Obama's Arts Policy – Reflections

Posted by Silagh White On January - 11 - 2009

Earlier, I promised a report of the Obama House meeting I hosted at our campus office last month. Finals hit, then the holidays – but nothing delays my post more than following the news: retail woes, Senatorial appointment challenges, Israel-Palestine conflict and now Obama’s Economic Stimulus plan.

I was hoping to ignite some inspiration from the points of this document, especially given that Michael Chabon will be coming to campus in March. They had other concerns that diverted our discussion.

The students were focused on our campus’ cultural climate – how they thought their fellow students (for the most part) don’t value the arts as much as other leisure options. The students are trying desperately to figure out how to find others that DO value the arts, so they don’t feel so ostracized by their interests. It’s not that their peers don’t “get” the arts – they just haven’t had the proper introduction to develop a value for themselves. There are many opportunities for all students – but now these students need to work within the campus resources to build their momentum. The Obama Arts Policy is giving them hope.

But after this week’s speech (Jan 8)video link
President Elect Obama has managed to inspire me, but also cause some query. There was no mention of the arts in his economic stimulus plan. Why not?

I’ve spent some research time looking for summaries of FDR’s WPA program. Found some interesting sources. But really need to hear the prospective of a learned academian’s summary of that historical programs’ purpose, and successes in order to see the relevance for today’s lack of mentioning the Arts in Obama’s Economic Stimulus. I’m looking for some fighting words.

I need Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) to focus her one of her shows on this issue. Come on Rachel – talk me down!

Leave a Reply


ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

Arts Education

Teaching Artists

Early Arts Education

Common Core Standards

Quality, Engagement & Partnerships

Emerging Leaders

Charting the Future of the Arts

Taking Communities to the Next Level

New Methods & Models

Public Art

Best Practices


Arts Marketing

Audience Engagement

Winning Audiences

Powered by Community

Animating Democracy

Arts & the Military

Scaling Up Programs & Projects

Social Impact & Evaluation

Humor & Social Change

Private Sector Initatives

Arts & Business Partnerships

Business Models in the Arts

Local Arts Agencies

Cultural Districts

Economic Development

Trends, Collaborations & Audiences

Art in Rural Communities

Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.