The arts are critical to my admittedly totally chauvinistic goals for my country: I want the United States to have the biggest economy in the world, the best standard of living, a healthy population that shoots at each other far less than we do now, systems of governance and justice that are both envy and inspiration to the world, and I want our athletes and artists to be total international badasses. If I ran the NEA, I’d double down on this part of the NEA’s mission: “to bring the arts to all Americans.” If our artists are going to be badasses, we need to tap all our potential pools of artistic talent, we need to cultivate a national expectation of artistic literacy, and artists need jobs doing and teaching art. My NEA would fund arts education in every juvie, jail and prison in the country -- creating those art jobs, probably slashing recidivism, making our big dumb prison system slightly less pointless, and maybe someday paying off down the road in the form of the next American international art star.
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