These are not the best of times. Anyway we are looking forward to the Lyric's Fantasy of the Opera Party this evening. And all being well there should be a well illustrated report about it here tomorrow! The rest of my day today has been wrestling with the many unwelcome problems of the current financial situation. This too will pass though how long it will take is anyone's guess. Anyway this evening may be a barometer of the general mood and state of the world.
Meanwhile there has been in general circulation today the impassioned plea below. Make of it what you will, and do whatever you think will make a useful contribution if you feel so inclined.
Your action is needed today, as $50 million in federal funds for the arts hangs in the balance!
As Americans for the Arts has previously reported, the House bill includes a $50 milllion provision for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As the legislation states, the NEA "is positioned to use existing mechanisms to allocate lifeline funding quickly to these nonprofit organizations to retain jobs" and there is solid research to demonstrate the stimulus gains that can be provided by this funding. However, here are some examples of the negative press received from publications across the country:
to form, Congress has loaded the [bill] with hundreds of billions in
wasteful spending. The bill includes $650 million for digital TV
coupons, $140 million to study the atmosphere and $50 million for the
National Endowment for the Arts. None of these proposals would create
jobs or boost our economy. They're just old-fashioned waste" - Op-ed in the Indianapolis Star
- "The National Endowment for the Arts would get $50 million for new exhibits to deem America racist and sexist." - Op-ed in the Norwich Bulletin
National Endowment for the Arts, for example, is in line for $50
million, increasing its total budget by a third. The unemployed can
fill their days attending abstract-film festivals and sitar concerts." - National Review Editorial
- "I just think putting people to work is more important than putting more art on the wall of some New York City gallery frequented by the elite art community." [U.S. Rep Jack] Kingston said. "Call me a sucker for the working man." - Congressional Quarterly report
Congress spends the next few days completing their work on this
legislation, it is the exact time for arts advocates to write to their
local media outlets today and fight back against threats to the funding
and anti-art amendments. Visit our new Action Alert which will provide you with helpful information to send a Letter to the Editor to your local media outlets . If you take action today,
we expect that this pro-arts message will show up in news reports by
early next week, just when Congress is expected to be making final
decisions on the legislation.