Anyone else simply struck by a certain niche of art, art history, or simply history that fascinates you above all others? As I mentioned in my last post, I look forward to Obama’s art policy and hope that it will reflect his campaign especially in the area of volunteerism. I mentioned FDR and Kennedy, but held myself back from waxing poetic about the WPA, my personal little historic, artistic and political obsession. The WPA and its influence on politics, society and art is the one reason I wish I had studied art history in grad school instead of museology, but it is still an ongoing side interest.
Regina Hackett’s Art To Go post on November 11 (found via MAN, I don’t know why I don’t read Hackett on a regular basis, Green often links to her) quite literally made me tingle. She suggests that Obama bring back the WPA, though with a 21st century twist. I heartily agree with her suggestion.
What’s your pet art obsession?
Any suggestions on how to restructure the WPA to function today?
This blog is not political, but with the recent US presidential election along with the economic downturn, I am interested in thinking about the ways the arts community may be affected. It will be particularly interesting to see Obama’s arts and culture policy take shape and be put into practice. Many of the ideas outlined in the campaign policy would directly benefit artists, from better health care to an “Artists Corps” that sounds like a mix of AmeriCorps and the New Deal WPA artists programs. Better conditions and support for artists will hopefully carry over into other areas of the art world, so it will be exciting to see how policy develops.
Obama Campaign Arts Culture Fact Sheet
Obama’s campaign truly championed volunteerism, something that is fundamental to museums and arts education. They also took advantage of the internet and social networking, and with the launch of http://www.change.gov/ it looks as if the focus on volunteerism and online connectivity will be carried into the new administration. Check out the site, I expect it to expand quickly. There are places for people’s suggestions for several issues including the economy and health care, and mention of volunteer programs for people of all ages. To me this mix of volunteerism, focus on arts and culture, and structured programs for work suggests a new hybrid of FDR’s (and Eleanor, can’t forget her influence) and Kennedy’s social projects. And as a total social networking geek anything that involves the internet and user involvement makes me giddy.
Okay, time for me to try to calm down. There are, shall we say, bigger fish to fry right now in the US, but it is good knowing that our next president has at least thought about artists and the arts community.