Arts, Inc: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights

Arts, Inc: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights

Arts, Inc: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights

Arts, Inc: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights

Synopsis

In this impassioned and persuasive book, Bill Ivey, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, assesses the current state of the arts in America and finds cause for alarm. Even as he celebrates our ever-emerging culture and the way it enriches our lives here at home while spreading the dream of democracy around the world, he points to a looming crisis. The expanding footprint of copyright, an unconstrained arts industry marketplace, and a government unwilling to engage culture as a serious arena for public policy have come together to undermine art, artistry, and cultural heritage--the expressive life of America. In eight succinct chapters, Ivey blends personal and professional memoir, policy analysis, and deeply held convictions to explore and define a coordinated vision for art, culture, and expression in American life.

Excerpt

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton slipped through the stage entrance quietly; the First Family was in place before any of us realized they had entered the room. It was Friday, December 31, 1999, the beginning of a daylong celebration welcoming a new century. We had gathered in the cramped waiting area just behind the stage of Baird Auditorium, an ornate lecture hall positioned just inside the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. the auditorium is considered one of the finest performance spaces in Washington, dc. Although it only seats an audience of a few hundred and its gray backstage dressing rooms and work spaces exhibit the institutional drabness generic to government buildings, the elegant arched ceilings, intimate, steeply raked seating, and excellent acoustics make it a welcoming venue for lectures, films, and small-ensemble musical performances.

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