The of course, there's howling against more money for the National Endowment for the Arts. Professional arts companies are shrivelling and dying, leaving thousands of artists without jobs. Arts institutions are cutting costs by opening less hours and cutting staff. Our own Akron Art Museum is closing on Sundays. A friend of mine just lost her job there.
What to do? In a fit of frustration, I sent off emails to my elected federal officials. I hope you are moved to do so as well. Here's the text of my emails and links to my representative and senators.
I am very concerned that the concessions being made to Republicans in the stimulus bill are focused against women and artists. Contraceptives, like health care, should be available to everyone. The arts must be funded and considered to be "shovel-ready" projects along with infrastructures. Jobs should go to women as well as men and to artists as well as construction workers.
Our governor called for a new education program for the new century today. He wants to emphasize creativity, problem-solving, leadership, collaborative thinking, and communication skills -- all skills that can be taught through the arts.
"Bipartisanship" should not mean turning women and artists into second class citizens.
Contact your senators and congressperson today.