Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ax the Antics and not the Arts

This President is seeking to destroy America. His idea of a solution only causes more problems for everyone. There is nothing better for everyone to be able to see over the horizon. Trump wishes to put walls up imprisoning all of our view. India solves its immigration problems with Pakistan not by brick and mortar but by sophisticated laser and surveillance cameras everywhere. Texan bounty hunters would love to round up people and make a living. Every case should be judged on an individual and humane basis. Give them all identification cards and tax them for the work they do here like all people in America. Even more damaging is how this nut wants to even change the fabric of America.
The proposed cutting of funds to support the Arts is one of Trump’s worst suggestions for the so called wellbeing of our country. How does that “Make America Great Again?” In the Pine Mountains of Kentucky people were trading in their coal mining picks for guitar picks and violin bows making beautiful music instead of being covered inside and out with coal dust. Yes counties there have lost thousands of coal mining jobs but radio stations have emerged. Jobs in music education have grown and performers and artists are going into concerts, architecture and other artistic related new happy occupations with real futures instead of looking forward to black lung and death from the unsafe mining industry.
You could see new life in the community in the city of Whitesburg.   New businesses were sprouting up with restaurants that provide live music and colorful businesses with recent art work making the town brighter. The buildings are being renovated. The Arts brought new life into the community. They established the Appellation Community Film Workshop that has now created a film industry there. Non-profit Arts centers like this brought new life and jobs into the community. None of it would be happening without the help of Federal funding. These programs have been in existence for about 50 years and this nutty President wants to take it all away!
The Arts programs has helped to create a diversified economy in the community. Most people there has grandparents who only worked in the coal mines. Most have died from their coal related illnesses. It was President Johnson who created the funding for the Arts under his effort called The War on Poverty in the 1960’s. Funds were earmarked for impoverished areas to instill new skills to inspire people to work and create. The film workshops have helped people to appreciate other cultures and educate folks on various subjects through film making. What was started by our 36th President is being destroyed by our 45th President. Why?
Trumps proposed budget will end funding for The National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Humanities and The Appalachian Regional Commission. All together funding for these agencies comprise less than .02% of the Federal Budget. The wasteful spending in the Military is of no comparison. So, why target the Arts? It is one of the least things our government spends money on but the rewards to the American people is immense.
These budget cuts will hurt the most in areas of America that helped elect this President the most. Without Federal funding a large portion of American history will be lost since it is the creative people from the Arts that document the stories of America through film, photography, documentaries and music. The Arts need subsidy to be alive. Without subsidy challenging art would never be produced. A prime example is the success of the Broadway new production of Hamilton. No one in the marketplace would produce a new musical written about the founding fathers with rap and hip hop music. Most of the Musicals on Broadway are revivals of someone’s career or an old musical or movie brought to life again. It was the National Endowment of the Arts partly funded by federal funds that helped the now most successful production on Broadway live!
Artists need any opportunity, any crack in the door to be able to express themselves and then take the world along for the ride. Kids who don’t have the money to see a Broadway show or Opera or Ballet or Symphony or anything creative can go on field trips through school outings with this type of funding. We need to inspire Americans with creativity and not hide them behind walls of brick or ignorance.  

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