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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: February ::
A Petition to Appoint a Secretary of the Arts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0061  Wednesday, 18 February 2009

From:      Tom Clayton <
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Date:      Monday, 9 Feb 2009 20:25:03 -0600
Subject:   A Petition to Appoint a Secretary of the Arts

I gladly signed this petition, and I hope you will. But in my comment I 
wrote, "The arts AND THE HUMANITIES need the support of the president of 
the United States, and the United States needs the Arts AND THE 
HUMANITIES greatly and more than ever before." No doubt that was taking 
a liberty, but in my opinion we need support for the humanities more 
than we need support for the arts, and if you have a look at The Last 
Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities 
(2008), you will see one very strong additional reason why I am 
concerned and think we all should be, if we give a damn about the humane 
and literate future of the United States. The arts are important to the 
nation's psyche, its aesthetic sensibilities, and its creativity; but it 
is the humanities that do the educating in everything that matters to 
the humanizing of the culture and even in the arts. It is no surprise 
when representatives of the arts fail to think of the humanities, 
because they scarcely know that the humanities exist, much less how much 
the appreciation of their own efforts and productivity depends upon the 
humanities. What else is new? At any rate, please get with it now, 
before it is really too late. It really is later than we think, not only 


"Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President Obama to appoint a 
Secretary of the Arts. While many other countries have had Ministers of 
Art or Culture for centuries, The United States has never created such a 
position. Those in the arts need this and the country needs the 
arts--now more than ever. Please take a moment to sign this important 
petition and then pass it on to your friends and colleagues."

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Hardy M. Cook, 
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