Here is my proposal for a correction on the procedures of the National Endowment for the Arts.
At present, 90% of the money given to the NEA does not go to creative artists -- it goes to institutions and buildings; a kind of "Edifice Complex." Maybe 10% of it goes to the people who do the work that fills these buildings. This is a preposterous distortion of values. Not only should 90% of the money go to creative artists who, if need be, would be perfectly happy to work outdoors, but it should be creative artists who are making the choices as to which creative artists should be given these awards.
I have testified several times before congressional committees in Washington -- especially during my membership on the board of the New York State Council on the Arts -- and I have been continually shocked at the suspicion and hostility displayed by some members of the Congress to makers of the creative act. Maybe if they were writers, composers and visual artists themselves, things would be better.
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