March 1, 2009
I've been asked what I would do if I were in charge of the NEA. Given that times have taken on a very strong resemblance to the New Deal, I would try to emulate one of the very successful programs from that era. During the 1930s, American artists were hired by the WPA and other agencies to help beautify America in conjunction with many Public Works projects. Thousands of artists, sculptors, landscapers, filmmakers, musicians and writers were involved in using their crafts to help beautify America. The Federal Art Project, the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theatre Project, the Federal Writers' Project, and the Historical Records Survey were the vehicles that made this possible. Many of their contributions are still with us and have become a special part of America's cultural landscape. Someone who understands how all this came about would be the perfect person to help make it possible to again create jobs for America's artists and craftsmen.
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