What ever happened to 1% for the imagination?


Pets are non-partisans, but should the arts be, too?

Back on February 2 my friends DC poets Ethelbert Miller and Melissa Tuckey, along with the executive director of the Institute for Policy Studies, had a piece in The Nation call for 1% of the stimulus package to go to the arts. After all, the Works Progress Administration.

Another friend–Amanda Michel–now has a job now tracking stimulus funds for ProPublica. I had collaborated with her on election coverage when I was community developer for NewsTrust and she ran Off the Bus for the HuffPo. So, I thought, why now take a look at what’s going on with stimulus funds and the arts here in Virginia.

Over a year ago, on August 2, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Chris Cadelago(email) had observed that the Obama campaign

has an official arts policy committee, which is co-chaired by Margo Lion, the Broadway producer, and George Stevens Jr., founder of the American Film Institute. It calls for a national reinvestment in the arts as well as a national arts corps, made up of young artists who could work in inner cities.

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