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January 1995, Week 2


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Meredith McMinn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 14 Jan 1995 10:05:06 CST
text/plain (172 lines)
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
There's been a thread on the NEA/NEH funding cuts for awhile on the ASTR
(American Society for Theatre Research) and Theatre lists.  I thought a
couple of the more constructive posts should be passed on.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 11:35:26 EST
From: Blakeley, Karel I <[log in to unmask]>
To: Multiple recipients of list THEATRE <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: A constructive way to protest NEA & NEH cuts
From:   MX%"[log in to unmask]" 13-JAN-1995 09:45:53.9
To:     MX%"[log in to unmask]"
Subj:   ATHE NEWS: Fw: Hungry for the Arts Day 1/20/95
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 18:08:26 -0600
Reply-To: Association for Theater in Higher Education - News
          <[log in to unmask]>
From: James Thomas <[log in to unmask]>
From: [log in to unmask] (Briant Hamor Lee)
Thu, 12 Jan 1995 09:31:01 -0600
Subject: Hungry for the Arts Day 1/20/95
To:     IN%"[log in to unmask]"
From: Lisa Crawford <[log in to unmask]>
        On Sunday (January 8) a small group of local visual and performing arts
supporters in the Greater Cleveland area met to discuss the NEA/NEH funding
crisis.  We realized that although the grass-roots effort currently going on
is important and necessary, what is lacking is some kind of newsworthy
event which could serve as a platform for media coverage: news articles,
broadcasts, etc. Particularly in the case of the  NEA,  much news coverage
has revolved around controversial projects funded by the agency. This needs
to be counteracted somehow in the mainstream media by presenting all of the
positive things there are to say
about these Endowments.
        After some discussion about what might be "newsworthy"  it was
decided to designate January 20 a day of voluntary fasting as a public
statement in support of the NEA and NEH (HUNGRY FOR THE ARTS DAY).   We
chose the date because the hearings in Congress to discuss reauthorization
of the national endowments may begin as early as January 24.  Individual
arts organizations in Northeastern Ohio will be encouraging their audiences
to register for the fast day, collecting  signed cards of those
registering, and sending them in large numbers (we hope!) to appropriate
members of Congress. Meanwhile the event will be publicized through the
media in Cleveland (the Plain Dealer, various radio stations).
        Although we decided against trying to organize a national event in
such a
short time, we hope that a ripple effect - or even better, a national
groundswell - will take place through these Internet mailing lists.
        Obviously, the bigger the event, the more newsworthy it becomes, and the
faster we all organize it, the better the publicity will be.  We hope that
you will inform your local arts organizations about it as soon as possible!
        FYI, the following is a brief information kit about exactly how we are
organizing the fast in Northeast Ohio,  which you might distribute to people
you know who might want to follow suit.  In addition, if you are on other
mailing lists we would appreciate it if you would forward this message to
them as well.
We are having cards made up which read:
                I'm Hungry for the Arts!  Register me for the fast on
January 20,
                1995 in support of continued funding for the National
                Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
                Printed Name________________________
        Copies of these cards will be placed in concert/theater/dance
programs to be
collected and tallied.  Sign-up rosters will appear in galleries, common
areas of colleges and universities, and other places where the arts happen.
At the top of these rosters will be a this statement:
                I want to show my support for art and culture in this country by
participating in HUNGRY FOR THE ARTS  day.  Register me for the fast on
January 20, 1995 in support of continued funding for the National Endowments
for the Arts and Humanities.
                Each organization that participates will tally the
signatures and send the
signed cards and rosters to legislators from their area and to the
committee persons connected with the Budget and Reallocation process in
Congress where the fate of the NEA and the NEH will be reviewed in the next
100 days.  In Northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Cultural Coalition has agreed
to do the tallying and forwarding if individual organizations send them the
cards and rosters by January 23, 1995.
        It is crucial to bear in mind that this event has a double purpose.
generating the signatures which will be forwarded to the Congress,  it will
also serve as an attention-getter.  Much depends on what we do when we get
the attention.  It is possible that news reporters will come knocking on
your door to ask about HUNGRY FOR THE ARTS day.  If they do, we recommend
that you have ready a list of the points you would like to see in print
about the NEH/NEA,  the ones that will make the general public aware of how
much they benefit from these organizations.  Some examples:
                - the thousands of children who see the Nutcracker each year
         - the host of local arts organizations who receive funding from
state arts
councils whose seed money would disappear along with the NEA
                - documentation of our own American history and culture
        - etc., etc.
        We're sure you can supply many more of your own. Other points to
make might be those of relative cost and effective investment.  Robert Finn
(retired music critic on the Plain Dealer) remembers an occasion when Beverly
Sills testified in Congress on behalf of the NEA.  He recalls that she said
something like "Cut one foot off that three hundred foot submarine you are
planning to build and it will support the entire NEA for the next few years!"
        The other argument is that since NEA funding, in the forms of seed
money and
challenge grants, has been tremendously effective in attracting big
non-government bucks for the arts , it is a proven investment with large
        We hope this will galvanize you into action - or into further
action, if you
have already been writing letters and sending telegrams and e-mail. Please
forward this message to other mailing lists which you consider appropriate.
We are curious to find out how effective the Internet might be in generating
this kind of political activity.  If you decide to get on the HUNGRY FOR THE
ARTS  bandwagon, or something similar, please let us know! We would also like
to know the results after the event occurs.  The use of the Internet for
political action may in itself make a newsworthy story for some national
Lisa Crawford
Richard King
Oberlin College Conservatory of Music
Briant Hamor Lee, Ph.D., Theatre Department, Bowling Green State
Bowling Green OH 43403-0236, 419-372-7177
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