NEA Is Playing Politics, Filmmaker Charges

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2009 11:38 AM CDT
Will.I.Am, of the Black Eyed Peas, left,and lead singer Ed Kowalczyk of the band Live perform before a Barack Obama campaign event on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Friday, April 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – The National Endowment for the Arts recently encouraged artists to create works that focus on “health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal”—a disturbing step away from the its actual mandate, filmmaker Patrick Courrielche writes for Big Hollywood. “Artists shouldn’t be used as tools of the state to help create a climate amenable to their positions,” he says.

The NEA, the nation’s largest funder of the arts, was founded in 1965 to support artistic excellence. Now, it’s “attempting to direct imagery, songs, films, and literature that could create the illusion of a national consensus,” Courrielche writes. And even the NEA knows that this is sketchy: bear “with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely,” it said to artists during a private conference call.