Monday, September 15, 2008

Art & The Elections

If you are an artist or feel the arts are important in the fundamental education of American children then consider this information passed along from Kelli Russell Agodon on her blog about the presidential candidates:

Barack Obama- favors an Artist Corps in the Schools. An "Artist Corps" of young artists would work in low-income schools and their communities to bring exposure of the arts into the educational process of these students. The results of which are of course more job opportunities for artists, but most importantly this would effectively integrate positive art experiences in the education system in this country. In so many school districts art has had to take a back seat to other subjects. It's important to reach these students when they are young because otherwise they are not likely to learn to appreciate art on their own as adults. [read more in depth]

John McCain - his record is one disfavoring the promotion of the arts publicly. In 1999 he was one of 16 senators who supported the Smith-Ashcroft amendment which would have eliminated funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Fortunately this amendment failed. He tried again in 2000. He was one of 27 senators who voted to reduce the National Endowment for the Arts budget by $7.3 million. Again, "Maverick McCain" and the others were unsuccessful. It should be noted that the National Endowment for the Arts is not just a glitzy art organization, but has been a positive vehicle for promoting literacy programs in America for people of all ages. [ I thought I'd be fair and link any specifics from McCain's campaign here, but his official site seems void of any reference to the Arts]

Pass this information on to other artists that you know. There is a lot at stake in this election.
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