A friend of mine wrote a very well thought out, passionate response to the funding cuts for the NEA, and why we should consider keeping it. I wrote a response which I thought was worth sharing with you, my readers, and here it is:
As an artist myself, I’m happy that the NEA is going away. Like most bloated government agencies, what’s called bi-partisan ends up with a product that is only single partisan, and that partisan is to push a certain social and statist agenda that’s been growing in our country since it’s inception. Since its mission and results have been to propagate that direction in culture, as we’ve seen the non-government funded go completely full tilt toward that sort of product, there seems to be no point in the mission, even for a cup of coffee a day cost. I don’t want to have to artificially compete against that content for one.
The new counter culture actually comes from people like me, people of whom the NEA would never hire in a million years or never give a grant to produce my art. I wrongthink. They, in all they do, want to censor my wrongthink. They do not, as a consequence, have my support.
But there’s a bigger reason than that I that it’s unnecessary. Small independent magazine start ups, independent filmmakers, independent music makers all exist in droves via kickstarter and indiegogo. Youtube is revenue now. These independent works, if they have sufficient quality have an outlet now, have their own platforms of distribution. They don’t need gatekeepers that judge the art correct by government standards to receive a grant. This isn’t the old days where there’s 5 channels to choose from and that’s it. I’m happy to support the arts via that, like Cirsova Magazine right now is doing a fantastic job. But I’d rather spend my cup of coffee there.
Yes, I think I’m perfectly capable of making my own determination of what art is good for me.