Sunday, January 18, 2009

Secretary of the Arts?

I was looking through 'causes' on facebook- and noted a petition to send (soon to be) president Barack. It was for a "secretary of the Arts" position.
I was wondering what other folks thought was on this.
My initial reaction was "oh hey cool! maybe we'd definetly ensure arts in public schools that way!" But with a little more thought I became skeptical. There is a lot at stake when talking about individuals intellectual properties. Who's to say that whomever that secretary would be wouldn't wake up one morning deciding that any art created in the us, belongs to the government and not the artist themselves. I know that is a bit of a stretch since that would cause quite an uproar, but it is a feasibility. It would be almost like there was an official art director of the US, and what if you don't agree with them. At least if you don't agree with the other officials you can express that in your art. I'd fear whomever that secretary was would be rating each artist- and that's not the point of art. I'd rather be able to express myself without worrying it wasn't good enough (goodness knows artists do that anyways!)
I do see how my fears could be slightly irrational, but at the same time I think they're ones to give serious consideration to. What if there were a board judging arts the same way teachers and doctors are judged. Granted I think the later is needed because of the affects a bad teacher and doctor can have on a person, yet I worry about art being censored completley.
What do you guys think?


Bob Flynn said...

Go Allie, rockin the blog posts! While your question is intriguing, and there is still a very realistic concern of the copyright of our artwork taken away, I suspect that such a position would be primarily concerned with funding and oversight. Which I suppose could be seen as judging (since the person in said position would be in charge of who gets the funds and who doesn't).

I highly doubt it would be about censorship...though, there are already government panels responsible for that (see the FCC--in their aims to control the airwaves.)

Interesting question, nonetheless :)

John L said...

It's kind of a strange idea, I'm not sure what this person would do. We already have the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, which are great organizations.