tagged w/ NEA
March 16, 2011 | 2:58 pm
Television commentator and half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin trashed the National Endowment for the Arts recently, describing the agency as "frivolous" in a Thursday interview on a Fox News talk show. [http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/sarah-palin-talks-wisconsin-union-battle-julianne-moore-playing-her-hbo-movie#ixzz1GnICRkVo]
"NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn't be in the business of funding with tax dollars -- those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14-trillion debt that we're going to hand to our kids and our grandkids," Palin told right-wing host Sean Hannity. "Yes, those are the type of things that for more than one reason need to be cut."
Palin did not elaborate on what the other reasons might be for chopping the NEA budget. But the government of every major civilization in world history has also prominently funded the arts.
The comment about the NEA came during a discussion of the ailing U.S. economy. Palin is certainly conversant with frivolous activity, but her grasp of the economy is weak.
Debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. Palin's support of a federal subsidy for the notorious "bridge to nowhere" in her state became a campaign issue when she ran for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket. That local project carried a price tag of $223 million.
"Reality is we have 15 million Americans who are out of work," said Palin. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts. [http://www.artsusa.org/information_services/research/services/economic_impact/default.asp] The NEA is one linchpin in that sizable economy.
In the interview Palin made no statement advocating similar budget cuts to her home state as she recommended for the NEA, which is also in the cross hairs of Washington's Republican leadership. Palin's Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes. [http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-11-14/news/27081146_1_alaska-snooki-reality]March 16, 2011 | 2:58 pm Television commentator and half-term Alaska governor Sarah... more
Frank Foster, jazz saxophonist and composer, dies at 82
Frank Foster played with the Count Basie Orchestra and composed its hit "Shiny Stockings." (Los Angeles Times)
July 28, 2011
Jazz saxophonist and composer
Frank Foster, 82, a jazz saxophonist who played with the Count Basie Orchestra and composed the band's hit "Shiny Stockings," died Tuesday at his home in Chesapeake, Va., of complications from kidney failure, according to his wife, Cecilia.
Foster was recognized in 2002 by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation's highest jazz honor. His many compositions and arrangements include material for Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra, and a commissioned piece written for jazz orchestra for the 1980 Winter Olympics: "Lake Placid Suite."
Born in Cincinnati on Sept. 23, 1928, Foster "had an ear for music" from an early age, he said in an NEA interview in 2008. Jazz big bands caught his attention when he was 12. Foster's first instrument was clarinet, but at age 13 he took up the sax. He played in a dance band at Wilberforce University and went on to join Basie's band in 1953.
During his 11-year tenure with Basie, Foster not only played tenor saxophone and other woodwinds but also contributed numerous arrangements and compositions for the band, including the jazz standard "Shiny Stockings," Down for the Count" and "Back to the Apple."
Two years after Basie's death in 1984, Foster returned to assume leadership of the Count Basie Orchestra from Thad Jones. He led the band until 1995, winning two Grammy Awards during his tenure.
Foster also led his own big band, Frank Foster's Loud Minority, in addition to playing as a sideman in drummer Elvin Jones' combo and co-leading a quintet with a fellow Basie veteran, saxophonist-flutist Frank Wess.
Foster also served as a musical consultant in the New York City public schools and taught at Queens College and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
In the NEA interview, Foster said: "I had always had as much fun writing as playing.... But when you play something, if you mess up, you can't make it right. But you can write something, and if it's not right, you can change it. And I always had as much pleasure writing as playing because the thrill of hearing your music played back to you is almost indescribable."
.Frank Foster, jazz saxophonist and composer, dies at 82 Frank Foster played... more
Episode 308. We continue our newer, fast-paced format with special guest Brian Ambrozy of Icrontic joining us to discuss games, the National Endowment for the Arts, FOX News, and the Modern Warfare 3 v Battlefield 3 debate. Even Mike Wehner made an appearance!
In this episode: Portal 2, L.A. Noire, Valkyria Chronicles 2Episode 308. We continue our newer, fast-paced format with special guest Brian Ambrozy... more
Maybe the Rapture DID happen. We relate a Conduit 2 review to a hockey fight.
Where to begin? First of all, there is little that is voluntary about the millions in dues paid to the NEA every year. The NEA is strongest in states without right to work laws, and if you want to teach in a public school that is under an NEA contract in those jurisdictions (like California and New York), you must pay dues to the NEA. It is the law. There is nothing voluntary about it. Second, that is tax payer money he’s talking about, which is exactly what is so corrupting about public sector unions: the government is lobbying itself for its own expansion.
And what are “employee rights” and “due process,” you might ask? Well, those are what require New York City to pay 700 union teachers $65 million a year to do nothing. Same thing in Los Angeles, where 165 union teachers collect a total of $10 million a year from tax payers for doing nothing.
If you have the time, do watch the whole 25 minute address. Chanin recounts the rise of public sector collective bargaining, with a rapid rise in teacher unionization in the late 60s. He talks about all the victories the NEA has won for teachers since then. But ask yourselves, as the NEA has exploded in membership, budget, and power, how have American students fared? What have unions done for their education? Absolutely nothing. http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/09/nea-general-counsel-union-dues-not-education-are-our-top-priority/ Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing drop rate rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, or collective bargaining.That is simply too high a price to pay..NEA.General Counsel Bob Chanin...Where to begin? First of all, there is little that is voluntary about the millions in... more
Each year, at the beginning of March, teachers, librarians and parents come together to remind children of the joy of reading, as inspired by Dr. Seuss.
http://vworldnews.blogspot.com/2011/03/read-across-america-doctor-seuss.htmlEach year, at the beginning of March, teachers, librarians and parents come together... more
Haze In Singapore Latest NEA Current Reaches 100 PSI Index Level Reading Weather Forecast National Environment Agency Nea.Gov.Sg Air Quality Hong Kong Sumatra FiresThe latest PSI Index reading from Singapore NEA crossed hundred and stood at 108 from the past 3 hours update of 84. Before this, in 18 September, 1997 the PSI recorded highest of 226 index reading.The latest PSI Index reading from Singapore NEA crossed hundred and stood at 108 from... more
The PSI Index reading of the haze that formed by Sumatra fires smoke in Singapore increased from 78 to 80.The PSI Index reading of the haze that formed by Sumatra fires smoke in Singapore... more
Sumatra fires smoke brought the haze in Singapore by the southwesterly winds which has PSI reading of 78.Sumatra fires smoke brought the haze in Singapore by the southwesterly winds which has... more
Jon Stewart eviscerates the right-wing machine for jumping from ACORN to the NEA to Fox’s newest conspiracy theory that President Obama is "indoctrinating" young children.Jon Stewart eviscerates the right-wing machine for jumping from ACORN to the NEA to... more
Big Hollywood: Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, clearly identifies this arts group as a pro-Obama collective and warns them of some “specific asks” that will be delivered later in the meeting.
Editor's note: Big Hollywood contributer Patrick Courrielche sets up the additional clips.
Clip Two: Later in the call, “specific asks” were delivered by Yosi Sergant, then Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts. What were the “asks”? They were for this pro-Obama arts group to create art on several hotly debated political issues, including health care.
Clip three: Nell Abernathy of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, and Michael Skolnik, the third party moderator, the meeting seemed designed to deflect any questionable conversations to the “third party”, while keeping the issue of health care top-of-mind with the precision of a well positioned product placement.
Clip Four: Michael Skolnik, the person asked by the NEA and the White House to help bring together this arts collective, defined the group and its goal in his opening statement. I think it is made pretty clear how this pro-Obama group would react to losing the healthcare debate if prodded to speak to that very issue.Big Hollywood: Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public... more
Should the National Endowment for the Arts encourage artists to create art on issues being vehemently debated nationally?
That is the question that I set out to discuss a little over three weeks ago when I wrote an article on Big Hollywood entitled The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?”
The question still requires debate but the facts do not.
The NEA and the White House did encourage a handpicked, pro-Obama arts group to address politically controversial issues under contentious national debate. That fact is irrefutable.
On August 10th, the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the Corporation for National and Community Service hosted a conference call with a handpicked arts group. This arts group played a key role in Obama’s arts effort during his election campaign, as declared by the organizers of the call, and many on the call played a role in the now famous Obama Hope poster.Should the National Endowment for the Arts encourage artists to create art on issues... more
(New York Times) Americans for the Arts, a lobbying group, plans to ask Congress on Tuesday to increase the annual appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts to $200 million from the $155 million that was provided for the agency in the recent omnibus bill. The request will come on the group’s 22nd annual Arts Advocacy Day. In the past the organization has requested $176 million for the agency, the amount the Endowment was given at its highest financing, in 1992. But this year the need of arts institutions is greater, the group has said, and President Obama said during the presidential campaign that he would request an increase. About 500 arts advocates are expected to meet with about one-third of Congress on Tuesday. Among those scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies are the singers Linda Ronstadt and Josh Groban, and the jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.(New York Times) Americans for the Arts, a lobbying group, plans to ask Congress on... more
"Last week, the National Endowment for the Arts released research showing that artists are now unemployed at about twice the rate of other professional workers. Approximately 129,000 artists were out of work nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the report – up 63 percent from the same period in 2007. The NEA estimated that the figures might have been worse had thousands of artists not left the workforce due to retirement, a desire to pursue outside opportunities, or general discouragement. And the forecast for the next few years is no brighter. Sunil Iyengar, the director of research and analysis at the NEA, said unemployment was a "lagging economic indicator," and that the figures can still rise even months or years after a general economic recovery. Artist unemployment, for instance, did not reach its zenith until two years after the 2001 recession, when the markets had regained their strength. [Editor's note: The original version misspelled Sunil Iyengar's name.]
"There's a reason for the severity of these numbers," Mr. Iyengar said, referring to the NEA report as a whole. "Artists are entrepreneurs in terms of their employment character. They're the equivalent of small businesses – they require a lot more investment up front. They're already in a pretty precarious situation. And in a market like this, artists are really hit pretty hard."
Meanwhile, arts institutions across the country are struggling to stay afloat. According to USA Today, theaters from Utah to Kentucky are resorting to public pleas for financial assistance. In January, the Los Angeles Opera laid off 17 employees; that same month, the city's Museum of Contemporary Art announced plans to reduce staff by 20 percent. Here in New York, the world-renowned Carnegie Hall sliced its performance schedule by 10 percent.
"It's getting really tough for everyone now," says Richard Burrows, the director of Arts Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is fighting against looming budget cuts. Complicating the situation is the widespread and often drastic winnowing of grants and fellowships – long the life raft of many a starving artist. In Michigan, for instance, the state has announced plans to eliminate almost all the arts and culture grants for 2010.""Last week, the National Endowment for the Arts released research showing that... more
"The country's dire economic situation is hitting artists hard -- harder than other professionals.
According to new research announced today by the National Endowment for the Arts, working artists are unemployed at a higher rate than other workers, and at a rate that is rising more rapidly than other professions. Presumably as a result, more artists are leaving their profession.
The main findings:
-- Artists are unemployed at twice the rate of professional workers, a category in which artists are grouped because of their high levels of education. The artist unemployment rate grew to 6% in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with 3% for all professionals. A total of 129,000 artists were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of 50,000 (63%) from one year earlier. The unemployment rate for artists is comparable to that for the overall workforce (6.1%).
-- Unemployment rates for artists have risen more rapidly than for U.S. workers as a whole. The unemployment rate for artists climbed 2.4 percentage points between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008, compared to a one-point increase for professional workers as a whole, and a 1.9 point increase for the overall workforce.
-- Artist unemployment rates would be even higher if not for the large number of artists leaving the workforce. The U.S. labor force grew by 800,000 people from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008. In contrast, the artist workforce shrank by 74,000 workers. Some of this decline may be attributed to artists’ discouragement over job prospects."The country's dire economic situation is hitting artists hard -- harder... more
What are your thoughts?
Follow the link to read the responses of L.A. Times contributors like Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, Rachel Maddow, and my (imaginary) boyfriend Joel Stein. Then list your ideas below!What are your thoughts? Follow the link to read the responses of L.A. Times... more
"Colorado is guaranteed a share of the $50 million set aside for the arts in the $787 billion federal stimulus package, but no one knows exactly how much or when the funds might start flowing.
The day after President Barack Obama signed the bill in Denver last week, representatives of more than 200 arts organizations nationwide took part in a "webinar" organized by Americans for the Arts. But details were scarce.
Victoria Hutter, a spokeswoman for the National Endowment for the Arts, which is responsible for distributing the $50 million, said the agency hopes to post funding guidelines in early or mid-March.
"It's a challenge for any of the agencies that are involved in this package, not just the NEA, to come up with funding guidelines that will allow money to be disbursed quickly and responsibly," said Bill Ivey, chairman of the NEA from 1998 to 2001.
What is known so far is that 40 percent of the stimulus money for the arts will go to state arts agencies and the country's six regional arts agencies, including the Western States Arts Federation. They will then redistribute those allocations via their existing funding channels.
Elaine Mariner, executive director of the Colorado Council on the Arts, estimates that it could receive at least $100,000 to $200,000.
But rather than boost the agency's budget, the added federal funds will likely just help make up for an expected cut to its state funding of 25 percent or more. This year, the council received $1.6 million in state appropriations and $733,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The remaining 60 percent of the $50 million will go directly to organizations for the support of jobs in the arts industry.""Colorado is guaranteed a share of the $50 million set aside for the arts in the... more