He’s not a fan, and I agree. It is yet another sign of the lowly position given to federal arts policy. He offers what I think is a very good suggestion:
. . . The arts community should take a lesson from how policy is made in Washington, from the policy-driven infrastructure of the city. The first step: The arts should join Washington’s think-tank culture. Arts philanthropists should fund arts policy fellows at major think tanks, places such as the Center for American Progress and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Smart arts thinkers would have the opportunity to be involved in policy debates, to develop new ideas about how government should be involved in the arts (and not just in one little agency, but across the federal apparatus).
Joining the Washington policy-making set wouldn’t result in immediate, FY 2010 policy changes, but over time it would lead to new ideas and new ways that the federal government could engage with and support the nation’s cultural vitality. Just as importantly: It would burrow cultural thinkers and backers into the culture of Washington influence, building a baseline of support for the arts amongst policy-makers who work in a range of fields. Perhaps, finally, a great nation would have the federal involvement in the arts that it deserves.