Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama and McCain on the Arts

Not surprising, both U.S. candidates have differing view on the arts and government’s role in funding it. Obama is calling for more federal support, while McCain is calling for less. The McCain campaign has released very little language on the subject, but two weeks ago issued this four-sentence statement basically saying it’s up to local entities.

“John McCain believes that arts education can play a vital role fostering creativity and expression. He is a strong believer in empowering local school districts to establish priorities based on the needs of local schools and school districts. Schools receiving federal funds for education must be held accountable for providing a quality education in basic subjects critical to ensuring students are prepared to compete and succeed in the global economy. Where these local priorities allow, he believes investing in arts education can play a role in nurturing the creativity of expression so vital to the health of our cultural life and providing a means of creative expression for young people.”

Obama, on the other hand, has made arts proposals a part of his official party platform. His key points are: Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations; Create an Artist Corps; Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education; Support Increased Funding for the NEA; Attract Foreign Talent; Provide Health Care to Artists and Ensure Tax Fairness for Artists. You can find his arts policy statement here.

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