Does the US need an art czar?

Music producer Quincy Jones is leading a call for President Obama to appoint a Cabinet-level representative for the arts—an “art czar,” if you will.

The Washington Post reported that the exact duties of a secretary of culture or the arts are unclear, but the main goals are supporting arts education and unifying cultural policy:

“We need a voice that looks broadly,” said Robert Lynch, president of
Americans for the Arts, a national lobbying group. He is advocating a
senior position, not necessarily a Cabinet post. “We are calling for a
person at the executive office level who understands there is a National Endowment for the Arts, but also understands the arts portfolio in the Education Department, the State Department—and in addition to the nonprofits arts, is looking at cultural
tourism, broadband access and trade through records, movies and videos.”

Obama has said he would increase funding for the NEA and arts grants, and ensure
artists would have access to health care and fair tax deductions. Establishing a Cabinet-level position would require the assent of Congress.

The online petition has garnered more than 200,000 signatures. What do you think about appointing an art czar?

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3 thoughts on “Does the US need an art czar?

  1. Jeanette Beck

    NO!
    We do not need the Government so into our lives, (as they wish to be) as to tell us how to art, when to art, and what to art! Enough is enough!
    And…Will this Art Czar control the Gov’t art grants? Take over how the monies shall be distributed? Determine what is Art?
    No, I feel this is a BAD idea…Leave us to create, and keep the Feds out of it!

  2. Lorraine Hereld

    We don’t need government intruding in every part of our lives. I can appreciate wanting to promote the arts but not through government and definitely not at the federal level.

  3. Sandra Williams

    I think it’s a great idea. A civilization is truly dependent on their artists for their images and soul level depiction of who they are. The arts improve the ability to think and deepen the experience of being human and a member of your culture. What would the world be without the Greek statues, without the Roman sculpture and mosaics, without the Rennaissance explosion of arts? Without the treasures of ancient India and China? How would we have music without the ancient theories and practises that gave us today’s music in all it’s glorious forms? Yes! An Art Czar, and a national policy on valuing and promoting the arts is exactly what we need!

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