Thursday, August 27, 2009

National Endowment for Propaganda

Patrick Courrielche titled his article in much nicer than I titled this post - "The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?" but then again, I'm not an artist looking for NEA money.

This article should turn your stomach. Mr. Corrielche chronicles how he "was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to take part in a conference call that invited a group of rising artist and art community luminaries “to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda - health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal.”"

He continues with...
I’m not a “right-wing nut job.” It just goes against my core beliefs to sit quietly while the art community is used by the NEA and the administration to push an agenda other than the one for which it was created. It is not within the National Endowment for the Arts’ original charter to initiate, organize, and tap into the art community to help bring awareness to health care, or energy & environmental issues for that matter; and especially not at a time when it is being vehemently debated. Artists shouldn’t be used as tools of the state to help create a climate amenable to their positions, which is what appears to be happening in this instance. If the art community wants to tackle those issues on its own then fine. But tackling them shouldn’t come as an encouragement from the NEA to those they potentially fund at this coincidental time.

And if you think that my fear regarding the arts becoming a tool of the state is still unfounded, I leave you with a few statements made by the NEA to the art community participants on the conference call. “This is just the beginning. This is the first telephone call of a brand new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally?…bare with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely… “

Is the hair on your arms standing up yet
Yes, because when artists are conscripted to produce art proclaiming the glories of the powers-that-be it is propoganda and if I didn't like my tax dollars going to fund Mapplethorpe, then I am going to hatemy tax dollars going to fund Obama's propaganda machine.

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