protest 2

To clarify:

 

The government needs to subsidize the arts.

 

We should advocate for further subsidy.

 

I like the NEA. Projects I’ve worked on have gotten grants through them; I want to apply again.

 

I like money.

 

But –

 

Per drama, I’m suggesting that the way to get the government to give us more money is not to ask the government to give us more money. They either won’t, or – if we’re loud enough, they’ll increase the budget of the NEA by a lousy one or ten or twenty million dollars, the bulk of which will go to established venues, with a few hundred thousand thrown as mealworms to the small fry (subsidy from concentrations of wealth is to young companies what a diet of baited hooks is to a developing fish).

 

So let’s get the cash, let’s get it from the Government, but make that part of the equation and not the sole choke point. If it’s all we ask for and all we get – we wind up hitting that “hey, wait a minute” reversal soon, and likely also work against ourselves as we struggle to define who “we” are.

 

I’m proposing a broader ask from a wider coalition. I want a striking, complex, durational performance of creativity’s pervasiveness and rhizomatic complicity in our culture, so that we may be supported in the same widespread, rooted ways that health, education and housing and the military are (or are properly).

 

First on the bus: HUD, the Center for Disease Control, the NRA and the Department of Defense. They need to be our partners on this.

 

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An added tactical feature: artists, in solidarity, are silent for a month – no speech, even in private.

 

 

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