Barack Obama put together a 33-person panel committee to address the creative economy. From his site:
Our nation’s creativity has filled the world’s libraries, museums, recital halls, movie houses, and marketplaces with works of genius. The arts embody the American spirit of self-definition. As the author of two best-selling books – Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama uniquely appreciates the role and value of creative expression.
A PLATFORM IN SUPPORT OF THE ARTS
Reinvest in Arts Education: To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind
of creativity and innovation that has made this country great. To do so, we must nourish our children’s creative skills. In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education. Unfortunately, many school districts are cutting instructional time for art and music education.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that the arts should be a central part of effective teaching and learning.
The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts recently said, “The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.” To support greater arts education, Obama will:
- Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will increase resources for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants, which develop public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. They will also engage the foundation and corporate community to increase support for public/private partnerships.
- Create an Artist Corps: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support the creation of an “Artists Corps” of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities. Studies in Chicago have demonstrated that test scores improved faster for students enrolled in low-income schools that link arts across the curriculum than scores for students in schools lacking such programs.
- Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education: As president, Barack Obama will use the bully pulpit and the example he will set in the White House to promote the importance of arts and arts education in America. Not only is arts education indispensable for success in a rapidly changing, high skill, information economy, but studies show that arts education raises test scores in other subject areas as well.
- Support Increased Funding for the NEA: Over the last 15 years, government funding for the National Endowment for the Arts has been slashed from $175 million annually in 1992 to $125 million today.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden support increased funding for the NEA, the support of which enriches schools and
neighborhoods all across the nation and helps to promote the economic development of countless communities.
- Promote Cultural Diplomacy: American artists, performers and thinkers – representing our values and ideals – can inspire people both at home and all over the world.
Through efforts like that of the United States Information Agency, America’s cultural leaders were deployed around the world during the Cold War as artistic ambassadors and helped win the war of ideas by demonstrating to the world the promise of America. Artists can be utilized again to help us win the war of ideas against Islamic extremism. Unfortunately, our resources for cultural diplomacy are at their lowest level in a decade. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to reverse this trend and improve and expand public-private partnerships to expand cultural and arts exchanges throughout the world.
- Attract Foreign Talent: The flipside to promoting American arts and culture abroad is welcoming members of the foreign arts community to America.
Opening America’s doors to students and professional artists provides the kind of two-way cultural understanding that can break down the barriers that feed hatred and fear. As America tightened visa restrictions after 9/11, the world’s most talented students and artists, who used to come here, went elsewhere. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will streamline the visa process to return America to its
rightful place as the world’s top destination for artists and art students.
- Provide Health Care to Artists: Finding affordable health coverage has often been one of the most vexing obstacles for artists and those in the creative community. Since many artists work independently or have nontraditional employment relationships, employer-based coverage is unavailable and individual policies are financially out of reach. The Obama-Biden plan will provide all Americans with quality, affordable health care.
Their plan includes the creation of a new public program that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health care similar to that available to federal employees. Their plan also creates a National Health Insurance Exchange to reform the private insurance market and allow Americans to enroll in participating private plans, which would have to provide comprehensive benefits, issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums. For those who still cannot afford coverage, the government will provide a subsidy.
His health plan will lower costs for the typical American family by up to $2,500 per year.
- Ensure Tax Fairness for Artists: Barack Obama supports the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow artists to deduct the fair market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions.
John McCain, although his site has no specific details, answered the Americans for the Arts Action Fund with this:
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.And that's it. A 180 BILLION DOLLAR sector of our economy, addressed in four sentences.
John McCain and Sarah Palin (and the supporters who revere the old fear and ignorance of the passing Reagan-Limbaugh years) have continually insulted me and every one of my friends who makes a living making art, music, and education. They have used their teevee channels, their blogs, and even commandeered online public newspaper comments and forums in order to regularly reinforce a culture of common boorishness. For eight years, they have been sore winners, disdaining and destroying the Constitution they so eagerly hide behind.
We know what to expect when they lose.
McCain claims to have "a firm hand on the tiller" but does not understand the metaphor. He cannot envision building and strengthening a diverse economy, because his hand is "firm," which is not a realistic qualification in a helmsman nor in a skipper. He can't see the changes in the weather or obvious tell-tales. And I wouldn't trust his loose cannon of a running mate anywhere near my quarterdeck.
A true captain doesn't ignore or deny his crew or cargo. And to encourage anyone aboard to do so is to court disaster, rough seas or fair.
A President leader cannot deny the existence of the creative economy - an entire working and tax-paying segment of the population -- some of whom are hockey moms, gun owners, Christians, NASCAR dads, and, yes: mavericks.
Because after you throw away all of the misapplied and hackneyed metaphors, ALL of us Americans are real.
And deserve better.
And the conniving little coward who stole the OBAMA yardsign can put it back. No questions asked.