Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Which Presidential Candidate Supports the Arts?

I know it is a minor issue, especially considering this country is fighting two wars and facing an economic crisis of historic proportions, but I was lying awake last night wondering which candidate supports the arts? For me, someone who works in the arts, this is a personal matter; I don't want to be facing my own personal sub-prime mortgage crisis.

To find the answer, I first went to the campaign websites of Senator McCain and Senator Obama.

I was unable to find any statement from McCain on his website concerning the arts.

Obama has, under the heading "Additional Issues", a statement on the arts, which you can read by clicking here. One issue of note, at least for us, is the subheading "Attract Foreign Talent" which is essentially a plan to streamline the visa process for foreign artists put in place after 9/11. Obtaining visas is a daunting task and can take months of work. Looking further, the Arts Action Fund publishes a "scorecard" on the candidate's position on the arts. The Arts Action Fund is, according to their website, "a bipartisan advocacy arm of Americans for the Arts, engaging citizens in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to appreciate, value, and participate in the arts."

Reading the scorecard, Obama is the winner here with a well defined and comprehensive plan for supporting the arts.

It was here that I was able to find McCain's statement on the arts which you can read here. It is quite short, and seems to be more about Educational Policy. McCain, the Arts Action Fund also notes, voted to cut NEA funding on more than one occasion.

So, for me, my question has been answered and perhaps I'll actually get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight.

Now a disclaimer:

We here at Aria Serious cannot endorse one candidate over the other as we represent an institution filled with many wonderful diverse individuals with differing beliefs and values. We would also hope that when voting next month one considers the multitude of other pressing issues facing this great nation before letting arts support make your decision in pulling the lever for one candidate over the other.

The one thing we can say here at Aria Serious is please remember to vote on November 4. In an election as important as this one, every voice needs to be heard and counted (but just once -- Florida, I'm looking at you).

- Edward

3 comments:

Shtinkykat said...

It's not surprising that the Republican ticket doesn't mention anything about supporting the arts during this campaign. Ever since Bush H.W. disparaged the so-called, "cultural elite", the Republican party have since been wallowing in this bizaare politics of resentment. It's odd that they are now casting Democrats as elitist who look down upon "Joe Six-Packs" and "Joe the Plumbers". It's sad that the arts are in the cross-fire of this political and puported class-warfare since there are studies that show that preference of "high-culture" vs. "pop-culture" has nothing to so with social class.

OperaMan said...

Thank you shtinkykat and Aria Serious. Just another reason this red blooded Republican is voting Obama/Biden this election. This has been a strange and hateful campaign by McCain/Palin. Maybe the problem is they have no art in their life.

Smorg said...

Wow! That's dedication, Edward! :o) Thanks for staying up doing the hard work for us. I hadn't thought of these candidates' position on the arts before.

Whoever gets elected has better fix the economy fast so people won't find it necessary to cut opera tickets out of their budget planning. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed! ;o)

Cheerio,