Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Online Forum discussion of NEA and Federal Arts Policy

Over on the right side of this blog, you can see links to some of my favorite blogs from around the community and dealing with arts on a state and federal level. I don't have nearly enough time as I would like to read all of the scholarship and research out there. Thankfully, there are blogs that aggregate the information in a well-written, concise way. One of my very favorites, Barry's Blog by WESTAF's Barry Hessenius, just announced perhaps the most ambitious online Federal Arts Policy discussion ever attempted.

Starting on Tuesday, September 15, this six-week long online discussion will attempt to bring together arts service organizations, past NEA administrators, the private sector, artists, foundations and emerging leaders, including one of my other favorite arts bloggers, Createquity's Ian Moss, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the Americans for the Arts Convention in Seattle this June.

If you're not an arts policy wonk, consider the questions that will be among those addressed in this six-week forum:

• What should be the role of arts & culture in the economy, in foreign affairs, in education, in health services, in civic life?

• How can the various federal agencies that have some role in arts funding or otherwise coordinate their efforts, and where and how should the arts be represented in the White House and in formal policy making – or should it?

• How do we best nurture and develop all the multicultural arts traditions of a diverse society?

• How do we create equal access to arts & culture for every citizen?

• How do we build bridges between the "for-profit" and nonprofit arts industries and promote cooperation and collaboration where it is to the mutual benefit of both parties, or to the larger society?

And what should be the role of the National Endowment for the Arts in any of this? In terms of a national arts policy, what do we want for our artistic community in America, and what do we want from it?

This has a lot of potential, and the technology truly means that everyone can participate. So I ask you--please alert any artists, arts organization staff, Board and constituents/client base about this upcoming online forum so that as many people as possible might participate.

Read more about the project here.

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