Tuesday, April 4, 2017

NYC Protest and Petition against NEA Funding Cuts

Artists, actors, musicians, politicians and others rallied at City Hall yesterday to protest Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to funding and culture.

The protest follows a petition opposing the plan to defund both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanties. Currently there are 238, 370 signatories, including artists Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns,  Barbara Kruger, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Julian Schnabel, James Turrell, and David Byrne.

Byrne spoke at the rally, highlighting a recent University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice study that found that investing in the arts yields a variety of benefits, including lowering crime rates, lowering instances of child abuse and raising students test scores.

“How can you argue with that?” Byrne told web-magazine Hyperallergic. “It’s a cheap way to get that. You don’t have to increase the police force to lower the crime, just put a library in there.”

“You may hate the arts. You may hate the stuff that people paint and the theater that they do, but do you want to lose all those jobs? Do we want to kill this part of the economy?” he said. “That’s just completely stupid.”

Read Byrne’s essay What Good Are The Arts, here, and sign the above petition here.

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