Friday, April 17, 2009

Pay Day

Remember when we were all into "we demand an economic stimulus package for the arts!"?

How's that going, I wonder?

The New York Times reports that the civil servants at the National Endowment for the Arts are evaluating more than 2000 applications submitted by cultural organizations seeking a portion of the $50 million in stimulus funds allotted to the arts by President Barack Obama.

The NEA has already passed out 40% of the money through grants awarded to State Arts Agencies and Regional Arts Organizations like The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA.)

Meanwhile, over at Reason Online, contributor Greg Beato says American artists "sold themselves out at the ridiculously low price of $50 million" furthermore, he asks, "Wouldn’t it have been more provocative, inspiring, and educational if they’d simply said, “No, thanks”? "

At the Nation, Jeff Chang notes that "Artists played a largely unheralded role in Obama's victory" and then poses the obvious question: "So why haven't community organizers and artists been offered a greater role in the national recovery?"

Which reminds me, remember how we were all like "Please, Mr. President, appoint an "arts czar!"?

Apparently, he did...twice.

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