An article in yesterday’s Washington Post discusses the momentum building around an online petition in support of a Cabinet-level arts czar. The petition was inspired by music producer and composer Quincy Jones’s call to President-elect Obama to establish a secretary of arts and culture. Many arts leaders in Washington, such as Michael Kaiser, are in favor of this. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Whether you call it a minister of culture or not, it would be wonderful to have someone with a policy role to coordinate arts education, cultural diplomacy and support for arts organizations. Those activities are not coordinated but divided among many offices,” said Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Kaiser argues that the crumbling economy, as well as the advent of a new administration, has added some urgency to coordinating all these efforts. “Right now, we have an ecology of the arts that is very scary. We need a proactive person, or agency, that is going to talk to foundations, the state agencies, the organizations about this situation. Right now, we are leaving the arts organizations to themselves,” he said.
Want to make this a reality? Sign the petition! There are currently more than 114,000 signatures.