Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Afternoon Report, March 4, 2009

This information, called The Afternoon Report, is provided by a daily email blast from the publicity firm of Boneau Bryan-Brown, which maintains this blog. This feature doesn't run daily but whenever The Afternoon Report seems to point out articles of interest.

Jane Alexander: Jindal’s wrong on arts funding

“For actress Jane Alexander, the criticism of a $50 million boost in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts is a sequel. She was chairman of the agency from 1993 through 1997 when arts funding was cut sharply by the Republican-led Congress, which questioned whether it was an appropriate way to use government money. Now the issue is whether giving money to the arts should have been part of the economic stimulus program. Among those who have criticized the new spending this year is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's message to Congress Tuesday.

CNN: What do you think of the controversy over the $50 million in increased government spending for the arts?
Alexander: I think it's long overdue and I was very, very happy to see it. Since 1995-96 we had an incredibly decreased budget for the NEA. Finally we're getting back to where it was when I came in [as chairman]. It's all vitally needed. In fact, the endowment has not kept pace with inflation as other agencies have. ... This $50 million will certainly help a great deal.

What people forget is that there are over 2 million people in the United States of America who are professional artists. Those are jobs like any other jobs. The artists have families, they have people for whom they're responsible and they give to their communities.

We all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The life part would be health and housing. The liberty part would be our civil rights. And the pursuit of happiness, the arts would come under that. And it's as vital a part of well-being in the United States as anything else."
First off, this sounds like CNN is fishing for a controversy, or at least trying to spark one. The $50 million is approved and, as I've suggested repeatedly and as I shall continue to suggest, the question is when, not if, the right will begin to use that appropriation in order to politicize the arts and use that politicization to start the process of unifying the GOP. What Alexander says isn't untrue, but it is not about looking forward. It's about preserving the current model. Feh.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: