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Regarding your piece on the NEA [“If I Ran the NEA,” March 1], whenever I’m in Europe I’m always struck at how integral a part of everyday life public art is and how profoundly it affects people. Europeans are justifiably proud of their artistic heritage and recognize the value of nurturing the whole person. When all children are ever exposed to are the mall and McDonald’s golden arches, you get adults with a cheap-plastic-and-snack-food mentality, quite different from children whose lives are immersed in great music and surrounded by Michelangelo and Monet.

Jon Robin Baitz’s very thoughtful response to your query tells me that he should be running the NEA and that we need to be putting much more thought and money behind what our children see and hear when they are growing up.

We at least owe them that when you consider what we could do for their education at the cost of just one military airplane or weapons system designed to kill people.


Jaycie Ingersoll

Beverly Hills