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Arts & International Affairs

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National Endowment for the Arts, Federal aid to the arts -- United States


In the shadow of the truly egregious policies rolled out by the Trump administration in their first year in office (anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies, de-staffing the State Department into paralysis, shrinking national monuments, strangling the ACA), and a general tone of chaos surrounding the office of the presidency, a standing threat remains. That is: among other cuts, freezes and gag orders, the administration has vowed to defund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Here, I demonstrate how current political arguments around defunding the NEA are derived from a larger political model of dismantling the state apparatus, and purposely conflate fiscal and symbolic rationales in an attempt to influence cultural policy.


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