Article by By John McMurtrie (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.
Writers condemn Trump’s proposed elimination of NEA
March 17, 2017
[...] many reacted strongly to President Trump’s proposal this week to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities — two endowments that have long supported writers and artists of all stripes, as well as cultural organizations. Since 1967, the NEA has awarded individual grants, totaling $45 million, to more than 3,400 writers. Among the novels that have seen the light of day thanks to NEA grants are Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex,” Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and William Kennedy’s “Ironweed.” The National Endowment for the Arts provides essential services, not only to artists, but to the millions of people in this nation who are nourished daily by the artistic production the NEA makes possible. Just as the new Republican health care plan threatens the physical health of this nation, the proposal to eliminate the NEA exposes this administration’s utter disregard for the nation’s cultural health and vitality, and is, quite simply, a disaster. Jane Hirshfield, author of eight poetry collections, including, most recently, “The Beauty” Are we really going to cut an institution that does so much for the arts, and for less than the cost of a single F-35 warplane? [...] it breaks my heart to think of all the novels and stories and poems that might not be written if our tiny arts agency is sacrificed to make way for a twenty-foot stretch of a useless and hateful wall. In addition to the way that the grant so generously bolsters individual writers, I’ve been grateful to the NEA for as long as I can remember for allowing my favorite small publishers, theater companies and galleries to produce the work that has inspired and changed me as a writer and human. Rachel Richardson, author of the poetry collections “Hundred-Year Wave” and “Copperhead” Basically, this gift enabled me to stop writing nonprofit grants — which many qualified people can do well — and start writing about poverty in a way that’s unique to what I’ve witnessed, and that will hopefully change some hearts and minds.