to rest the fears Julie has articulated: fears of swollen, lobbyist-infested bureaucracy with little measurable impact on the quality of American art.

    That said, we’d be happy to learn more about the WPA FAP II and what it would entail. If we could be persuaded that it would play a worthwhile role in fostering arts education, we’d be all for it. Funding adult art is another, more vexed matter. The government doesn’t owe artists an audience, a lifestyle, or a living (as an artist specifically), and for the most part the market is a fair test of ideas and talent–even if some take longer than others to be “discovered.” We say all this very much as members of the young, creative underclass–let’s see if our feelings change as the recession tightens!

  4. Oh, I’m completely with you on that count. The burden of proof lays wholly on the state to prove why the plan would be worthwhile.

    My point was rather that I’m interested in seeing a plan, or plans, and then making my decision.

    I am in solid agreement that it is foolish to blindly agree to the plan before seeing it.

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