Obama stiffs the arts?

“Memo to President Obama, from the arts world: This is not what we had in mind.

During the campaign, candidate Obama raised high hopes among artists and arts institutions: He “got” their importance, even publishing an arts-policy statement. After the election, Quincy Jones fueled expectations with a crusade to create a Cabinet-level Minister of Culture or an arts czar at the White House. Dreams of bigger budgets for, and prominent chairs of, the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities, exploded like Twitter….

But the three lesser appointments Obama has so far made in the cultural arena—a Chicago lawyer named Kareem Dale, a Hollywood fund-raiser named Jeremy Bernard, and an Obama Senate staffer named Anita Decker—have been strange at best and, at worst, deflating. None has much arts expertise; what they do have are political connections. Bernard, appointed to a key post at the academically minded NEH, never graduated from college, though he claims a bachelor’s degree on his résumé.”

Read the rest at the Daily Beast.

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