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Federal arts policy received not a whit of attention from either presidential campaign this year. I’m not surprised. Before I became a curator and museum director, I had a long career in political life. Over many years, I found most people who ran for office or had high-level political jobs singularly unfocused on the arts. Didn’t matter whether they were Republicans or Democrats. The nice surprise was the politico with a passion for art, dance, music, theater, film, or good writing. They do exist, and I enjoy hearing about their interests.
At one point I’ll write about why politics and the arts are a rarefied mix, but in this post I’ll suggest some new thinking the new order can bring specifically to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Some of these ideas can apply to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). I happen to know the NEA best.More