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Re: [BKARTS] Secretary for the Arts



Dear Roberta: 

Fair enough as regards the Obama race issue: it's not your issue, and it ain't mine, though I think it was very much at issue in the original call on NPR. But I've worked too much with people of all ages, races, gender orientations or whatnot to make any assumptions as to what kind of art each of them wants, or deserves - even people in Oregon, by the way. Were it at that the folks at NPR had the same attitude.

As to your main point, I'm afraid there's not much to pursue, there: either one is prepared to see an ideological bent in art and art education, and to analyze what that ideology is and who it represents, and whether or not the Government should give that ideology a blank check - or one isn't. ("Ideology: people's imagined relationship to their real situation in society.") Since the WPA came up in this discussion we should remember that McCarthyism and the witch hunts of the 'fifties were primarily borne out of resistance to the Government arts programs of the 'thirties - even in the Northwest. I could tell you hair-raising stories about the art scene in those days, and the people I knew who'd spent time in Walla Walla WA, but I won't. So much for people in Oregon and Washington State "not caring about the arts."

So, yes, we can agree that the President is in "a great position," etc. As with all else that Obama stands for, "Beware what you wish for..."

It's been refreshing to trade thoughts with you. Back to work, and thanks for the inspiration. 

Paul Werner, New York
http://theorangepress.com
http://museuminc.net

WOID: A journal of visual language
"Museum, Inc.: Inside the Global Art World" (Prickly Paradigm/University of Chicago Press).

                                    
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