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August 26, 2009

Obama Regime Turns NEA Into Propaganda Apparatus

Posted by Dave Blount at August 26, 2009 11:33 AM

Art — like economics, the media, and most everything else in the Age of Obama — is heading down a road already traveled in the Soviet Union. Patrick Courrielche, a former employer of the NEA's Director of Communications, reports at Big Hollywood:

On Thursday August 6th, I was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts to attend a conference call scheduled for Monday August 10th hosted by the NEA, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve. The call would include "a group of artists, producers, promoters, organizers, influencers, marketers, taste-makers, leaders or just plain cool people to join together and work together to promote a more civically engaged America and celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!" …
Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama's call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were "health care" and "energy and environment." The service was to be attached to the President's United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans. …
We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these "focus areas" as we had brought to Obama's presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. …
Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country.

Courrielche is sensibly alarmed by this development:

The NEA is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts. That is right, the largest funder of the arts in the nation - a fact that I'm sure was not lost on those that were on the call, including myself. One of the NEA's major functions is providing grants to artists and arts organizations. The NEA has also historically shown the ability to attract "matching funds" for the art projects and foundations that they select. So we have the nation's largest arts funder, which is a federal agency staffed by the administration, with those that they potentially fund together on a conference call discussing taking action on issues under vigorous national debate. Does there appear to be any potential for conflict here?
Discussed throughout the conference call was a hope that this group would be one that would carry on past the United We Serve campaign to support the President's initiatives and those issues for which the group was passionate. The making of a machine appeared to be in its infancy, initiated by the NEA, to corral artists to address specific issues. This function was not the original intention for creating the National Endowment for the Arts.
A machine that the NEA helped to create could potentially be wielded by the state to push policy. Through providing guidelines to the art community on what topics to discuss and providing them a step-by-step instruction to apply their art form to these issues, the "nation's largest annual funder of the arts" is attempting to direct imagery, songs, films, and literature that could create the illusion of a national consensus. This is what Noam Chomsky calls "manufacturing consent."

The Constitution attempts to exclude the federal government from that which is not its proper business because anything controlled by politicians will be used for political ends when the wrong kind of people find their way into power. The effects of Obamunism on art will be bad enough. Imagine the effects it will have on healthcare.

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Art for the Age of Obama.

On a tip from Gregory of Yardale.