“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. ” -Obama Campaign
“Creative America for Obama” is the official arts group of the Obama for America campaign. Now that campaign furor is at rest, (we’re all resting, I think!) it seems auspicious to recap Obama’s campaign official arts platform.
Yes, there’s an arts platform supporting and advocating for the arts as a powerful economic factor in America’s education and economy.
To compete globally, the U.S. needs to support and invest in all creative efforts, starting with our children’s arts education. Arts translate into science and technology and are crucial in encouraging creative thinking.
Says the NEA Chairman:
”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.”
Although it would be some kind of miracle if these issues are addressed during Obama’s first term, Obama has said that he will:
• Work to expand public and private partnerships between education and the arts by increasing resources for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants…”
• Work to create an ”Artists Corps” to work in low-income schools and their communities.
• Support increased funding for the NEA.
• Promote Cultural Diplomacy—Obama’s campaign goes so far as to say that, “Artists can be utilized again to help us win the war of ideas against Islamic extremism.” Additionally, Obama feels attracting a foreign arts community to America will open more diplomatic doors and create greater cross-cultural dialog. Obama and Biden will also work to streamline visa application processes.
• Provide health care to artists by acknowledging the unique needs of artists not receiving employee coverage and financially unable to carry their own health insurance.
• Ensure tax fairness for artists. This includes enabling artists to deduct fair market value for their work, rather than just the cost of materials. See the “Artist-Museum Partnership Act,” introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).