One of the coolest shake-ups President Obama wants to bring into office is his plan to expand the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and revitalize the arts.
His three top priorities are 1) Expanding public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. 2) Creating an Artist Corps. 3) Publicly championing the importance of arts education.
This has brought high-profile artist Quincy Jones to the suggestion to President Obama for the creation of a Secretary of Arts. He has started an online petition to create the Department of the Arts, because he says that the arts bring spiritual benefits. This could bring the arts and the government under one umbrella. But some argue that the arts should not be connected to the government. The opposition argues that the government should just fund the art, “then go away.”
Richard Kessler, executive director of The Center for Arts Education of New York city thinks is a great idea though. He said, “The mere existence of a cultural policy platform is an amazing thing, a good thing. Nothing like it existed before in the history of our country.”
As we know, artist help define society. I believe that more knowledge to young students about the arts is a great thing to care for. But do we want the government to oversee the arts? Perhaps this idea of a Secretary of the Arts can bring a direct representation to the White House about the lack of funds for arts like scholarships, art centers, and public art. If your country would needed you to paint, would you paint? As an artist, I would love to have government support, but as long as there is no regulation between what I want to paint and what the government thinks I should paint.
If you're interested in signing the online petition go here.