And sorry for the lack of posting this week, I have two pretty big applications due this Friday and I'm busy writing essays left right and center.
Anyway, in the interest of fairness, here are two recent opinion pieces coming out strongly against centralizing arts policy in the US government under one high ranking position (aka the Arts Czar which could be a Minister of Culture type cabinet level position or a special advisor to the President or whatever).
The first is from the Wall St. Journal, the second is from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I find both of the pretty damn unconvincing. The Times-Dispatch raises the only anti-centralization point that gives me any sense of pause which is... won't increased government support and action w/r/t the arts inevitably lead down the road at some point to censorship and interference? Which is something I think we need to grapple with further.
I will also say I think in general arts advocates have not done a great job of laying out why we need an Arts Czar or some form of centralized Arts Policy Person in place in the Executive Branch, something I tried to do here. The petition, for example, doesn't lay out what an Arts Czar would do. This opens up the door to all sorts of straw manning. You would think reading either of the above opinion pieces that there's a concrete job description that everyone's coalesced around. There isn't. What there is is a feeling in the zeitgeist, something people are agitating for that still remains somewhat vague. (For more on what such a position could do and how the stimulus might work to help the arts, here's an overview article from the Times).