Obama and Art Education

I have to admit - it was really difficult for me to be unplugged for our vacation, especially during Super Tuesday. Bad timing for a political junkie to be out of the loop. When we got back last night, I had to spend a few hours catching up with everything that we missed.

Here is one of the most interesting things I found - Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes brings our attention to the policy statements that (some of) the political candidates submitted to the Arts Action Fund. I'm sure no one will be surprised that more responses were received from the Democratic campaigns (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson) than from their Republican counterparts (just Brownback and Huckabee).

As Green points out, only the Obama campaign submission is thorough and explains in detail what he has done and will do for the arts and art education. Obama is the only one who outlines his detailed platform for the arts, which cover the following major points:

Reinvest in Arts Education

  • Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations
  • Create an Artist Corps
  • Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education

Support Increased Funding for the NEA
Promote Cultural Diplomacy
Attract Foreign Talent
Provide Health Care to Artists
Ensure Tax Fairness for Artists

While I'm not so easily convinced by campaign promises from any candidate, I do find it significant that his campaign is able to make a very good case based on past action, and a clear understanding of the issues regarding art education. The fact that the other candidates speak in platitudes (and in Clinton's case, even wanders into irrelevant and off topic issues) suggests to me that Obama is the only one who is serious about developing meaningful policy.

Finally, if you're a political junkie like me, you'll want to check out this important and insightful video by Lawrence Lessig about why he's supporting Obama, or you can read the transcript here.


  1. Zhenya said...
    ha, i turned that picture into part of an obama college on my door. someone in my condo association told me "no signs on the door" in reference to my obama '08 sign - so i one-upped them and made an original work of art instead. love it. ;)
    James Piggott said...
    I guess this is another reason for me to vote for Obama. I mean, he was most likely the person I was going with, but this is another push towards picking him.
    kidzart said...
    Funny thing, I was just reading about McCains lack of any real stance on education in general.


    This is good news to me as a supporter for Obama as well as the importance of art education. Its great to see a candidate recognize the need for these programs for our youth. This just made my day!

    dsgran said...
    well, i guess i'm preaching to the choir then, but glad that we're all in agreement here! ;)
    Mr. Anderson said...
    Not that I supported any of his other policies, but Huckabee gave a very strong and impassioned plea for dumping standardized testing and renewing a commitment to the arts in education during the only Republican debate I caught on TV.
    Anonymous said...
    May I invite everyone that supports Obama to "Artists And Performing Artists for Obama" on Facebook?
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