November 17, 1990
My heartfelt appreciation to the anonymous Costa Mesa woman who gave $10,000 to the Grove Shakespeare Festival. But what a sad commentary it is on the National Endowment for the Arts. None of the controversy over NEA funding would have happened if the endowment had been spending its money wisely. Why can a woman who smears food on her naked body get funding when a Shakespeare festival can't? Our government should support the arts by helping to find the artist in us all--by funding programs that put poets, painters, writers and dancers in the schools; by helping cities fund plays and concerts in our parks; by supporting teaching inner-city youth to paint murals instead of graffiti.
July 6, 1990 |
Four artists whose work has stirred the controversy surrounding the National Endowment for the Arts are no strangers to San Diego audiences. Just last week, embattled NEA Chairman John E. Frohnmayer barred grants to the four, despite a recommendation for funding by an NEA panel. The rejection should come as a shock to those lucky enough to have seen John Fleck's comic performance as "The Granny" at the Old Globe Theatre in January.
June 18, 1990 |
A confluence of seemingly separate events--the Florida obscenity imbroglio over the rap group2 Live Crew and the Washington meltdown of the National Endowment for the Arts--has intensified concern in the arts community over far broader threats to freedom of expression. It is--and always has been--a mistake, so this thinking concludes, to perceive the 2 Live Crew and NEA crises as unrelated entities.
May 26, 1990
Judging by the letters to the editor, some readers would prefer to "kill the messenger" by attacking Parachini's coverage of the NEA controversy. Parachini is criticized for posing the debate in terms of "censorship" rather than congressmen "protecting the taxpayers" and for labeling the American Family Assn. as fundamentalist. Of course, those who seek to impose content restrictions on recipients of NEA grants would prefer to avoid the stigma of censorship. But in 1972, the Supreme Court held that the government "may not deny a benefit to a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected interests, especially his interest in freedom of speech."
December 2, 1989
Regarding Allan Parachini's "For New NEA Chief: A Brush With Disaster," Nov. 22: After only a short time on the job, John Frohnmayer, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, went native all the way. The arts crowd, or that part of it that wants taxpayers' money to pay for obscenity and attacks on religion and patriotism, framed a case to bait him into withholding money from an exhibit; then they cracked down, and he reversed himself....
October 7, 1989
In the article on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's battle against the National Endowment for the Arts ("Arts and the Hill," Sept. 27), his supporter, Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton), is quoted as arguing that the toleration of homosexuality in Germany in the 1920s was the symptom of moral decay. It is hardly necessary to point out to Dannemeyer that those who ended toleration for homosexuals as part of the Holocaust were Hitler and the Nazis. Does Dannemeyer consider their life style an improvement--because they were heterosexuals--on that of the homosexuals they did not tolerate?