The End of the National Endowment for the Arts

Also too, jobs. As in, mine. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

“We are now the only country in the world without a federal arts presence.”

And so, here we are.  The country starts its descent into ignorance.  And it is a willful ignorance, which is the only inexcusable kind.

Now JFK, and Pablo Casals, and Leonard Bernstein, and Jacqueline Kennedy, and Maya Angelou, and so many others, perhaps Voltaire himself, roll in their graves.

But they surely stir as well, and just as surely will eventually have their revenge, as their intellectual offspring gather their wits about them and prepare for an unsparing  dissection of the unhumored fascists we presently watch cavorting about the world stage, utterly immune to irony.

May we protect as many of the victims of the  fearful and fearsome dullards now in power as we can, prior to watching the show about  to be put on by those artists present among us, and those yet to be born.

Progress will get its revenge, and liberal democracy will emerge stronger than ever after the naked emperor’s collapse before an awakened and educated American people.



16 Comments . Leave a comment below.

    ” There is a cult of ignorance in the United States and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

    Fred Rich LaRiccia


    ” I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well…I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.”

    President John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Amherst College, October 26, 1963

    Fred Rich LaRiccia
    Founding Member of the Honorary Fellows
    of the John F. Kennedy Library

  3. Is this actually going to happen?

    Killing the NEA is not a Trumpian Republican idea, but a longstanding one. Reagan and both Bushes made the same pledge and none of them delivered on it. The second Bush even had the votes to do it, and instead appointed Dan Gioia who was one of the most successful NEA heads in history.

    This is one of those issues where maybe he can be persuaded to come to the table. But I certainly agree with the main premise that killing the NEA will be a disaster for public arts in America. And a great way to silence dissent.


    The HILL (3/7/17) : An obituary : The National Endowment for the Arts, 52, of unnatural causes ; is reporting :

    ” The NEA expired under the care of President Donald Trump and the Tea Party Congress…We are now the only country in the world without a federal arts presence… At its end, the agency was so small that the cost of one military jet equaled its entire grants budget… Burial was swift. Though more people spoke at the funeral service than had openly supported the NEA when it was alive.”

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  5. “We are now the only country in the world without a federal arts presence.”

    Can you put me in touch with the arts authority of the Congo? And Iraq?

    And Syria…or are those the guys blowing up statues because they are idolatrous?

    • Absolutely correct

      You’re absolutely correct.

      It is heartening to know that we join the Congo, Iraq, and Syria in demonstrating our commitment to preserving and advancing the arts.

      • Idolatrous to Deify the Market Over Ideas?

        I think somervilletom is right. Let’s give the arts the commitment that Porcupine would like, and then see how close we get to the commitment to the arts Porcupine assumed those largely unfortunate countries are able to muster today?

        Porcupine, some sense of context actually is helpful, as are facts, as opposed to propaganda created out of ignorance and fear manufactured at the whim of your leader.

    • Syria

      Anyone who knows the first thing about Syria prior to the conflagration knows that Syria undoubtedly had a commitment to the arts.

    • No, Thank You, Porcupine

      I’ve been to the Congo, Porcupine, and would not want the political party leaders I met there, who were so very gracious, to think that all Americans would be so stereotypically arrogant as to assume that the DRC had no arts programs. I’d recommend you not get in touch with them for the good of our reputation there. Perhaps you assume that the Belgians did better?

      • My grandmother was born there...

        …and her family provided refuge from Belgian atrocities, so no, I am not an admirer.

        I do not know who you were quoiting from The Hill at the beginning of your article, but that person was an idiot. It enhances the perception of arts as a First World Problem.


    according to actress Shirley McClane on Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word tonight.

    Fred Rich LaRiccia


    I’ll gladly pay a buck thirty five to support the arts. Wouldn’t you ?

    Fred Rich LaRiccia


    When Great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding to support the war effort he said : ” Then what are we fighting for ? ”

    Screw Trump and his fascist Know-Nothings !

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

    • Beyond the Abstract

      My argument is largely abstract. Anecdotally, as a musician I know the seemingly infinite well of spiritual sustenance that the arts can provide. But I hope that those who promote arts education might chime in sometime in the future regarding the actual data showing the tremendous efficiency and value of a dollar spent on arts education.

      In my case anyway, I know that studying music taught me self-control, discipline, patience, perseverance, European history, physics, and to some extent at least, literary history. I am an expert in none of these, but having a generalists familiarity with them has provided more stimulation, satisfaction, and at times, peace, then I can possibly state here.

      Particularly for those from poor and working-class backgrounds like myself, the arts are a more realistic ‘way out’ than sports in part because of some of the interdisciplinary knowledge that can come through osmosis with the study of the arts, although sports can have many of the very same benefits.

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Tue 25 Apr 8:19 PM