How Obama Can Rebuild the Arts

America can re-establish serious arts support with these 'first steps'
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Jan 26, 2009 2:50 PM CST
Former First lady Laura Bush sits with NEA Chairman Dana Gioia during a presentation at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Conn. Ross proposes an increase in NEA funding.    (AP Photo/Bob Child)
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(Newser) – Despite the economic crisis, Barack Obama’s ascension to the White House is triggering a wave of optimism in the art community, David A. Ross writes in the Art Newspaper. He prescribes 10 “first steps” the president can take to re-establish serious support for arts in the United States:   

  • Rebuild the Arts America program to allow American artists to serve as cultural ambassadors and image rehabilitators around the world.

  • Simplify, expedite, and depoliticize visas for visiting foreign artists.
  • Develop an emergency bailout fund for cultural institutions in dire need of help during the credit crisis.
  • Evaluate the operating expenses of our museums and libraries; then fund the Institute of Museum and Library Services to ensure that core costs of art institutions can be met.
  • Revive, rebuild, and depoliticize the National Endowment for the Arts/Humanities, including a funding increase from $290 million to $750 million. 
  • Increase investment in art and music education for all school pupils.
  • Create a Secretary for Art and Culture Cabinet-level position, or at least an administrative mechanism showing presidential support for American culture.
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