CMU School of Drama

Friday, March 24, 2017

Think of the Children Before Scrapping the NEA, Says Mike Huckabee

Hit & Run : The $148 million allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts is fiscally trivial in the context of a $4 trillion federal budget. By the same token, however, the NEA is culturally trivial, a point that Mike Huckabee inadvertently makes in a Washington Post op-ed piece urging Congress to preserve the program.


Lauren Miller said...

There must be twenty (I am probably exaggerating) articles this week about the NEA and how vital it is to our industry and our country as a whole. Despite the plethora of opportunity, I see only one other person commented on these very politically relevant articles. This issue is something that is going to affect all of us is a very large way. It will also, as the particular article I am commenting on points out, very bad for the future of our country as a lack of access to the arts tends to result in less creativity applied to other industries. I don't think that nobody cares. I constantly hear people in Purnell and around campus talking about what is happening. It's all over Facebook and twitter and whatever other social media people use. We cannot seem to escape this oncoming enemy and we do have to talk about it, just not with each other. I'm saying this in a really roundabout way, but we need to get outside of our echo-chambers and this blog is definitely within our safe spaces. I doubt there is a single student commenting who disagrees with this article. I think we all think that art is important. Reading eight comments on the same article about how we all agree with the author is a little tiring. And when your entire online presence is surrounded by people who all think the same thing it gets dull. It's easy, but it's boring. So I think that that is why no one has commented on these particular slew of articles. There is no point in making an argument that no one will disagree with.

Please understand that I'm not trying to say that we should never post articles about important events in art and politics because we'll all agree with them. This blog is a fantastic way to stay informed about events in the arts (and new floodlights?). Just keep your energy focused on those who will disagree with you instead of speaking to a safe audience.

Alex Talbot said...

Wow, as much as I think Mike Huckabee is an asshole, and a shitty politician, this is an admirable thing for him to stand up for. Honestly, I try to be open to others political and economic views, but I will never understand how you can endorse cutting something like the NEA, seeing that it is such an insignificant part of our national budget. This program funds such important things in society, and it seems moronic to me that you would cut such an important program for such a small handful of pennies for the national budget. Obviously, my views are very different from many Americans, but it makes no sense that we need to fund military in excess, and fund a nonsensical border wall on our Mexican border, but we don't have money to fund the National Endowment of the Arts, Meals on Wheels, or any other foundation that costs so little in the scheme of things. As a country, I just think we need to prioritize in some ways.

Simone Schneeberg said...

Lauren says above that reading comments about how we all agree is tiring and putting an argument out to those who all agree is fruitless as it'll bring nothing, but I disagree. Everyone who agrees agrees a little differently, and hearing their arguments can make you think about things you haven't noticed before or by seeing all the repetition can help you see the holes that exist in the argument as a whole. This article, for example, I found took a rather sarcastic and snide tone as it basically trashed Mike Huckabee for having no real reason to support the NEA besides "hope." Yes, no more NEA means fewer art outreach programs to more rural areas and fewer kids who discover its power and their own talent; we all agree here that this is a bad thing for our society. But, how do we convince the rest of our society? This article shows there's a hole in our argument and that what makes this issue so complicated. Even people who might agree and might be persuaded that the arts are important to cultural, creative, and child development (SAT scores, etc.) they might not believe that merits governments and taxpayer spending on it. And if our only argument for that is either exactly what we just said or "hope," we seem a little ridiculous and easy to dismiss.

I am not saying we should stay in our own bubbles; I think it is incredibly important to move beyond our own bubbles and hear the other sides. However, I think we should not underestimate the additions repetitions of our own side can have. Yes, we all agree, but we are not parrots, each person's agreement argument is ever so slightly different and those differences can be important.

William N. Lowe said...

The amount that arts – especially those which are audible opposed to purely visual – are exceptionally valuable to children; however, there are a lot of requirements to be able to participate in such activates which are hard to come by without money or recourses in close proximity. I think that something which is such a small amount of money and that will not really help anything, but is a catalyst for a market which is extremely important to this country, is important to continue funding for. I do think this article is a little confusing as to what is the standing of the author of the article. I think part of it might come from it being confusing as to what the author thinks of Huckabee. It could be that the author doesn’t trust anything that Huckabee supports. Another option is that the author is conservative and views Huckabee as having the “wrong” view when that is not usual.

nick waddington said...

while i truly am not the biggest fan of Mike Huckabee, mostly because i think he is a horrible politician and i disagree with most of his actions and beliefs, I think it is good that he is standing up for the NEA especially at a time like this. The arts are one of the most valuable resources for children as they grow, and it would be great if all schools could afford to provide their students with an opportunity to explore the arts. however not everyone had that luxury, and thats why we needed the national endowment for the arts, so that all schools are able to fund a right that seems so basic, yet so many people oppose for no reason at all. I Think the NEA is so incredibly important for the development of young minds in our country, that i am grateful for any support it may receive even if that means reaching across the aisle to get it.