Nonfiction 1

The Arts at a New Frontier: The National Endowment for the by Fannie Taylor

By Fannie Taylor

Profound alterations have been occurring in American society through the interval of the Sixties and Seventies while laws for the nationwide beginning for the humanities and the arts was once enacted and the corporations went into operation. It was once a interval of soul-searching by way of the yankee public while the adored prejudices and civil inequities of the previous many years have been burnt up and outdated wounds started to heal; even as, even though, the Vietnam warfare was once developing new fissures and antagonisms. Into this newly therapeutic, newly wondering society, congressional motion thrust the nationwide Council at the Arts in 1964, and the nationwide Endowment for the humanities in 1965. Their project was once to motivate and aid the humanities, and the boys and girls charged with this accountability went approximately their paintings with the keenness and exuberance of spiritual converts. the belief of even a minute volume of federal monetary counsel to the country's chronically beleaguered and sometimes impoverished artists and humanities organi­ zations appeared unusual to a phase of the inhabitants that had existed in forgot­ ten independence from executive intervention. some of the nation's artists and humanities leaders have been cautious, partially end result of the uncertainties and constraints of earlier styles of governmental support.

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Extra resources for The Arts at a New Frontier: The National Endowment for the Arts

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26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 15 K. Yasko, taped interview, April 26, 1980, Madison, Wisc. Brademas, "Public Happiness," pp. 42-43. Quotations and information on the Federal Theatre Project were taken from H. Flanagan, Arena: The History of the Federal Theatre (New York: Benjamin Biom, 1965), pp. 333-436. Ibid. J. C. Taylor, "Artists of the Great Depression," p. 52. Flanagan, "Federal Theatre," p. 325. S. , p. 8880. White, "Grants," pp. 47-48. Ibid. Brademas, "Public Happiness," p. 43. National Endowment for the Arts, "The History," p.

Despite the apparent grass-roots interest in the arts throughout the country, the basic financial health of professional artists and arts groups showed little or no significant improvement. 6 The key to understanding this paradox rests in several factors. First, the production of professional artists, working and performing principally in the major urban areas, was for the most part inaccessible to a large segment of the nation. Funds for the distribution of art works or for touring activities by performing artists were restricted by tight finances.

House and Senate special subcommittees worked on the bills during the spring and into the summer of 1965. The Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare reported out an amended version of the Act (S. 1483) which the LEGISLATIVE CONSENSUS 39 Senate passed by a voice vote on June lO, 1965. House deliberations, however, were slower. R. 6050 to establish a foundation and ordered a "clean bill" introduced. R. 9460 being reported out of Committee for consideration by the total House membership. This action set the scene for a spirited and sometimes humorous debate on the floor of the House.

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