Obama's NEA: Pushing Artists to be Political


 A few weeks ago at Reason.com, Patrick Courrielche wrote about the art community's seemingly uncritical embrace of Barack Obama. Since that piece appeared, he was invited to participate in a National Endowment of the Arts telecon in which that august body plainly suggested that artists get with the "recovery" program:

Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama's call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were "health care" and "energy and environment." The service was to be attached to the President's United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans. 

It sounded, how should I phrase it…unusual, that the NEA would invite the art community to a meeting to discuss issues currently under vehement national debate. I decided to call in, and what I heard concerned me.

Courrielche reviews the historical mission of the NEA and the way the agency has worked over the years and asks, "Do you think it is the place of the NEA to encourage the art community to address issues currently under legislative consideration?"

Whole thing here. It's really pretty disturbing (maybe not surprising, but still disturbing) and definitely worth reading.

Via Big Hollywood.