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article imageNEA Recruiting Artists to Promote Obama's Policies

By Johnny Simpson     Aug 25, 2009 in Politics
The NEA, the nation's largest funder of the arts, is working in concert with other groups like United We Serve to recruit a wide variety of artists to promote Obama Administration policies, like ObamaCare and Cap-and-Trade, through the arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts, the nation's largest funder of the arts supported entirely by taxpayer dollars, in conjunction with many other orgs like United We Serve, is now engaged in a sweeping campaign to recruit "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 (sic) engaged America and celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!”
That "positive change" is defined by NEA as follows: "To help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda - health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal.” All of these details, and many more, emerged from an August 10th conference call hosted by the NEA, the White House Office of Public Engagement and United We Serve. Another follow-up conference call, scheduled for August 27th, is being promoted by United We Serve, and will involve representatives from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.
The NEA's self-declared apolitical mission statement reads as follows:
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education.
Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
Partick Courrielche, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, art consultant and former employee in the NEA's Director of Communications office who participated in that August 10th call, blew the whistle in his report "The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?" Mr. Courrielche also posted the article "The Artist Formerly Known as Dissident" at reason.com on August 7th, revealing what he believes are disturbing trends in the art community, long known for its dissident nature, of becoming a willing tool of the state.
Mr. Courrielche is also concerned about the propriety and possible conflicts of interest with the NEA, a fund-granting agency, discussing a political agenda with like-minded artists who may then seek to obtain NEA grants for same. The NEA has been no stranger to controversy over the years. President Reagan sought to abolish it. No word on if the NEA sought the services of famed liberal artist Faris Alkhateeb.
One other note of interest on United We Serve, which was launched on June 22nd by First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The UWS website itself claims the United We Serve campaign will culminate on September 11th with a new "National Day of Remembrance and Service," a measure President Obama himself signed into law on April 22nd, and which originated from the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Here is how the United We Stand website defines that effort:
With the new National Day of Remembrance and Service (on September 11th), The President and First Lady are challenging people young and old, in communities large and small, to roll up their sleeves and work together to tackle some of the nation's toughest issues: education; health; energy and the environment; community renewal; and safety and security.
The Administration knows that the arts are and must continue to be actively engaged in strengthening communities across the country. United We Serve seeks to encourage and recognize that work this summer, on September 11, and beyond.
One planned National Day of Remembrance and Service effort now being promoted by United We Serve, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslims United For Change, will be the Muslims United Against Malaria Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 5th. The National Day of Remembrance and Service has been widely criticized by conservative pundits like Michelle Malkin as whitewashing the 9/11 attacks, by obscuring their memory with a plethora of liberal left-wing activities that have absolutely nothing to do with remembering the tragedy of 9/11. Matthew Vadum of the conservative blog American Spectator weighed in on that subject with his oped, "Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11."
More about Obama, Obamacare, United stand, Nea, September 11th
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