Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-Elect Obama and the Arts

Courtesy of an email blast today from the nonprofit Alliance for the Arts, here is a summary of President-Elect (WOW!) Obama's position on the arts.

In response to the Candidate's Survey on National Arts Policy issued by the Alliance in February 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign indicated that he would support increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as promote cultural diplomacy and reinvest in arts education. Below are excerpts from his campaign's statement.

Obama on NEA Funding
Barack Obama would look at a variety of funding mechanisms to support increased funding for the NEA, the support of which enriches schools and neighborhoods all across the nation and helps to promote the economic development of countless communities.

Obama on Cultural Exchange
American artists, performers and thinkers – representing our values and ideals – can inspire people both at home and all over the world. Through efforts like that of the United States Information Agency, America’s cultural leaders were deployed around the world during the Cold War as artistic ambassadors and helped win the war of ideas by demonstrating to the world the promise of America. Artists can be utilized again to help us win the war of ideas against Islamic extremism. Unfortunately, our resources for cultural diplomacy are at their lowest level in a decade. Barack Obama will work to reverse this trend and improve and expand public-private partnerships to expand cultural and arts exchanges throughout the world.

Obama on Arts Education
To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has made this country great. To do so, we must nourish our children’s creative skills. In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education.

To support greater arts education, Barack Obama will expand public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations and increase resources for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants, which develop public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. Obama will also engage the foundation and corporate community to increase support for public/private partnerships. Barack Obama supports the creation of an “Artists Corps” of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities... As president, Barack Obama will use the bully pulpit and the example he will set in the White House to promote the importance of arts and arts education in America.

Obama on Foreign Arts
Opening America’s doors to students and professional artists provides the kind of two-way cultural understanding that can break down the barriers that feed hatred and fear. As America tightened visa restrictions after 9/11, the world’s most talented students and artists, who used to come here, went elsewhere. Barack Obama will streamline the visa process to return America to its rightful place as the world’s top destination for artists and art students.

To read the president-elect's official platform on arts policy, click here.

ArtsVote, a national initiative run by Americans for the Arts was developed to encourage new support for the arts and arts education during the 2008 presidential campaign. Click here to read additional policy position statements from Mr. Obama's campaign on the ArtsVote Web site.

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1 comment:

Five New Yorkers said...

Thanks for posting our bulletin, Clyde. If you're ever interested in our other work, drop me a line at We're ramping up for the soft launch of the new and, which are part of a new online arts ssytem, and I'd be happy to give you a preview.