Art Career News February 2017
Arts & Culture and the Trump Presidency
There's a picture of Al Gore and me on the cover of the NY Times from February 3, 2000. We're standing on the steps inside Grand Central Terminal when he was greeting commuters in his bid for the presidency.
I stopped to ask him, as I do all politicians running for office, "What is your position on arts and culture?" Sometimes they say to me, "Well, I Love the ballet!" but Al was more astute. "The arts," he said, "are like the air we breathe and the water we drink." I then asked him would he fully support the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and to what levels? He said, "I'll do whatever I can and whatever is possible."
Seventeen years later, the NEA is under fire from the new regime, as is PBS and NPR. Today, The Art Newspaper published an article on how funding cuts will impact US organizations and revealed the following:
"The NEA's $148m budget is minuscule compared to the $3.5 trillion spent by the government annually. It is even less than the estimated $183m it will cost New York's police department to protect the president's family at Trump Tower for one year."
What is wrong with this picture? The arts keep us sane and life without art is stupid. Let's keep the arts strong and a priority of government. Join me in signing The National Petition to President Trump to Support the Arts in America started by Americans for the Arts at http://artsactionfund.org/page/s/trump-arts-petition. Be in touch with your senators and congressional representatives; find out their position on arts and cultural funding. Become a member of a museum. Make art; play music; dance and sing. There are tough times ahead where would we be without the arts?