Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anti-Arts Sen. Coburn's Opera Singer Daughter! And More Arts Funding Rants

Sarah Coburn, daughter of "Get the Arts Out of the Stimulus" Sen. Tom Coburn, is an opera singer -- a "fast-rising" one, according to this story in the L.A. Times.

The story came out yesterday and I've been thinking about whether I should post about it. Well, I decided to do two things. One, I posted this comment at the L.A. Times.

I see the irony in this story -- I mean, that's what it's predicated on, right? OK, so I see the irony in this story. But political disconnects within families are nothing at all new. Dr. Herbert I. London, a conservative who heads up the right-leaning Hudson Institute, is the father of Stacey London, the fashion guru who isn't, shall we say, liberal-averse. Dr. John Sexton, the President of New York University, had no quibble demolishing the Provincetown Playhouse, one of the iconic venues of the Off-Broadway movement and owned by NYU, but his son is an actor. Oh, and Newt Gingrich's sister is a lesbian. Oh, and Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian, too. Next?

I did so for this reason: just because you're in the arts doesn't mean you think it should be funded with public dollars. Indeed, just because you're in the arts doesn't mean you can't be a far-right conservative.

Two, I've decided also to direct everyone to this blog post: Do Arts Jobs Count as Jobs? The author, Andrew Taylor, basically asks the question that everyone should be asking -- and giving the answers that the leaders of arts-advocacy groups should be giving, instead of begging for another $50 million in NEA funding yet failing to make the fiscal-impact case of arts funding clear and tangible enough.

Again, this is not about another $50 million for the NEA. Even if the sector gets it, where is the long-term vision for arts funding in America? This is about begging and bugaboos.

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