Sunday, February 8, 2009

The (Art) Week in Review

Here is how last week started, and below the status by the end of the week, as far as the Arts are concerned. What a strange combination of events.

A week ago, the House of Representatives approved a version of the economic recovery bill that includes the Arts!


For an additional amount for ‘‘Grants and Administration’’, $50,000,000, to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn: Provided, That 40 percent of such funds shall be distributed to State arts agencies and regional arts organizations in a manner similar to the agency’s current practice and 60 percent of such funds shall be for competitively selected arts projects and activities according to sections 2 and 5(c) of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 951, 954(c)): Provided further, That matching requirements under section 5(e) of such Act shall be waived: Provided further, That the amount set aside from this appropriation pursuant to section 1106 of this Act shall be not more than 5 percent instead of the percentage specified in such section."

On Friday, the U.S. Senate, approved an amendment to the economic recovery bill that stated “None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.”  No thanks to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) who offered the amendment, it passed by a vote of 73-24.

Now we wait and see what the compromise is between the House and the Senate.

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Brandeis University /Rose Art Museum:

Letter: Brandeis president apologizes for handling of museum issue.

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Shepard Fairey / ICA Boston:

"Famous Artist Comes to ICA; Gets Arrested," posted by Matthew Gamber on February 7, 2009 on Big Red & Shiny.

... and ...

"How phony is Shepard Fairey?," by Dan Wasserman on February 2, 2009 in the Boston Globe.

But thankfully, there was also this:

"Shepard Fairey, success," by Geoff Edgers February 7, 2009 on

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It's going to be interesting to see what happens next, with the economic recovery bill, The Rose Art Museum, Shepard Fairey, and also with everything else that's going on in The Arts. Please stay tuned.