Monday, August 10, 2009

A New Day at The National Endowment?

Rocco Landesman has been confirmed as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. While he is poised to make the case that the arts are drivers in community and economic development....
From the NYT story of August 8th...
The new chairman said he already has a new slogan for his agency: “Art Works.” It’s “something muscular that says, ‘We matter.’ ” The words are meant to highlight both art’s role as an economic driver and the fact that people who work in the arts are themselves a critical part of the economy.
“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. “We’re going to make the point till people are tired of hearing it.”
However he is also indicating that the dispersion of funding throughout the nation will not be a guiding principle, but rather the support of perceived excellence. Which raises the question, how does the level of expertise improve without support?