We wrote here and here about the corruption of the National Endowment for the Arts in the Age of Obama. Now comes word that on August 12, a group of 21 arts organizations endorsed President Obama’s health reform plan only 48 hours after a conference call in which a top National Endowment for the Arts official asked arts groups for help in advancing the administration’s policy agenda, including health care.
One reason the arts organizations may have been so swift to follow the administration’s suggestion is that 16 of the groups and affiliated organizations received nearly $2 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in the 150 days before the conference call. According to the linked Washington Times analysis of NEA records, more than $1 million of that total came from the stimulus package. The NEA has moved from silence to disinformation regarding these events, but the money was obviously well spent.
After such knowledge, what forgiveness? NEA Director of Communications Yosi Sergant no longer serves in that position, but he continues his valuable public service. He has been reassigned to serve in an unspecified role at the agency.
Patrick Courrielche rightly comments:
An effort of this nature is not approved by the Communications Director of the NEA. The National Endowment for the Arts has still not answered who approved encouraging a handpicked arts group, one that played a key role in the President’s election as mentioned throughout the conference call, to create art on the very issues that are currently under contentious national debate – those being health care and cap-and-trade legislation.
I think the public deserves a clear answer from the National Endowment for the Arts on this matter.
Amen to that.
Via Washington Times senior editor for online opinion David Mastio.