Federal Arts Funding Beyond ‘Piss Christ’

The short version: Bullies who favor guns over culture distort facts so they can gut federal arts funding; here are some facts.

The news
“The president’s budget would eliminate the NEA’s $148 million budget, the NEH’s $148 million budget and the CPB’s $445 million budget, as well as $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums across the country.”

— Washington Post

Here we go again. A GOP budget plan to ax arts funding. Right-wingers cheering it on, saying things like arts are elitist and that people who want arts should pay for it themselves . This all seems to be a reflection of a couple different ways of looking at the world: the libertarian one, in which everyone needs to do everything for themselves (except maybe national defense?); and a kind of anti-intellectualism in reference to culture that can be summed up as “if I don’t understand it, it must be elitist.”

I’m reminded of a story told by a former newspaper colleague who recounted a meeting with an adult person in public. That person, recognizing her from her photo in the newspaper, said something like, “You write those movie reviews, right? You must be a millionaire.”

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NYC Art: Independent Art Fair, Armory Show, Chelsea Galleries

Quote of the week by Silas Farley

classical-ballet-quote

Classical ballet is this elevating form — you ahve to rise to meet it, whether you are the dancer or the audience. The Thing is, the audience possesses the same instrument. The audience members have the same body. It’s like a cello playing for an audience of cellos.”

— Silas Farley, quoted in the Jan. 16, 2017, New Yorker Talk of the Town piece by Rebecca Mead, illustration by Tom Bachtell [link]

 

I’m thankful for Obama’s Medal of Freedom selections

I’m thankful for this last group of Presidential Medal of Freedom winners, spanning so many endeavors and achievements of excellence. I’m also thankful for President Obama for making these selections, and making possible a bright ray of hope for these times.

 

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