y n n C a r l s o n . u s
Consultora en las materias del arte visual
SECRETARY OF THE ARTS
You are no doubt aware of the petition online at www.petitiononline.com,
asking President Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts. Many artists and supporters of the arts are speaking out in
favor of the establishment of this new position and believe its grassroots
nature will catch the president’s eye.
That President Obama has inspired thousands to believe they can
bring about this change has this writer’s attention.
My inbox holds messages, saying “We in the arts
need this.” and “(It) is a truly great idea!” While
some posts to the petition site say ‘now is not the time for such an
addition to the federal budget’ and ‘do you really think that a politician is going to endow art?’
The President’s cabinet includes the Vice
President, the Attorney General and the heads of departments that guide
the president and therefore the country in guarding and nurturing our
resources. Is the petition driven by the perception that the executive
departments are occupied by under-appreciators of the arts? Even the new Obama administration? Can we give the President and his cabinet the benefit of the
doubt on this and offer room for compromise?
Is everyone aware of the fact that the Secretary for Science works
under the Department of Energy? Perhaps
an under secretary for the arts below the Secretary of Education is
under consideration. The
Secretary of Education will, after all, oversee a $5 billion grant program
designed to “encourage innovation”.
The Secretary of the Arts petition is curiously
succinct. Do you worry it
will be disrespected because of its lack of detail?
Isn’t a call for additional art a cry for more and diverse
information, curiosity, thoughtfulness, creativity, observation, history,
order, inclusion, sensitivity and high level problem solving? Could these
attributes, vital to our future, be lost as the call for the position is
discussed? Won’t we see a senator on the nightly news diminishing the
value of the arts as he or she blasts the new position as an earmark that
won’t benefit the common good?
The petition hasn’t caught the attention of the
pundits so we don’t know who is in the position of being considered for
the Secretary of Arts. The
art community is correct, if the petition grows legs, to dread the night
the secretary appointee, he or she of art, finance and political
experience, is caricatured in television satire.
President Obama ran, and won office promising
positive change. As the still
young United States of America has never had a cabinet level office of art
and or culture, such a position would be a change, but the administration,
one month old at this writing, is announcing changes weekly.
It is unlikely a Secretary of the Arts is on the agenda, but
perhaps an (under) secretary for one of the cabinet positions is
and your signature to the petition will mean change for the common good.
Lynn Carlson lynncarlson.us
Crystal Lake 19 Feb 2009
Lynn Carlson, M.A., M.S.
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