"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.Jim warned of this last summer, and relevant portions of that warning are also a part of his posting about the NEA. I encourage you to read the whole thing.
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?"
Some of the things I took notice of: the idea of helping to lay a new foundation for growth, the idea of promoting a more civically engaged America, and the idea that we all celebrate the arts for positive change (perhaps one day there can even be a national holiday to celebrate the arts for positive change). Did you know there was a White House Office of Public Engagement? If you are curious about the mission of such an office, follow the link and see for yourself. While you are there be sure to download you very own copy of "Citizens Briefing Book." Right up front in that document you will find that "out of the tens of thousands of submissions, these ideas found the most support; here they are, unvarnished and unedited." "Unvarnished and unedited" is credible, right?
Oh, my, I think my posting yesterday on social engineering and planning is worth considering along with Lindgren's posting of today.