Bonus: National Public Radio would be privatized.
Over the course of the general election campaign, Hollywood’s celebrities donated money, time, and sometimes questionable talent to elect Hillary Clinton as President.
After Donald Trump’s victory, there were a stream of celebrity videos deriding the electoral college, trying to sway electors from formalizing the Nov. 8th results, patting themselves on the back for surviving, and dramatically swearing the Oath to the U.S. Constitution. All of this drama has had zero net effect… so far.
As Donald Trump reviews how to effectively cut the bloated U.S. budget, it is being reported that he is weighing approval of elimination of two cultural institutions that have been are the bane of many conservatives (or those who enjoy art with class, taste, and dignity).
Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.
The changes they propose are dramatic.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.
Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
While Hollywood’s entertainers were cheering on the Democrats, they forgot that pens also work for Republicans, too. They are now slamming Trump for the proposals.
Tim Daly, who plays Henry McCord on CBS’ “Madam Secretary,” called it a “huge mistake” to strip funding from an organization that provides grants for art programs across the country.
Daly said the move would mostly impact the smallest cities and communities that otherwise wouldn’t have access to the arts.
“The very people, actually, who voted for him,” said Daly, president of the Creative Coalition, which hosted the event.
Most probably not, the people who voted for Trump are not likely to appreciate the kinds of art that the NEA has funded.
In 2012, the NEA published How the US Funds the Arts, intended in part to demonstrate how backwards we are compared to other nations. For performing art groups, only 1.2% of revenues came from the Federal government. And performing art groups, by their cooperative nature, are more likely to need crowdsourcing of some kind than are visual artists.
“Ken and Tyler,” 1985, by Robert Mapplethorpe, is NOT the piece that caused an outcry after being purchased by the NEA. That was his self-portrait with a bullwhip, and you can look it up yourself.
The problem with the NEA giving $30,000 to the Institute of Contemporary Photography to buy violent and homoerotic images by Robert Mapplethorpe wasn’t just the content; it was that Mapplethorpe was already a successful artist. That money didn’t go toward making new art; it went to collecting the work of a recently-dead artist, which was really about investment, not about developing new art.
Giving Andres Serrano a $15,000 award for Piss Christ not only offended the taxpayers; it set in stone the idea that we should have rules about paying for the stuff. This, falsely labelled ‘censorship’, paradoxically gave offensive art more power than it ought to have had. It’s now thirty years later and we’re still dealing with the flashback.
Besides, Tim: What is to stop celebrities from donating support the arts for all the little people they say they are so concerned about? Or even N.P.R, if they are so interested in saving that institution?
If Madonna had used her talents to organize a concert, and donated those proceeds to support dance troupes across the nation, she would be in far less trouble with the Secret Service. She would also not be a laughing stock today (or maybe nos such a big one).
I assert that Trump is actually doing our entertainers a favor: If our celebrities avoid insulting regular Americans politically, chances are they will have more success. He is giving the them opportunity to redirect their increased funds in ways that make a real difference.DONATE
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