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 Post subject: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:16 pm 
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I'm having a lot of trouble believing this man will stay true to his word regarding arts funding. He's given me no reason to believe him regarding anything at all.

From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Bush wants to boost the NEA budget, but it's only an artful gesture

Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic

In an unlikely piece of election-year casting, George W. Bush is playing a friend of the arts. That's the way his supporters hope the president's recent proposal to increase the National Endowment for the Arts budget by $18 million next year will come across to the voting audience.

If approved, the 15 percent increase, to a fiscal 2005 budget of $139 million, would be the largest increase at the NEA since 1984. Most of the added money -- $15 million of the $18 million -- would fund a new touring program called "American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.''
more...

<small>[ 12 February 2004, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: LMCtech ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:28 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Another quote from the article above:

Quote:
That's fine, but what about making the arts themselves exciting, challenging and daring? Putting $18 million toward that would be an investment in the future, in the arts as an authentic, risk-taking legacy of our times. Instead Bush has wrapped himself in the comfortable, unexceptionable mantle of the past. Shakespeare and "Death of a Salesman" for everyone.


<small>[ 12 February 2004, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:56 am 
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Quote:
Most of the added money -- $15 million of the $18 million -- would fund a new touring program called "American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius."
I'm most uncomfortable with the government's dictating the content of a program as a condition of the appropriation. As far as I know, this hasn't been done before, even though it's exactly the sort of thing that Jesse Helms and his followers -- not having familiarized themselves with the peer-reviewed grants process -- regularly decried as one of the evils of government support for the arts.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 8:38 am 
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18 Mln Dollars?! It is probably less than the hourly cost of having US Army in Iraq.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 10:33 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
I wonder how that figure compares to how much Halliburton profits in Iraq?


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:22 pm 
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Location: New York
At least he's giving money to the arts, rather than decreasing funding or adding nothing (a la Clinton). I'm not in favor of the government appropriating the money for specific projects, but excesses such as Serrano's infamous photograph have left a bitter taste for the NEA in the mouths of most Americans. Why should taxpayers involuntary pick up the tab on art that is highly offensive to 90% of the population? Again, I'm not for appropriations as a matter of principle, but the NEA practically begged for it by not using a little discretion, if nothing else than for political purposes.

And why does everyone instantly assume this is an election year tactic? Most of Bush's supporters don't like it, and he has to know he won't win over many NEA votes anyway. Maybe he really is for funding of the arts - it's cynical and pessimistic to automatically assume otherwise...

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:17 am 
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I think it has mainly to do with his track record.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:07 am 
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Quote:
At least he's giving money to the arts, rather than decreasing funding or adding nothing (a la Clinton).
It's more accurate to say that he's promised more money, secure in the fact that the Republican-led Congress will never actually pass such an appropriation.

Quote:
excesses such as Serrano's infamous photograph have left a bitter taste for the NEA in the mouths of most Americans.
You're confusing, I think, Serrano and Mapplethorpe; the former's work was a sculpture (well, sort of). Project grants are made before the work is actually executed; without having actually seen the grant proposal, I can guarantee you that what was funded was something like, "a rexamination of the role of religion is society," or something similarly vaguely worded.

Quote:
Why should taxpayers involuntary pick up the tab on art that is highly offensive to 90% of the population?
With that criterion, we'd have no Rite of Spring, no Eiffel Tower, no Waiting for Godot....

Quote:
And why does everyone instantly assume this is an election year tactic?
I'm looking out my window right now and I see a bird. It's waddling. It's quacking. Y'know what? I'm going to assume it's a duck.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:37 am 
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Quote:
excesses such as Serrano's infamous photograph have left a bitter taste for the NEA in the mouths of most Americans.
My bet is that "most Americans" never heard of it, and that most of the remainder have forgotten.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:50 pm 
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Tom - Serrano was indeed a "sculptor" but I thought a display of a photograph of his "Piss Christ" was what enraged many people. I may be confusing it with another exhibition.

I don't have a problem with the work being created and displayed, but it's hard to force the vast majority of the people to involuntary give up their hard-earned tax dollars for something by which they are greatly offended. The difference between Rite of Spring, etc, is that those were funded by monarchial totalitarian regimes. In a free society, people should have the right to refuse to fund something that goes against the values of most of the people. Again, I'm not saying it shouldn't be displayed, but should the taxpayers be forced to pick up the tab?

Azlan - what track record? I'm not a big Geroge Bush fan, but let's be objective - what has he ever done to discourage or harm arts or the NEA? We may disagree about the war and other things, but how does that affect your view of his NEA proposal? I think yours and Tom's is a personal reaction to a president you don't like, rather than an objective assessment of the situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:45 pm 
It may not be as bad as all that. For instance, Texas is a hot-bed of the arts, despite being in the Bible Belt. They have multivarious self-supporting ballet companies in every major city despite the unfortunate sand-bagging of Flemming Flindt. Their symphony orchestras are first rate, despite the sad demise of Eduardo Mata. The Dallas Opera has survived in the black where others have foundered. Texas parents REALLY get behind their kids. Further, they have great looking people, must be all that fresh air from riding the range (incidentally, "the range" is usually about 500,000 acres...). Their educational institutions and social organizations are mostly first-rate. Vote for Laura Bush!!! She gets it done... More later...


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:37 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Quote:
Instead Bush has wrapped himself in the comfortable, unexceptionable mantle of the past. Shakespeare and "Death of a Salesman" for everyone
Anyone who can claim that Shakespeare is comfortable and unexceptional has lost all credibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 9:47 pm 
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Perhaps by "comfortable," he meant "uncontroversial" or "well-established and accepted."


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:21 am 
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Quote:
For instance, Texas is a hot-bed of the arts, despite being in the Bible Belt. They have multivarious self-supporting ballet companies in every major city despite the unfortunate sand-bagging of Flemming Flindt.
I'm not sure what you mean by "self supporting;" I'm fairly familiar with the arts situation in Texas, and I can't think of a single professional ballet company that doesn't apply for -- and receive -- serious public funding.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to Buy Our Votes with the NEA Carrot
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:36 am 
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Interesting article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about Bush and the NEA. He's actually increased the NEA budget throughout his term, and apparently wants to renew interest in arts in America. Some of that money is marked for dance - modern dance - by the way. The article points out there are some flaws, but like him or not, Bush is moving the NEA in a better direction (unlike his "all promises, no action" predecessor).

http://www.cleveland.com/artsandevents/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/entertainment/107675499832900.xml

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