Trump vs. The Arts

Donald J. Trump… Famous reality T.V show host, businessman, cheeto, and our new POTUS. How we got here, I’ll never fully understand but alas we are here. Known for a plethora of things, all of them bad, he is a man who somehow persuaded a portion of the country, that he has their best interests at heart. That he will support, fight, and win for the people that were forgotten in the past 8 years.

This man…

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Right…

Trump in his time of campaigning and winning the election, managed to promise a lot of things. Like how he’d build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and would have Mexico pay for it, how he’d temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., fully repeal Obamacare, bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S and so many more vague promises. Through his ambiguity, voters were able to see what they wanted out of this man and thought that he’d be able to fix everything and “Make America Great Again”. Because if you can just claim you can do that from the beginning, what would make anyone who didn’t want to question it, ask?

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His ridiculous actions, words, slander, and disrespect though dangerous and real, they’re also a distraction from underlying issues as well. Such as, the possible elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts, and National Endowment of Humanities. The NEA and NEH support arts education, protect America’s cultural heritage, reinforces inclusive access to the arts, and promotes historical and cultural understanding of democracy. Many think the elimination of the programs are not a huge deal as their budgets combined come to only $296 million a year… which is less than one tenth of one percent of the annual U.S. federal spending budget.

People question why we should bother to spend such “little” money on programs that seem to make little difference. Though they may not have direct impact on large art institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the money sent out to smaller non profits and individual artists is crucial to making their art happen. The elimination is symbolic. It continues the idea that the arts are not important, are a waste, and that very little come out of them.

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The elimination is pending and waiting in the wings. It makes artists like myself wonder why the arts continue to be taken for granted. A source of self expression, the arts crucial in a vast number of ways.

Next week, I’ll go far more in depth on this but for now, how can we ensure the safety of the arts in a time where so many are quick to see them go?

See you soon,

Dev

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