A letter in support of NEA and NEH to my members of congress

I sent the following letter to my three federal representatives, my member of the House and my two senators. I used a form letter provided by the American Alliance of Museums, of which I am a member, as a starting point. I am not in the habit of writing letters to my representatives. Nor am I in the habit of marching in the streets and in the airport, but I have done all of these things since January 21, 2017, because what is happening in America is not normal. And the current administration’s stated plans to ax the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities strikes me as just as petty, short-sighted, and mean-spirited as anything else to come out of it so far. If you find some value in the NEA and NEH, or in this letter, please contact your own representatives to let them know.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to fight against the new administration and its unconstitutional ways. Also, thank you for your support of the arts in general, and of the Capital Region in particular.

On Friday night at an art gallery opening at Collar Works Gallery in Troy, NY, I met a young college graduate who is pursuing her dream as an artist. She remembered meeting me when I was the arts editor at the Times Union, the main newspaper in the Capital Region, and she was a high school student whose art work I chose to feature in the newspaper. That was a moment in her life that gave her the courage to pursue her dream.

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Scenes from Albany International Airport Solidarity Vigil, Jan. 29, 2017

The Solidarity Vigil at Albany International Airport was a true grass-roots action, with word spread via social media that attracted up to 1,000 people during the protest (from 10 am to just after 2 pm on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017).

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A crime

lost-bumpermagnet

In this photo of the back of our car, you can see the outlines of where a car magnet had once been. That magnet was political. It said, “Hillary ’16.” The reason you don’t see it there is because someone in the parking lot of our hotel in Pittsburgh thought it’d be a good idea to remove the magnet.

At first we thought it was stolen. We felt victimized — doubly so, considering who won. Being back in western Pennsylvania, though, it seemed likely that some Tr*mp supporter feeling embolden but also a coward thought he or she would just rip off someone else’s property. We later did find the magnet face-down in the rain-soaked parking lot, as if it had been flung away from our car.

In the grand scheme of things, I know it isn’t that big of a deal. But still, come on.