Why are the Arts Under Attack and What Does it Mean?

Our President has declared that for the fiscal year of 2018, he is recommending full termination of funding of
• The National Endowment for the Arts
• The National Endowment for the Humanities
• The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
• The Institute for Museum and Library Services

Why would the elimination of funding for all of the nation’s cultural agencies be a priority for this administration? Why would defunding museums and libraries, the places we go to educate ourselves regardless of our socioeconomic status, be targeted? The declared reason for the proposed cuts is to increase military spending. Why? Why does this administration want to defund humanity to support the expansion of the most sophisticated military the world has ever seen? Is it indifference or is it an assault? What does this say about the power dynamic in our country?

The arts are and always have been used as a voice of the people. The arts bring people together, they educate us, they allow us to envision alternative realities and they give us a way to celebrate, and innovate. That being said, what role do these agencies play in an authentic democracy? What role do they play in creating social equity? Can a democracy exist when the only voices that are heard are those of big business and military? What message is our president sending by eliminating these agencies in order to further fund an already well funded military apparatus?

If we are to truly understand the reality that we face, we must have dialogue about the above-mentioned questions. By understanding reality, we can actively change it.

from left to right:

Artist: Shepard Fairey:
Title: “Make Art not War 2015”

Artist: Unknown
Title: unknown

Artist: Mear One
Title: “Revolution”