Archive for February 5th, 2008

as long as we’re on the subject

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Man, that CCA arts ed seminar I’m teaching has gotten me all kinds of huffy about the state of arts education. We had such a lively, deep conversation about this Boston Globe article by Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner last night: there are some nice, concise quotes in it regarding just how vital the arts are to being a well-rounded humanoid.

I also just received the invitation below: for those of you in the LA area, this is prolly a must.


I would like to extend a special invitation out to you and your students/associates to attend a free lecture at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre titled, “Why the Arts Matter” on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 7:30PM.

Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, visits Zócalo to discuss the impoverishment of American popular culture and “the need to reopen the conversation between our best minds and the broader public.”

He argues that the real purpose of arts education isn’t to produce more artists but to “create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.” Something happens, he says, when an individual actively engages in the arts, be it reading a novel at home, attending a concert at a local church, or seeing a dance company perform at a college campus that awakens both a heightened sense of identity and civic awareness. He warns that America’s cultural decline has “huge and alarming economic consequences.”

To reserve a free seat at Central Library, visit:
The event, recorded for broadcast on 89.3 FM KPCC, will be followed by a free food and wine reception with the speaker.

Please feel free to pass this information on to others by posting on your website, newsletters, and email forwards.
I hope you will join us!

Arts Action Alert!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

As if I needed one more reason to want GWB drop-kicked out of this galaxy: Just got this email regarding his 2009 budget proposals, and apparently, he still wants money for a war, but NO money for arts education.
ZERO dollars for arts education?
Christ almighty.
No Child Left Behind, my ass.
Please give the message a read, and click on the link to send your friendly neighborhood congressperson a line while there’s still some time…

From Americans for the Arts:

President Bush today sent his FY 2009 budget request to Congress, beginning the yearly appropriations process for, among many things, the nation’s cultural agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Office of Museum Services (OMS), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs. Because drastic cuts are being proposed for some key arts programs, we urge you to write your Members of Congress and tell them to reject the President’s budget cuts.

On the heels of signing the largest Congressionally-initiated funding increase for the arts in 28 years, President Bush has proposed a senseless $16.3 million cut for FY 2009 for the NEA””from $144.7 million to $128.4 million. After three years of minimal, but incremental, funding growth, we are surprised to see an attempt to erase this progress.

For the eighth consecutive year, the President’s budget has eliminated funding for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs, which include funding for model arts programs and collaborations with schools, teacher professional development, and arts programs for at-risk youth. Arts literacy is as central to an educated citizenry as are reading, math, and science. The Administration needs to understand the role of arts education in developing an innovative and creative society.

Also, the FY 2009 budget request calls for a rescission of $200 million in already-approved funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). As a trusted community resource, CPB uses the power of noncommercial television and radio to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services.

The President also asked for a slight cut to the NEH, from $144.7 to $144.3 million. Finally, and on a positive note, the President requested a funding boost of over $8 million for the Office of Museum Services, bringing the amount of funding available for grants to almost $40 million. A breakdown of the President’s budget request is as follows:


Next Steps:
As you know, the President’s budget is the first step in the appropriations process. While it serves as an important framework, Congress has the power to set its own priorities and change these funding levels. That’s where you come in.

Arts advocates can make their voices heard by writing their Members of Congress and urging them to increase funding for arts and culture and restore funding for arts in education programs. We have provided you with a customizable letter to send to your Members of Congress, as well as several talking points to help you craft your message. We recommend you add your own thoughts and stories about why the arts are important to you and your community. We also encourage you to join us in Washington, DC for Arts Advocacy Day 2008, March 31 – April 1, 2008. You’ll have the opportunity to visit your Members of Congress face-to-face and urge them to support the arts.

Thank you for your continued support of the arts!