It has emerged that the USA’s National Endowment of the Arts (a government agency) has been encouraging the arts community to create more ‘obamaganda’- although this time regarding contentious policy under legislative consideration. During a conference call, the NEA encouraged America’s creative elite “to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda – health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal.”
This basically boils down to the fact that a government agency is asking artists to create work that gives a positive atmosphere towards proposed government policy- and in particular areas which are embroiled in fierce debate, such as health care reform and cap-and-trade legislation.
Given the fact that the NEA is the largest funder of the arts in America, its clout could be far-reaching. It is disturbing that the NEA is adapting its role of “supporting excellence in the arts” to “supporting government supporters in the arts”, using artist’s work to mask genuine dislike for policy and actions with manufactured support, and quite simply, propaganda.
More worring still to consider what could happen should Gordon decide that a nice bit of artwork could revive his flagging popularity.