The Election and the Arts

The Future of Music Coalition (Hey Jean and Kristin!) has a thoughtful overview of the implications of the new administration vis-a-vis the arts which includes the following:

Towards Sustainable Local Cultural Economies

Taking a broader view, FMC believes that the Obama administration will more generally reverse a longstanding trend toward policies that are fundamentally anti-artist and anti-culture. FMC believes that the combination of aggressive policies aimed at increasing diversity of media ownership, a strengthened non-commercial media sector and increased deployment of and access to technology will significantly aid what we consider sustainable local cultural economies. As access to digital technology increases, the chain of businesses that make up the cultural economy – including artists, performers, retailers, distributors, venues and record labels – will be less bound by geography. Radio’s return to a diverse, live and local medium with strong community ties will be tremendously beneficial.  

Arts advocacy groups and cities like Seattle and Austin have documented the economic importance of thriving music communities.  We anticipate a new political outlook that values local culture both as an economic driver and as a symbol of regional identity. Too often, government policies and processes on issues ranging from radio ownership to arts funding have not been open to public input. They are simply too complicated and hidden from view, with outcomes that benefit conglomerates at the expense of local cultural communities and artists. The incoming Administration must take a broader view that understands and values the interconnectedness of policy decisions and their impact on artists and communities.

 Jennifer Wright Cook has been leading a project at The Field investigating how to make life viable for NYC artists. With the economic downturn this is also a prime moment to look at artist housing solutions (co-housing, revitalizing economically at-risk areas through artist housing) among other things.

I’ve posted here frequently about the incoming administration – including my epic essay, the Michael Chabon-crafted arts platform and more. But changes won’t happen unless the Art Workers themselves get involved.  So educate yourself and participate!

[thanks to mind the gap for the heads-up]

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