The new site Big Government and its sister site Big Hollywood have released full audio and a transcript of a controversial August 10 telecon featuring big wigs from the Obama administration pushing artists to further President Barack Obama's political agenda.
I've got a post up at Big Government that reads in part:
If you've ever wondered-and worried-about where government support of the arts leads, look no further than the full transcript of an August 10 telecon between an official at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and a group of "independent artists from around the country." The short version: It leads to the use of taxpayer-funded culture as a means of propagandizing for specific, partisan political aims. Which corrupts not just art but artists....
Chief among the requests from [former NEA communications director Yosi] Sergant (who was either "reassigned" from the agency or "reportedly resigned" after denying the full extent of his role in organizing the call) was "to pick something whether it's health care, education, the environment, you know... [and] apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities' utilities and bring them to the table." Beyond the specific policy issues above, the call organizers stressed the ideologically loaded concept of "service" as the animating principle of the Obama administration and wanted the artists to do whatever they could to promote that. As [the Office of Public Engagement's Buffy] Wicks put it, "We really view [our efforts] as an onramp to a lifetime of service. We really want service to be incorporated into people's daily lives."
The episode is an outrage for a million different reasons. Read the whole thing here.