As you can tell, I have a bit more time these days. So...I'm catching up with Flickr, FB, and all the other online time-suckers. Just read a delightfully hopeful article (at the NYT web) about the new chairman of the NEA. Read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/arts/08rocco.html?_r=1&ref=arts.
I really like his arguements about artists being workers too, with families, mortgages, and medical bills, just like any other laborer in America. “Someone who works in the arts is every bit as gainfully employed as someone who works in an auto plant or a steel mill,” Mr. Landesman said. An artist's productivity is valuable, and good for the economy. After all, aren't we the ones that preceed gentrification patterns.
It's tough to shift such a longstanding generalized misconception about art and artists, though. In American politics generally, he added: “The arts are a little bit of a target. The subtext is that it is elitist, left wing, maybe even a little gay.” But thinking positively, maybe, just maybe we're leaving the "art is superfluous" attitude to die with the armadillos in Texas. Yes!
p.s. My title for this post was jokingly appropriated from a very serious realty ad on the Blue Line, depicting swank modern condos for sale at remarkably slashed prices. Funny huh? B went on to add, "Wanna see my stimulus package?"