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Re: [BKARTS] Secretary for the Arts



HI, Signa!

I certainly am acquainted with NEA and NEH and did a few grant reviews for
NEH (as well as submitting grant proposals to NEH) when I was a librarian.
Those agencies definitely support all aspects of the arts, but it's not the
same thing as having a Cabinet-level voice which gives the arts the same
stature as education, environment and our other 'ministries'.  I think we
need someone closer to the Executive Branch and/or Congress to help in the
development of policy and to show that the arts have great value.  When
times are tough, what gets cut in schools first?  The arts!  Supporting the
arts is legitimate policy, and having a Secretary/Minister for the Arts
would be one way of showing that support.

It was very interesting participating in the group sessions at the NPAC
conference, as members of disparate arts organizations, as well as artists,
came together and discussed the arts in America.  There were a variety of
opinions and suggestions, and one of them was that we're lacking that
Secretary/Minister.

Steven Tepper and Bill Ivey have edited an interesting book about the arts
in America:

Tepper, Steven J. and Bill Ivey, eds.  Engaging art: the next great
transformation of America's cultural life.  New York: Routledge, 2008.

Cheers,
Helene
   


> Are you acquainted with The National Endowment for the Arts and The
> National Endowment for the Humanities? Reinventing the wheel is wasteful
> of time, energy and resources.
> Support the agencies already in place.
> 
> Signa Houghteling
> Former Program Officer, NEH
> 
> Helene Whitson wrote:
>> In June, my husband and I attended the National Performing Arts Convention
>> in Denver, as officers of a community chorus Board of Directors, as well as
>> members of Chorus America, the national support organization for choruses.
>>  
>> This year, 24 performing arts organizations came together to see what was
>> needed to support the performing arts in America. Most Americans probably
>> don¹t even notice that we don¹t have a Secretary or Minister for the Arts,
>> the way many other countries do. We¹re all on our own, and sometimes it¹s a
>> real struggle, especially for the smaller organizations in today¹s economy.
>> It¹s the same for the individual artist, who often ends up working at
>> McDonald¹s or elsewhere to support his/her artistic dream. Many such
>> organizations and artists are just hanging on. And, there¹s no one
>> nationally to speak with one voice for the performing or other arts.  All of
>> our artists contribute incalculable riches to their communities.  This
>> conference brought organizations together to see if officials and members
>> could come up with a list of demands/requests that could be presented to
>> Congress or others to engender more moral and financial support for
>> performing arts and artists. We need a Cabinet-level Secretary/Minister of
>> the Arts to emphasize how ALL the arts‹performing arts and fine arts‹enrich
>> the individual, the community, and the world.  This country has some of the
>> finest artists in the world. Why aren¹t they given equal stature and support
>> with other aspects of our society?
>> 
>> There were approximately 3000 attendees at the conference, which was held in
>> Denver¹s Convention Center.  The organizations included symphony orchestras,
>> choruses, dance groups, opera companies, theatre companies, as well as
>> individual artists and adjunct services, such as insurance brokers,
>> publishing companies, and costumers.  Each attendee also was put randomly
>> into various discussion groups to come up with topics/questions that our
>> organizational leaders could share with government officials. It was
>> fascinating to sit down at a table with theatre administrators,
>> representatives from opera companies, composers, musicians, choreographers,
>> dancers, etc., and discuss the future of the performing arts.  I certainly
>> ended up with a healthy appreciation for the variety and ingenuity of
>> American performing arts groups and individuals, especially with the paucity
>> of any government support.   If members of ALL the arts came together with
>> one voice, we could have quite an impact.
>> 
>> Helene Whitson (retired librarian, sometime bookbinding and book arts
>> student)  
>>  
>> 
>> 
>> *************************************************
>> Helene Whitson
>> President, San Francisco Lyric Chorus
>> Co-Author, San Francisco Bay Area Chorus Directory
>> Founder, San Francisco Bay Area Choral Archive
>> 1824 Arch Street
>> Berkeley, California  94709
>> 510-849-4689
>> hwhitson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> http://www.choralarchive.org
>> http://www.sflc.org
>> 
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>> 
>>   
> 
>                  
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>              Annual Arnold Grummer Press sale now online at
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>   Please note that attachments to listserv messages are not permitted,
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> For all your subscription questions, go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
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*************************************************
Helene Whitson
President, San Francisco Lyric Chorus
Co-Author, San Francisco Bay Area Chorus Directory
Founder, San Francisco Bay Area Choral Archive
1824 Arch Street
Berkeley, California  94709
510-849-4689
hwhitson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.choralarchive.org
http://www.sflc.org

                                    
             ***********************************************
                                    
             Annual Arnold Grummer Press sale now online at
         <http://www.philobiblon.com/suppliers.shtml#Press_Sale>
                                    
  Please note that attachments to listserv messages are not permitted,
            and are automatically removed by the listserver.
                                    
For all your subscription questions, go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
         See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information.
                                    
             ***********************************************


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