One of the best ways to promote and preserve the cultural health of
this country would be to give the arts Cabinet-level status. After
Quincy Jones was quoted in a recent interview saying that he
would lobby for the creation of a Secretary of the Arts position when
he next chats with the new president, a petition quickly emerged and
is making its way across the cyberscape. It has attracted nearly
50,000 signatures already, including the likes of Baltimore Symphony
Orchestra music director Marin Alsop and composer John Corigliano.
It’s easy to imagine a cabinet post that oversees the NEA and other
exisiting cultural organizations in the government and that uses the
office to push for a renassiance of arts education in schools and the
shoring up of cultural institutions across the country. Other
countries, including the UK, have secretaries of culture or the
equivalent. There are strong reasons for the US to have one, too.
William Ferris of the Center for the Study of the American South at
the University of North Carolina outlined those reasons in a recent
New York Times op-ed.
Click here to read and sign the petition.