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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