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Monday, January 26, 2009

How Obama Can Rebuild the Arts

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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