Thursday, November 6, 2008

Senator (President-Elect) Obama and the Arts

People have begun, already, to discuss how President-Elect Obama might relate to, and influence, the arts. The Alliance for the Arts November 5 Bulletin, as well as the online digest Arts Journal, both outline some of the proposals that Senator Obama supports, proposals that include arts education for children, including creation of an artists corps allowing artists to teach in low-income schools; health care for artists; greater consideration for artists regarding taxation, such as allowing deductions for the market value of work given as a charitable contribution; increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; and international cultural exchange, including improving the visa process. Already, the Senator's campaign has inspired artists--visual artists and musicians, among others--who supported him and celebrated him in their work. If he as president supports the arts as many expect, and if he advances the social and political policies he has proposed during his campaign, it is very likely that he will be an important force in the arts, with significant impact.