Debating the role of government is and has been the goal of bringing this conference call to light. The NEA tainted the creative process by encouraging the art community to address highly controversial political issues. ‘How?’ you may ask. The NEA is the largest single funder of the arts in the United States. This government agency has the power and ability to fund arts organizations and recently expressed a desire to return to funding individual artists, bringing more from the group into the pool of potential grantees.
The NEA did encourage a handpicked, pro-Obama arts group to address issues under contentious national debate. That fact is irrefutable.
This practice has never been the historical role of the NEA. The NEA’s role is to support excellence in the arts, to increase access to the arts, and to be a leader in arts education. Using the arts to address contentiously debated issues is political subversion. And the fact that the White House played a role in encouraging the arts to address contentious issues should also be considered a government overreach.
Many on the phone call may say and believe that this was a worthwhile effort. “What can be more inspiring then the NEA encouraging national service,” they may say. I would say that while it might sound like a noble cause, the big hand of government often enters the scene well manicured, but in times of desperation it all too often takes on the shape of a fist accessorized with brass knuckles.
A White House Official made specific “asks” (Don’t you just love the lobbyist-speak there?) of a hand-picked group of artists and art groups.
The White House has no business turning the National Endowment for the Arts into a propaganda arm for White House policy. How many grants are they steering to the chosen few?
Since the NEA has decided to willingly join in on the efforts, it is past time to cut off funding for that body. This is not how our tax dollars were intended to be spent.
The MSM is completely ignoring this as far as I can tell, incidentally. I can’t find any of the majors other than Fox reporting on this at all. (But Fox is also the only one reporting that The Department of Justice has launched a probe of ACORN as far as I can tell.)
I guess we’ll have to see what else Breitbart has – if this follows the same pattern as last week, there is more coming – and the MSM will eventually have to report it.