Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Report on White House Briefing On Art 12 May 200
white house briefing ^ | 06/03/09 | White House

Posted on 09/21/2009 2:59:33 AM PDT by machogirl

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last
Don't know if anyone posted this in the past, but this is very timely and eye-opening with what George Will, Andrew Breitbart, and Washington Times has written about the National Endowment for the Arts (non-political supposedly) and meetings with artists/groups about: HEALTHCARE, ART, COMMUNITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND THE STIMULUS.

18 PAGES but a GOOD READ.

1 posted on 09/21/2009 2:59:34 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: machogirl

PARTICIPANTS

Participants
• Arnold Aprill, Founding and Creative Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)
• Caron Atlas, Cultural Organizer, Pratt Center for Community Development and State Voices
(Meeting Organizer)
• Judith F. Baca, Founder/Artistic Director of SPARC and the UCLA/SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital/Mural
Lab
• Robert “Biko” Baker, Executive Director, League of Young Voters
• Nick Behunin, HOPE Campaign
• Matthew Brady, Creative Director, Global Inheritance
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 16
• Claudine K. Brown, Director, Arts and Culture Program, Nathan Cummings Foundation (Meeting
Organizer)
• Denise Brown, Executive Director, Leeway Foundation
• John Cary, Executive Director, Public Architecture
• Alli Chagi-Starr, Community Partnerships & Events Manager, Green For All
• Jeff Chang, Writer
• William Cleveland, Center for the Study of Art & Community
• Dudley Cocke, Artistic Director, Roadside Theater, Appalshop
• Michelle Coffey, Executive Director, Lambent Foundation, Starry Night Fund Donor-Advised Fund
of Tides Foundation
• Duffy Culligan, The Directors Bureau
• Davey D, Hip Hop historian, Journalist, Deejay, Media and Community Activist
• Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications, PolicyLink
• Dee Davis, President, Center for Rural Strategies
• Maria Lopez De Leon, Executive Director, The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
• Amalia Deloney, Activist and Cultural Worker
• Kate Emanuel, Senior Vice President, Non-Profit & Government Affairs, The Advertising Council
• Diane Fraher, Director, American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA)
• Ryan Friedrichs, Executive Director, State Voices
• Rha Goddess, Creative Organizer, 1+1+1=ONE
• Arlene Goldbard, Writer and Speaker (Meeting Organizer)
• James Bau Graves, Executive Director, Old Town School of Folk Music
• Kim Hastreiter, Editor, Publisher and Co-founder of PAPER Publishing Co.
• Liz Havstad, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Hip Hop Caucus
• Ian Inaba, Co-Executive Director, Citizen Engagement Lab
• Gayle Isa, Executive Director, Asian Arts Initiative
• James Kass, Founder & Executive Director, Youth Speaks Inc.
• Bakari Kitwana, CEO, Rap Sessions
• Sally Kohn, Senior Campaign Strategist and Director of the Movement Vision Lab, Center for
Community Change
• Joe Lambert, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Digital Storytelling
• Brad Lander, Senior Fellow, Pratt Center for Community Development
• Liz Lerman, Founding Artistic Director, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
• Rick Lowe, Artist, Founder, Project Row Houses
• John Malpede, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD)
• Liz Manne, Founder, Work in Progress
• Meghan McDermott, Executive Director, Global Action Project
• Michelle Miller, Manager of Popular Media Organizing, SEIU
• Alyce Myatt, Executive Director, Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media
• Michael D. Nolan, Independent PR Consultant
• Anne Pasternak, President & Artistic Director, Creative Time
• Maria Teresa Petersen, Founding Executive Director, Voto Latino
• Wendell Pierce, Actor/Producer, Founder, Pontchartrain Park CDC
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 17

***editorial comment from me.

any conservative groups in that bunch?


2 posted on 09/21/2009 3:02:06 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

The propaganda machine gears up...


3 posted on 09/21/2009 3:09:40 AM PDT by PIF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Good resource for perspective- thanks for posting!


4 posted on 09/21/2009 3:11:31 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Did you see any conservatives on the list? or groups?
I skimmed and I didn’t. These people have been at this longer than just August.


5 posted on 09/21/2009 3:12:59 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

This goes very well with this thread.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2344520/posts


6 posted on 09/21/2009 3:16:02 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PIF

one of the attendees, JEFF CHANG, WRITER wrote this about Glenn Beck and the art meeting

http://cantstopwontstop.com/blog/the-new-shape-of-the-culture-war-glenn-beck-yosi-sergant-van-jones-and-hip-hop/


7 posted on 09/21/2009 3:21:42 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Link to the organizer.

http://arlenegoldbard.com/

(hey, i’m just trying to make my thread longer ;)

just checking out the people on the attendee list, all appear to have lefty agenda


8 posted on 09/21/2009 3:29:54 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Talkin’ to myself on this post. Can’t sleep, reading the 18 page briefing.

This is exactly what was said in the conference call.
Scary stuff.

“Second, almost every speaker assured us that the administration “gets it” when it comes to the
importance of arts and culture to organizing for positive change.

This is encouraging, and as we understood going in, the opening exchange in a continuing
conversation. After the briefing, we recognized there was ample room for mutual education, for
artists and creative organizers to learn more about public policy and program development
processes and how to work most effectively with the public sector; and for the administration to
learn more about how artists and creative organizers can work with many public initiatives,
including areas like job creation, education and labor, which were not represented at the briefing.
“Overall, we came away feeling that there would be room at the table for artists and creative
organizers to take part in conversations about relevant policies and programs; and that we were
being challenged to come up with promising and attractive ideas about how artists can work for
the administration’s agenda and how artists’ work can be integral to national recovery. “


9 posted on 09/21/2009 3:50:45 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: amin

Would it be possible for you to put this on BREAKING NEWS OR FRONT PAGE NEWS?

The more I am reading of what I posted, the more my jaw is hitting the floor. It’s really relevant to Andrew Breitbart’s/Glenn Beck’s expose on the NEA stuff.

The administration, in this briefing is really up front with their agenda.

Everyone should read this. IMHO

thanks


10 posted on 09/21/2009 4:05:36 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Another quote, so I should get to 10.

What the hell does this mean?

” Matt Revelli, Juxtapoz Arts and Culture Magazine, brought up the question of international
access for artists, noting that creative minds have had difficulty getting into the United States. He
asked if the administration planned to facilitate access for international groups and artists, who
have been stopped at airports and sent home, causing resentment toward the U.S.
A: Joseph Reinstein said the administration wants to offer cultural exchanges with organizations
and talent to bring artists here and vice versa.”


11 posted on 09/21/2009 4:16:33 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Great find, machogirl!


12 posted on 09/21/2009 4:20:42 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Of course, SEIU had to be there!


13 posted on 09/21/2009 4:22:09 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: machogirl; Admin Moderator

At least front page- and breaking would be good too!


14 posted on 09/21/2009 4:23:07 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: machogirl; admin

I think you were missing the ‘d’ in admin for your above request.


15 posted on 09/21/2009 4:23:24 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

Amen :) i’ll repost, thanks


16 posted on 09/21/2009 4:31:52 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: admin

o: amin

Would it be possible for you to put this on BREAKING NEWS OR FRONT PAGE NEWS?

The more I am reading of what I posted, the more my jaw is hitting the floor. It’s really relevant to Andrew Breitbart’s/Glenn Beck’s expose on the NEA stuff.

The administration, in this briefing is really up front with their agenda.

Everyone should read this. IMHO

thanks

Good Lord I need sleep............


17 posted on 09/21/2009 4:32:45 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Are we going to let “terrorists/artists” in, is that what they want?


18 posted on 09/21/2009 4:33:51 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

From SEIU summary of this event (don’t this beat all?)

....”Create a counter narrative to the Luntz memo/Republican talking points designed to destroy health care
reform. They can offer creative, humorous voices that can think outside of white papers or New York
Times op-eds to communicate effectively about the importance of health care reform and diminish the
increasing attacks on our movement for reform. For example, the satirical webisodes SEIU is producing
with comedy writers with content from Lutz memo.”......


19 posted on 09/21/2009 4:35:42 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

Granted I haven’t slept yet, I have a young one coming down with a virus, but I know the sick feeling I’m getting reading this, is NOT FROM LACK OF SLEEP.


20 posted on 09/21/2009 4:37:13 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

All I can say is good for Andrew B. for calling them out. I hope he has something attention-grabbing to the masses at noon. Your material adds to it all.


21 posted on 09/21/2009 4:39:18 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

about immigration:(Lord these people are insane)

In 2007, comprehensive immigration reform failed to pass because proponents were “out-called”
(i.e., calls to the legislature) 100 to 1 by a vocal minority of opponents of the legislation. In 2009, there will be
another historic opportunity to pass this landmark legislation that will bring 12 million people out of the
shadows of this country and onto a path to citizenship. Artists and cultural organizers can play a critical role
this year on helping advance the legislation, as well as over the coming years helping bring the humanity
and personal/family stories of the issue to light. A “coordinated cultural campaign” was the clearest vision
articulated in this session of what this involvement might look like. One that makes room for moderate
voices, but helps people put faces to the issue, and to understand that it is their neighbor who might be
deported next, their family torn apart.


22 posted on 09/21/2009 4:41:13 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Of course, the unfortunate part is how much of the arts is already debased by amazingly ignorant artists bleating out simplistic and misinformed political positions through their work. This is one community that hardly needs organizing—or governmental coercion.


23 posted on 09/21/2009 4:44:48 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

I’ll get this thread up.

About “Public Art” (graffiti) (the traveling to visit public art is humorous)

Summary: The conversation began with the call for reclaiming of Public Space that would bring forth
legitimacy, support and reframing opportunities for artists and communities. US communities don’t view
public art as a treasure as compared to the international community. As an example, international visitors
travel to and throughout the States to specifically view “unsanctioned” public arts such as graffiti, murals,
etc. In light of this, we discussed how might public art and identified spaces be utilized by municipalities and
local areas to generate tourism, public education and economic benefits (especially given the proliferation
of advertising in public space.) Public art, in multiple forms including sculptural installations and temporary
performance-based arts, could aid in changing public space usage patterns. Current government regulations
that restrict access and use of public spaces are more detrimental to spontaneous development of creative
ideas and their execution within the public sphere. Decreases in federal/state arts budgets as well within arts
education have created a creative vacuum and public space may have served as an “informal arts education
classroom” and mentoring programs.

Actionable Items:


Emphasis placed on removing impediments with projects

Tolerance encouraged for spontaneous acts of public art and recognition of the contribution public art
makes to the culture of urban environments.

To support community development and engagement, Community Foundations should be held
accountable to support art and culture projects within the public space.

Government and local communities’ recognition of artists’ contributions to the economic success of
local, regional and national economies as a necessary step in shifting the balance of power in the use of
public spaces for art.

Explore new, broader definitions and contexts for “public art.”

More attention placed on how local communities are using public space in creative, new ways and how
public space could become part of the global conversation on The Commons.
Resources


24 posted on 09/21/2009 4:45:24 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

The embracing of “Public Art” and “reclaiming Public Spaces” is another way to de-criminalize the defacing of private and public property.

No wonder Conservatives weren’t included. THIS IS ALL ABOUT OBAMA’S DAMN AGENDA.


25 posted on 09/21/2009 4:47:12 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Doesn’t it have any paragraphs? Can we have a synopsis?


26 posted on 09/21/2009 4:47:58 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers

In a pdf file, it’s 18 pages. You can download the thing at the scribe link.

There is an intro and a summary that I posted in the original post. Then the participants. It’s when I was reading the “meat” of the document that things got really interesting. I just posted the later posts the highlights of the filler between the intro and the summary.

This is sickening.

You can download it in text, that’s what I did. less space.


27 posted on 09/21/2009 4:50:56 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

I don’t go to links when the original post is so screwed up. Someone will post it later.


28 posted on 09/21/2009 4:52:51 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers

There is so much jaw-dropping bull, that it has to be read to be believed.

Then for fun, I googled some of the participants. Geez.

This garbage comes straight from the White House. It’s there agenda.

They want these groups to reinvent the NEA with their voices.
(and the whole country).

I was trained as an engineer, and I write bullet points. I really need to work on writing paragraphs.


29 posted on 09/21/2009 4:53:59 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers

wow, that was kind.

perhaps if you can do it better, you can post it for me?


30 posted on 09/21/2009 4:54:41 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers

Just for you, in rich text.

Introduction

On May 12th, more than 60 artists and creative organizers engaged in civic participation,
community development, education, social justice activism, and philanthropy came together for
a White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery.

This meeting combined the interests of several groups addressing intersecting issues. All are
interested in the power of the arts to build communities and create change. Arlene Goldbard
requested a meeting with community cultural development practitioners and thinkers to talk
about how the remarkable mobilizing power of community arts can be used by the Obama
administration as a tool and a pathway for national recovery.

Claudine Brown of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, arts organizer Billy Wimsatt and Caron
Atlas working with the Pratt Center for Community Development and State Voices, requested a
meeting with policy makers, artists and organizers. Their intent was to identify existing efforts
within the cultural and social justice movements that are in alignment with the national agenda
and to discuss our common pursuits and possibilities. This diverse group includes Hip Hop
organizers, green designers, creative communicators, social networkers, and other visual,
performing, and media artists committed to social justice from both the non-profit and for-profit
sectors who are working on such issues as green jobs, health care and economic justice.

Each of the sponsors of this meeting had been in contact with Yosi Sergant who was then an
Associate with the White House Office of Public Liaison (and is now Communications Director of
the National Endowment for the Arts.) Once we understood that a larger meeting would enable
us to access more advisors and policymakers, it made sense to combine forces and invitation lists.

The Washington DC meeting had three parts: 1) a meeting at the Kaiser Family Foundation to
prepare for the briefing, 2) the two-hour White House briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office
Building, and 3) a post-briefing meeting at Bus Boys & Poets to interpret and respond to what we
had learned and to engage in small-group strategy sessions including: cultural policy, green jobs,
immigration, public/private space, healthcare reform, organizing power on behalf of community
artists, and a department of alternative thinking.

This report includes notes from the White House briefing and from the post-briefing strategy
session. The latter includes a summary of the small group discussions and the full notes
submitted by each group, including contact information. Our intention in issuing this report is to
ensure transparency for colleagues who were not at the meeting, so that they can weigh in on
what was learned from the White House and respond to it. Thanks to Meghan McDermott for her
extensive notes and great first draft.

As our White House hosts repeated throughout the briefing, this is the beginning of a
conversation. We hope that this report extends the conversation throughout the field and that it
continues and expands wherever people care about art, community, social justice and national
recovery.

Caron Atlas, Claudine Brown, Arlene Goldbard & Billy Wimsatt

Report on White House Briefing On Art, Community,
Social Justice, National Recovery
12 May 2009, Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Table of Contents

Introduction.......................................................................................................................................................................................................1

White House Briefing.....................................................................................................................................................................................3

Mike Strautmanis, Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Liaison.............................................................................................3
Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director, Office of Public Liaison ................................................................................................................5
Joseph Reinstein, Deputy Social Secretary .....................................................................................................................................5
Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President ...........................................................................................................................7
Trooper Sanders, Deputy Director of Policy and Projects, Office of the First Lady.........................................................7
Mario Garcia Durham, Director of Presenting, National Endowment for the Arts..........................................................8
Tina Tchen, Director of Public Liaison ...............................................................................................................................................9
Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President .........................................................................................................................10

Post-Briefing Meeting..................................................................................................................................................................................11

Toward a Cultural Policy Framework...............................................................................................................................................11
Department of Alternative Thinking................................................................................................................................................11
How to Organize Political Power on Behalf of Community Artists?....................................................................................12
Green Jobs...................................................................................................................................................................................................13
Healthcare Reform...................................................................................................................................................................................13
Immigration Reform................................................................................................................................................................................14
Public/Private Space ...............................................................................................................................................................................14

Resources ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................15

Participants.......................................................................................................................................................................................................15

Appendix: Pre-Briefing One-Page Summary

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 2

White House Briefing

Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

More than sixty artists and creative organizers convened in a third-floor conference room at the
Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a briefing introduced and moderated by Kareem Dale,
Special Assistant to the President, who serves as White House Liaison to the arts. The briefing was
structured as a series of opportunities to listen and learn about administration policies, programs
and priorities, headlined “Grassroots Arts Groups and Organizations.” Some speakers took a few
questions, some had time only to speak and run.

Two themes ran through all the presentations by administration officials:

First, almost every presenter spoke of personal experience in the arts as a student, performer,
consumer or supporter (e.g., Mike Strautmanis was a theater major before law school, Kareem
Dale acted in Chicago with the Black Ensemble Theater and later served on its Board of Directors,
etc.).

Second, almost every speaker assured us that the administration “gets it” when it comes to the
importance of arts and culture to organizing for positive change.

This is encouraging, and as we understood going in, the opening exchange in a continuing
conversation. After the briefing, we recognized there was ample room for mutual education, for
artists and creative organizers to learn more about public policy and program development
processes and how to work most effectively with the public sector; and for the administration to
learn more about how artists and creative organizers can work with many public initiatives,
including areas like job creation, education and labor, which were not represented at the briefing.

Overall, we came away feeling that there would be room at the table for artists and creative
organizers to take part in conversations about relevant policies and programs; and that we were
being challenged to come up with promising and attractive ideas about how artists can work for
the administration’s agenda and how artists’ work can be integral to national recovery.

What we learned is summarized below in the order we heard from the seven speakers who
addressed us.

Mike Strautmanis, Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Liaison

Mike Strautmanis welcomed us warmly, declaring that we have many friends at the Office of
Public Liaison (formerly the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs). He
explained that the office is the “front door to the White House,” fulfilling and realizing the essence
of President Obama’s career, his philosophy of political change, and his presidency. He declared
the administration’s willingness to bring in stakeholders, receiving input and advice to ensure
that decisions are relevant, effective and based in lives lived as they are today. He explained that
the Social Secretary’s work, the First Lady’s efforts and other White House initiatives demonstrate
that the administration wants the arts to affect the whole person. People are motivated, lifted and
moved to do important and world-changing things by science, he explained, which is being
restored to its rightful place. Others are motivated by issues and by expressing themselves
through the arts.

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 3

Mike Strautmanis directed our attention to key people with whom to foster relationships: Kareem
Dale, who was appointed to deal with the arts specifically; and Valerie Jarrett, a close confidante
and advisor to the First Family, who connects directly to the Oval Office.

He also introduced Yosi Sergant, who was instrumental in arranging the briefing. Yosi had just left
the Office of Public Engagement to serve as Communications Director at the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA), noting that he represents the commitment to bring in people not
traditionally part of the political process to share their talents and skills. He recognized that Yosi’s
efforts had made the campaign soar with arts work beyond what could have happened with
traditional political consultants. With Yosi and Anita Decker (Director of Government Affairs at the
NEA) in place, he explained, people very close to the President are involved in the effort.

Questions to Mike Strautmanis:

Q: William Cleveland, Center for the Study of Art & Community, noted that he appreciated
Strautmanis’s words about seeking advice, input and connections. He suggested the people in
the room equaled a think tank to serve the administration’s aims, and asked how in practical
terms we could connect to the administration’s policy work.
A: Mike Strautmanis described two paths. First, there are formal, set pieces of work such as the
healthcare debate, efforts to reduce energy costs and the commitment to community service. In
these areas, the administration wants to bring people in informally to advise and offer
perspectives and to receive updates on impact. The administration wants to know what’s missing
or doesn’t make sense, and will reach out periodically as issues come up.
Second, through Kareem Dale, there is a conduit to the White House and the Obama
Administration, to initiate contact and stay in touch via email and phone. The administration has
an agenda, but there are things activists know and are involved in that the administration can’t
know directly, such as ways to communicate with people and how to motivate them culturally.

Q: Dee Davis, Center for Rural Strategies, described the challenge of constant threats to net
neutrality, of threats to introduce licensing charges that block access. What assurances do we
have from the White House that community and local voices that are locked out can find a
foothold?
A: Mike Strautmanis noted that net neutrality is a hot issue, and that Professor (Lawrence) Lessig,
a colleague from the University of Chicago, has been talking to President Obama about his
perspective on this. He stated that briefing participants should be at the table with the FCC (Julius
Genachowski, President Obama’s choice to run the agency, is an advocate of net neutrality), Phil
Schiliro (Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs) and Congressional relations, all of whom
need this perspective. The issue of media consolidation, he said, is the next question affecting the
entire media industry as we remake many parts of society, including media. He shared the
administration’s openness to creative solutions and new ways of thinking, noting that the
Department of Justice is reenergizing its anti-monopoly division, which is especially important
now, during an economic downturn.
Q: Sally Kohn, Center for Community Change, declared that “We love a White House that loves
organizers!” Regarding the open-door metaphor, she noted, folks are being invited in to help, but
it also takes a movement to create a climate for change, banging down that door. She asked Mike
Strautmanis to share what he has learned about how people have been effective in helping to
creating the political space needed for change.
A: Mike Strautmanis: He explained that the administration must be comfortable with messiness:
real engagement is messy and people need to be comfortable with some conflict and raised
voices, a natural part of change and of bringing competing interests into the room. Ground rules
for trust are also needed: don’t slam each other in the media from private conversations. Don’t
come to the table only to complain, have solutions too. Be willing to demonstrate, be prepared
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 4

and be willing to compromise with competing interests. He noted that organizers are not always
used to political processes. Some are approaching with old tools, projections and biases, but
what’s needed is to trust the process of change. Instead of protest signs on the fence, he urged,
think about what it means to be inside the fence. He noted that this could also be instructive to
the traditional participants in political gamesmanship, who know the system but aren’t yet
invested in the process of creating real change.

Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director, Office of Public Liaison

Buffy Wicks began by noting that service is a huge priority for the Obamas, embedded in both
their life stories. She explained that the White House was preparing for President Obama to
launch a call for participation in a “Summer of Service,” offering average Americans opportunities
to participate as volunteers in economic recovery. She asked briefing participants to think
through how their networks and organizations can participate in areas such as the arts in
education, healthcare and preventative care, energy and environment, or economic opportunity.
Do you use volunteers, she asked, and are there ways you a can expand service for volunteers?

She explained that the administration will be launching a National Day of Service on September

11. People will be able to learn more at www.serve.gov. She explained that the President and the
First Lady will be engaging all of the resources of the White House to think through how the arts
can be a space where Americans can engage in service, and noted that Kareem Dale will have
more information as the project is built across the country this summer.
Buffy Wicks did not take questions.

Joseph Reinstein, Deputy Social Secretary

Joseph Reinstein explained that the Office of the Social Secretary is all about White House events.
Every event at the White House is managed through this office, including briefings, dinners, and
those that involve arts as a major strategic platform. He said the arts are essential to maintaining
and encouraging a U.S. global competitive advantage, which comes from our creativity and ideas,
and those are a direct result of our children’s arts education. It’s not a luxury, he said, but a
necessity, critical to economic recovery and our long-term economic role in the world. He told us
that the administration is reinvesting in arts education, increasing money for the NEA, supporting
healthcare and tax fairness for artists, demonstrating that a commitment to the arts is a
commitment to the country’s vitality and recovery.

Joe Reinstein invited participants to talk with him about White House events needed to
communicate to the country, to the world and to Congress. He said the administration wanted to
make the White House a place to celebrate democratic ideals, common values, ingenuity and
diversity, to strengthen ties that bring us together as Americans. The President wants people
coming together to solve old problems with new ideas and putting aside differences to work
together, so events at the White House should remind them of what we can do together to
celebrate the American spirit. They should make people feel good about our values and America.

He offered several examples, including a bipartisan Super Bowl party that “sent shock waves”
through Washington; the Library of Congress Gershwin Award to Stevie Wonder, where President
Obama, the First Lady and Stevie Wonder all talked about what music meant to them personally;
summer music series once a month featuring jazz, classical music, pop, and folk; opera events in
September on the South Lawn; a film festival planned for fall; and dance events to celebrate
American choreographers and companies. A poetry slam was planned for the same night of the
briefing. The First Lady described it, he told us, as sending an important signal that democracy
demands many voices, that all are welcome there, that the administration believes the arts play a
critical role beyond arts education in saying what a democracy is. Arts and culture, spoken word,

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 5

film, science and technology, innovation, poetry, literature and debate are all welcome at White
House events.

He closed by noting that everywhere administration representatives go, they are greeted by the
arts community’s delight, but everything depends on artists offering answers and ideas, on
patience and determination to work with the administration. He asked participants to flood him
with ideas via sarmbruster@who.eop.gov.

Questions for Joseph Reinstein:

Q: James Kass, Youth Speaks, asked whether there a direct link between arts policy and the
Department of Education.
A: Joseph Reinstein said yes, noting that President Obama has asked for greater cohesion and
collaboration between agency work and departments, such as the Department of State,
Department of Education, the White House and man others. He explained that a group dedicated
to working on creating cohesion is just now taking shape.
Q: Loris Taylor, Native Public Media, asked whether over the administration’s eight years, there
will be Native involvement in bringing films and storytelling to celebrations at the White House.
A: Joseph Reinstein was enthusiastic about the idea, repeating his email address.
Q: Aaron Rose, independent artist, writer, musician and director, said he loves to hear that
education initiatives are a priority, because arts are often the first thing to be cut. He asked how
much community involvement is wanted with White House events. He was grateful for the honor
of being asked, but he doesn’t want it to be just a dog and pony show for politicos. So how will
the White House bring community in to be involved?
A: Joseph Reinstein noted that the Office of Legal Affairs has sometimes been annoyed at the
Social Secretary’s office restricting the number of politicos who can come to events to make room
for others. Music students and faculty from Berkeley, Julliard and Oberlin attended the Stevie
Wonder tribute, for instance. Part of delivering on the promise to be the people’s house, he told
us, is to be responsive to the community and public, so inclusion is a major objective and
criterion for every event. The guest list is no longer just VIP and white.
Q: Doria Roberts, touring singer/songwriter and spoken word artist, asked about grants for
individual artists: how open will administration policy be to grants for individuals?
A: Joseph Reinstein noted that he couldn’t personally speak to this issue, but others in the room
might be able to answer or follow up.
Q: Arnold Aprill, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, noted that we have to make
connections between separate agencies that have power over our lives, so we need information
on how to give direct, effective input, rather than do it piecemeal. He asked about not just
outreach through things like diverse and inclusive events at the White House, but inreach. In this
room are exciting, socially engaged, democratically engaged organizations, he said: how do we
serve with the White House?
A: Joseph Reinstein restated the need to create cohesion across the federal landscape and create
a centralized place for people to get information.
Q: Liz Lerman, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, said that since we can’t all perform here, and the arts
are sometimes treated as dismissible, how can we help you regarding enlarging access to events
here, for instance by creating aligned events in other venues?
A: Joseph Reinstein noted that the administration was new. He said that Year one will be laying a
foundation and framework for the future. He likes the idea of not only access to the White House
but also community engagement through events that align with White House gatherings,
creating synergy.
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 6

Q: Matt Revelli, Juxtapoz Arts and Culture Magazine, brought up the question of international
access for artists, noting that creative minds have had difficulty getting into the United States. He
asked if the administration planned to facilitate access for international groups and artists, who
have been stopped at airports and sent home, causing resentment toward the U.S.
A: Joseph Reinstein said the administration wants to offer cultural exchanges with organizations
and talent to bring artists here and vice versa.
Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President

Kareem Dale supplemented and clarified a few points. He noted that he is also the Special
Assistant to President Obama for Disability Policy, pointing out that no one at the White House
works on just one issue. At the poetry event that evening, local students are invited from
Gallaudet College, from the only college dedicated those who are deaf and hard of hearing. He
said the administration is working to have every constituency represented.

He noted that administration officials have met with several arts organizations to talk about
cultural exchanges. The administration is busy, but definitely listening to what they had to say
and committed to fostering cultural exchanges. He reported that at the State Department dinner
for the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, Secretary of State Clinton spoke about
how important the arts are for diplomacy. She has been a champion of arts, he said, and wants
them to be included at the State Department. He stated that across the board, the administration
is committed to the arts: the arts are back, truly back. He told us that he stands before us as the
point-person for arts at the White House and knows where we are coming from: he is passionate
about it.

Trooper Sanders, Deputy Director of Policy and Projects, Office of the First Lady

Trooper Sanders summarized the three principal areas and policy priorities of the Office of the
First Lady:

National Service: He described the challenge as engaging people of all generations and talents
and abilities in solving social challenges in their communities. The First Lady’s own history
includes developing a public service organization focusing on social innovation. The aim is to
connect people in practical ways with their own communities.

Work/Life Balance: He explained that family and career support is part of President Obama’s
political leadership. For example, the First Lady has begun a conversation with executives across
the country to build employer engagement in this issue through government policy. The goal is
to change the discussion about work/life balance, especially the challenges faced by women in
always giving a 120% but never feeling they are meeting standards.

Military Families: The First Lady’s office is focusing on the spouses of service members,
recognizing the unique stresses placed on them and their families. The administration is making
some new investments in military family services to expand career support for military spouses,
for example. They are also reaching out to communities beyond bases to build connections with
families on the bases. They recognize the need to think creatively: how to help a child who has
not seen her mom or dad for a few years and is struggling in school to find an arts program or
mentor, to develop a greater sense of balance? He said the White House may be calling on
nonprofits to help shape this in the next few months. For example, the Sierra Club has a national
program supporting military children, connecting children to the outdoors, to camping with their
peers, a creative way of connecting the environmental sector with the military.

Questions for Trooper Sanders:

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 7

Q: Milly Hawk Daniel, PolicyLink, noted the importance of using arts and culture to organize,
inform, engage and sustain community. She asked how the administration is connecting the
people in this room to other policy people involved in community development.
A: Trooper Sanders explained that the administration is trying to open up the White House to
different areas of focus, a matrix approach. For example, military families are one lens: there’s a
role for arts and culture within that; and similarly with work/life balance, from education and
health care to therapy and support, wellness and prevention, creative treatment. He said that
President Obama has to address big questions like public safety and keeping the lights turned on,
but also has a unique opportunity to blend beyond the silos, for example, in health care reform. If
one goal is slowing the growth of costs, for instance, are there things arts and culture can do to
produce better outcomes than traditional treatments? Can palliative care be blended with arts
and culture to improve care down the line? It’s tricky, he said, but we can mix it up and try stuff.
He offered his email address for thoughts about how participants’ work can be helpful:
tsanders@who.eop.gov. He will also be reaching out regarding military family issues.
Mario Garcia Durham, Director of Presenting, National Endowment for the Arts

Mario Garcia Durham opened with thanks for everyone’s work and to the administration, for the
recent increase in the NEA’s budget. He acknowledged that people in the arts continue to work
under any conditions, but there has been a break in the clouds! He noted that NEA programs can
evolve; what the NEA supports and emphasizes comes from artists and organizations. He
encouraged people to apply to the NEA, despite the effort entailed, noting that many requests
from a field or area demonstrates need. He stated the NEA’s commitment to the new
Administration’s goals and the Summer of Service program. He applauded participants’ work and
persistence, restating his accessibility and willingness to working with people as the NEA
develops into new areas.

Questions for Mario Garcia Durham:

Q: Jacqui Woods, Skylight Gallery, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, said that we need
to hear a paradigm shift to the understanding that artists are workers who contribute to the
economy, not just rarefied people, but workers who should be part of workforce development.
She said the NEA can fund regional events identified with special events at the White House; and
stressed workers’ housing as a priority issue.
A: Mario Garcia Durham agreed.
Q: Diane Fraher, Amerinda, asked what the administration is doing to enforce the Indian Arts and
Crafts Act of 1990, passed to protect indigenous communities from fraud. She offered to work
with the administration to enforce this legislation, preserving traditional arts.
A: Mario Garcia Durham suggested contacting Kareem Dale who can make a connection with
Jodi Gillette, a Deputy Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs who is a member of the
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He shared his own email: durhamm@arts.gov
Q: Andy Shallal, Busboys & Poets, asked if it will be possible for the arts to have a cabinet-level
position, as has been proposed, noting that the U.S. is the only country without it.
A: Kareem Dale responded that no one had spoken with him about this, other than a little
discussion during the transition. As briefing participants are agents of change, he advised us to
keep pushing for what’s appropriate and necessary. He emphasized the need for patience, saying
that the administration believes in the ideals but just got here.
Q: Anne Pasternak, Creative Time, was inspired by this occasion, noting that the Obama legacy is
already full of innovation and experimentation. She encouraged thinking about arts policy that
way, too. She wants local and federal government to say yes to creativity and action, with new
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 8

thinking and trailblazing ahead about how artists function in society, with artists’ engagement in
real time and real action.

Q: Wendell Pierce, actor and producer, noted that those present come from different walks of life,
and know arts and culture, its role in society and as a forum for community as a whole. He
encouraged all departments at the White House to add to their missions explaining the role of
arts in society, how art plays a functional, concrete role. Art is policy, not just performance.
A: Mario Garcia Durham agreed, noting that that is the beauty of this group. Government and its
policies should be shaped by participants’ voices in connection with the NEA. We can change, he
said, but it depends on your activism and voice with us.
Q: James Kass, Youth Speaks, addressed the military family connection, asking if the NEA can
support a program for young artists, creating pathways to college towards arts careers, and jobs
for disconnected youth instead of enlistment. The military is fine if you have a choice, he said, but
too many have had none.
A: Mario Garcia Durham said that was a great idea, noting that there aren’t specific NEA program
tracks for this, but now is the time to come forward with such ideas.
Q: Rha Goddess, creative organizer and spoken word artist, said that we are needed at the table
around arts and healing, to offer the integrative approaches developed by artists working in
community as a way to augment and strengthen concepts of healing with creative models and to
share all community concerns and issues. This is a moment of inspiration, she said, but folks in
this room are also doing work on the ground, concrete practical work to move the needle.
Q: Davey D, hip hop historian, spoke of the need for high visibility. The Army is always there on
the streets, he said,. He asked for a commitment to underwrite urban expression in a comparable
way. Why not seed an urban peace corps or green corps to redirect attention? Money coming
from taxpayers shouldn’t only be for the military. What about commitment to the elderly? How
can art be a major part of what they do? It’s not just a young thing.
A: Mario Garcia Durham said these points resonated and restated his availability.
Tina Tchen, Director of Public Liaison

Tina Tchen said her office is charged by President Obama to resonate with what this group is
interested in. She noted that previously in its 50-year history of outreach, the public liaison office
had been focused on one-way communication with national organizations that have DC offices,
but President Obama wants a two-way street and real public engagement. She said her office is
re-visioning and re-branding, looking forward to being publicly engaged. She thanked briefing
participants for their ideas and programs that can be highlighted and taken to scale, and for their
roles in amplifying the administration’s message in their communities.

She encouraged arts organizations to participate in the Summer of Service program Buffy Wicks
mentioned earlier, helping to generate opportunities for people to do more in their communities
and hoping they will partner with the White House in this effort. The administration wants to
sustain energy from the election process and turn it toward the agenda. She acknowledged that
participants’ organizations are facing hard financial choices right now, and that President Obama
is engaged in a tough process with the budget, health care reform, green jobs, and education
that are necessary to righting the economy in this first year. Innovation will restore us, she said,
and education is the only way to ensure that we are competitive in the future. There is great
promise in artists’ creativity, she said, and the administration needs to hear those ideas. She
advised participants to stay in touch with Kareem Dale, the East and West Wing teams and the
NEA, closing with special acknowledgment to Yosi Sergant. Stay engaged, she said, the
administration is not afraid of you disagreement or challenge: healthy ideas come from dialogue.

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 9

Tina Tchen did not take questions.

Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President

Kareem Dale closed the session by emphasizing engagement in the Summer of Service. Across
the country, he said, this will be a way to provide service to participants’ organizations and
communities, and to offer a concrete way to engage with the Obama Administration.

He encouraged participants to engage with the administration, with White House parties, on the
policy front through Kareem Dale’s office and the First Lady’s policy person. For events,
participants should reach out to Joe Reinstein, for policy to Kareem Dale, whose job with respect
to the arts is to ensure that arts get raised on equal footing and as an equal partner in this work.
He explained that arts and culture is a $160 billion industry, which is why the administration
brought briefing participants in and will bring in others. He repeated that the arts are back,
ending with thanks.

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 10

Post-Briefing Meeting
Busboys & Poets

Directly after the May 12, 2009 White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery,
participants met for small-group strategy sessions about cultural policy, green jobs, immigration reform,
public/private space, healthcare reform, organizing power on behalf of community artists, and a department
of alternative thinking. The following are summaries of longer reports from each group. For more
information, a contact person is listed for each group.

Toward a Cultural Policy Framework

Contact: Arlene Goldbard

arlene@arlenegoldbard.com

Summary: The group started with a framework of cultural policy issues proposed by Arlene Goldbard and
Jeff Chang: a flexible set of points around which to draw unity among all the diverse work going forward. In
the larger movement for art, community, social justice and national recovery, we can work with the public
sector to find opportunities to advance our goals, and also with other people to build a constituency to help
move the public sector along. A framework can help with both. Points included:

1) Protect and Expand Cultural Equity and Cultural Rights;
2) Include Artists In National Recovery and Building Sustainability;
3) Advance A New Works Progress Administration;
4) Assess Cultural Impact on Communities; and
5) Restore Public Interest and Media Justice In the Culture Industries.

The group felt developing a framework was a worthy goal. Challenges include hitting the right balance
between the general and specific, valuing first voice, and finding fresh language that people could
understand and connect with, so we don’t fall into the arts advocacy trap of sounding like a special interest
pleading for itself or turn people off with strange jargon. They recognized that it’s not only about coming up
with the right language, but about being flexible and creative in getting the framework out and making it
useful. They formed a Google group to facilitate discussions, and created a smaller committee to take the
draft further before the whole group discusses it, and turn together to questions of strategy.

Department of Alternative Thinking

Contact: Kim Hastreiter

kimh@papermag.com

Summary: There is a huge role for creativity in the White House. Artists think differently (and with a different
side of their brain) about problem solving than the typical person working for the government (whether

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 11

politicians, lawyers, lobbyists or policy experts). Creativity and innovation—in all aspects of the public and
private sectors—are what gives our country an edge. This group was inspired to further develop an idea that
struck them during the briefing: the establishment of a new “Department of Alternative Thinking.” The DoAT
would be a volunteer brain trust/think tank made up of the country’s most creative and maverick minds
(thinkers, artists, innovators, and inventors). It would be set up as a free, public service to the White House
and other government departments. The purpose of the DoAT is to integrate creative brain consultation
(sideways thinking) into every aspect of governmental decision-making (whether it is the arts, the economy,
healthcare, energy and environmental policy, international policy, national security, infrastructure, NASA,
education, etc).

Modeled loosely after the Armed Forces Reserve and jury duty, the DoAT “fellows” would volunteer for
service on a revolving but continuous panel. Fellows would be selected by the White House and a body of
peers and enlisted for periodic, short tours of duty in Washington, DC in order to ensure a healthy turnover
of ideas while allowing participants to continue their own work. The DoAT fellows would help government
insiders see things from a different perspective, helping to foster innovative solutions to government issues
and policy…all of which would be incredibly valuable in keeping America one step ahead.

How to Organize Political Power
on Behalf of Community Artists?

Contact: Michael D. Nolan
Communications, Contacts & Concepts

mikeyno@mikeyno.com

Summary: In developing political and educational strategies, we need to reframe ourselves and utilize tools
of engagement—involve the media through strategic planning, strengthen communication channels
throughout the White House, and develop cross-sector collaborations. While there are varying levels of our
organizational and individual capacities to develop advocacy effectiveness, focusing on the most efficient
ways to educate the public and policy-makers would lead to the most desired widespread results. Writing
legislation, finding places in the Stimulus Bill where Community Arts organizations can insert themselves,
teaming up with the Ad Council to show examples of successful projects that transform communities, and
having Community Arts advocates and artists as regular guests on news stations are methods for how to
leverage voice and acquire support. One proposal is to create a media campaign on September 12th of 2009,
the day following the end of the Summer of Service.

In the next White House meeting, this group would like to make sure that highly positioned Administration
representatives are present to address various issues in connection with Community Arts and Cultural
Development such as Van Jones (environment/green jobs), Janet Napolitano (immigration), and Arne
Duncan (education). There is an educational gap between us and the White House coming from both sides.
A decision should be made as to the focus of next steps- developing our infrastructure or concentrating on
the implementation of advocacy actions. Either way, clear messaging is the key to successfully educate the
public and policy-makers while gaining support for our important work, which helps to weave the social
fabric together.

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 12

Green Jobs

Contact: Alli Chagi-Starr
Green for All

allistarr@gmail.com

Summary: The Green Jobs work group had a varying array of interests and goals. Among them were
activists focused on digital storytelling as a form of alternative media, transitioning “arts values” into “US
values”, engaging youth in issues, defining green “art” jobs, transformational and life coaching work through
the arts, and the revitalization and cultural healing of disenfranchised urban centers decimated by “natural”
disaster and/or economic inequity. Their primary query was “How do we connect disparate, transcontinental
communities into a cohesive, working activist unit in order to fulfill the need and demand for Green Jobs and
Green Living in general?”

Suggested solutions included:
1) Developing, highlighting then standardizing certain life skills as integral components in personal growth
that also, in turn, benefit the community at large.
2) Branding and redefining “green” the word and “green” the movement and ultimately diversifying
mainstream media’s current consumer heavy rhetoric.
3) “Green is a Given”: Requiring that federal, state and local funding policies for social projects only invest in
green projects or have “green goals”.

The secondary query was “How to implement these solutions with a core collaboration of art based and
green strategies?” Examples given included: Green for All’s “Dream in Action” Tour, In New Orleans, the
Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp and “Waiting for Godot”, (for the first time with an all
African American cast) in the lower 9th Ward, and “Searching for Martin,” a multimedia project featuring
stories from over-burdened communities along Martin Luther King blvds and thoroughfares across the US.

Healthcare Reform

Contact: Michelle Miller
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Michelle.Miller@seiu.org

Summary: This group discussed the multiple roles that artists can play in support of health care reform.
Artists can:


Join with policy makers to help create a narrative about the current health care system. There is an
ongoing need for stories from inside the health care system, both stories of patients and providers.
Artists can facilitate the development of these compelling stories by partnering with health care workers
in hospitals/community health centers and helping people tell their stories on an ongoing basis. These
stories serve to highlight the need for health care reform but can also be used to demonstrate the
existence of communities who rely on public hospitals/community health centers that are often under
threat of closure. For example, Los Angeles Poverty Department’s work on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Create a counter narrative to the Luntz memo/Republican talking points designed to destroy health care
reform. They can offer creative, humorous voices that can think outside of white papers or New York
Times op-eds to communicate effectively about the importance of health care reform and diminish the
increasing attacks on our movement for reform. For example, the satirical webisodes SEIU is producing
with comedy writers with content from Lutz memo.

Work with health care workers in skills sharing sessions. Artists provide ideas, strategy etc. for using the
arts in medicine. Health care workers to provide care in return. Eg: Artist Access program at Woodhull
Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 13


Participate in the Sarah Jones Health Equality tour: invite artists from other parts of the country where
health equality work is growing to performances on the Sarah Jones tour (Nashville July 7 / Minneapolis,
July 11) to develop storytelling, arts and culture projects around building awareness and action
connected to health care equality.
Immigration Reform

Contact: Sally Kohn
Center for Community Change

skohn@communitychange.org

Summary: In 2007, comprehensive immigration reform failed to pass because proponents were “out-called”
(i.e., calls to the legislature) 100 to 1 by a vocal minority of opponents of the legislation. In 2009, there will be
another historic opportunity to pass this landmark legislation that will bring 12 million people out of the
shadows of this country and onto a path to citizenship. Artists and cultural organizers can play a critical role
this year on helping advance the legislation, as well as over the coming years helping bring the humanity
and personal/family stories of the issue to light. A “coordinated cultural campaign” was the clearest vision
articulated in this session of what this involvement might look like. One that makes room for moderate
voices, but helps people put faces to the issue, and to understand that it is their neighbor who might be
deported next, their family torn apart.

HBO’s upcoming documentary about the failed legislative campaign of 2007 is one opportunity for
generating discussion and insight. CCC’s “Ideas and Innovation Team” has organizing strategies in key states
that people can all join, and the State Voices (www.statevoices.org) tables in each state will be places artists
and organizers can engage with these fights, both generating critical calls and helping change the public
impressions, fears and grow understanding. Global Action Project helps young people make media and tell
their own stories. One video is “America’s Next Top Immigrant” that uses satire to reframe the American
Dream. Active Voice has initiatives focusing on those “just beyond the choir” of allies, with showings of “The
Visitor” and PBS documentaries, putting a human face on public policy. Urban Bush Women talked about
“collaboration laboratories” or “collab labs” in Brooklyn that could be used to foster a more unified approach
to immigration, and not let African American and Latino/Arab/Asian American communities be divided on
immigration reform.

Public/Private Space

Contact: Marc Schiller
Wooster Collective

Marc@electricartists.com

Summary: The conversation began with the call for reclaiming of Public Space that would bring forth
legitimacy, support and reframing opportunities for artists and communities. US communities don’t view
public art as a treasure as compared to the international community. As an example, international visitors
travel to and throughout the States to specifically view “unsanctioned” public arts such as graffiti, murals,
etc. In light of this, we discussed how might public art and identified spaces be utilized by municipalities and
local areas to generate tourism, public education and economic benefits (especially given the proliferation
of advertising in public space.) Public art, in multiple forms including sculptural installations and temporary
performance-based arts, could aid in changing public space usage patterns. Current government regulations
that restrict access and use of public spaces are more detrimental to spontaneous development of creative
ideas and their execution within the public sphere. Decreases in federal/state arts budgets as well within arts

White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 14

education have created a creative vacuum and public space may have served as an “informal arts education
classroom” and mentoring programs.

Actionable Items:


Emphasis placed on removing impediments with projects

Tolerance encouraged for spontaneous acts of public art and recognition of the contribution public art
makes to the culture of urban environments.

To support community development and engagement, Community Foundations should be held
accountable to support art and culture projects within the public space.

Government and local communities’ recognition of artists’ contributions to the economic success of
local, regional and national economies as a necessary step in shifting the balance of power in the use of
public spaces for art.

Explore new, broader definitions and contexts for “public art.”

More attention placed on how local communities are using public space in creative, new ways and how
public space could become part of the global conversation on The Commons.
Resources


Washington Post coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/
content/article/2009/05/12/AR2009051203327.html

Video of President Obama announcing the Office of Public Engagement:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/ope/


PRI/WNYC’s The Takeaway: James Kass and Jeff Chang were interviewed about the White House
poetry jam with Youth Speaks/Brave New Voices, but also spoke about the White House briefing
and the state of arts, creativity and social justice. See link and note from host Farai Chideya (audio
is under the youtube video):
www.thetakeaway.org/stories/2009/may/13/youth-speak-at-the-white-house


SPARC Mural briefing site: http://www.sparcmurals.org/sparcone

Google map of participants by Joe Lambert, Center for Digital Storytelling:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=104723253661494481557.0
00469ec791467c1e87e9&ll=43.127549,-88.013535&spn=0.245055,0.4422&z=11

Participants


Arnold Aprill, Founding and Creative Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)

Caron Atlas, Cultural Organizer, Pratt Center for Community Development and State Voices
(Meeting Organizer)

Judith F. Baca, Founder/Artistic Director of SPARC and the UCLA/SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital/Mural
Lab

Robert “Biko” Baker, Executive Director, League of Young Voters

Nick Behunin, HOPE Campaign

Matthew Brady, Creative Director, Global Inheritance
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 15


Claudine K. Brown, Director, Arts and Culture Program, Nathan Cummings Foundation (Meeting
Organizer)

Denise Brown, Executive Director, Leeway Foundation

John Cary, Executive Director, Public Architecture

Alli Chagi-Starr, Community Partnerships & Events Manager, Green For All

Jeff Chang, Writer

William Cleveland, Center for the Study of Art & Community

Dudley Cocke, Artistic Director, Roadside Theater, Appalshop

Michelle Coffey, Executive Director, Lambent Foundation, Starry Night Fund Donor-Advised Fund
of Tides Foundation

Duffy Culligan, The Directors Bureau

Davey D, Hip Hop historian, Journalist, Deejay, Media and Community Activist

Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications, PolicyLink

Dee Davis, President, Center for Rural Strategies

Maria Lopez De Leon, Executive Director, The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture

Amalia Deloney, Activist and Cultural Worker

Kate Emanuel, Senior Vice President, Non-Profit & Government Affairs, The Advertising Council

Diane Fraher, Director, American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA)

Ryan Friedrichs, Executive Director, State Voices

Rha Goddess, Creative Organizer, 1+1+1=ONE

Arlene Goldbard, Writer and Speaker (Meeting Organizer)

James Bau Graves, Executive Director, Old Town School of Folk Music

Kim Hastreiter, Editor, Publisher and Co-founder of PAPER Publishing Co.

Liz Havstad, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Hip Hop Caucus

Ian Inaba, Co-Executive Director, Citizen Engagement Lab

Gayle Isa, Executive Director, Asian Arts Initiative

James Kass, Founder & Executive Director, Youth Speaks Inc.

Bakari Kitwana, CEO, Rap Sessions

Sally Kohn, Senior Campaign Strategist and Director of the Movement Vision Lab, Center for
Community Change

Joe Lambert, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Digital Storytelling

Brad Lander, Senior Fellow, Pratt Center for Community Development

Liz Lerman, Founding Artistic Director, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange

Rick Lowe, Artist, Founder, Project Row Houses

John Malpede, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD)

Liz Manne, Founder, Work in Progress

Meghan McDermott, Executive Director, Global Action Project

Michelle Miller, Manager of Popular Media Organizing, SEIU

Alyce Myatt, Executive Director, Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media

Michael D. Nolan, Independent PR Consultant

Anne Pasternak, President & Artistic Director, Creative Time

Maria Teresa Petersen, Founding Executive Director, Voto Latino

Wendell Pierce, Actor/Producer, Founder, Pontchartrain Park CDC
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 16


Erin Potts, Co-founder, Air Traffic Control

Nick Rabkin, Senior Research Scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago

Matt Revelli, Founder & Creative Director, Upper Playground Enterprises and Editor of Juxtapoz Arts
and Culture Magazine

Doria Roberts, Singer/Songwriter and Spoken Word Artist

Aaron Rose, Artist, Writer, Musician, Film Director and Independent Curator

Donald H. Russell, Executive Director, Provisions Learning Project

Marc Schiller, The Wooster Collective

Ellen Schneider, Executive Director, Active Voice

Anas “Andy” Shallal, Busboys and Poets

Loris Taylor, Native Public Media

Anasa Troutman, Senior Fellow, Movement Strategy Center

Carlton Turner, Alternate ROOTS

Roberta Uno, Ford Foundation

Clyde Valentin, Executive Director, Hip-Hop Theater Festival

MK Wegmann, President and CEO, National Performance Network

Jonathan Wells, Co-founder, Flux

Billy Wimsatt, Senior Strategist, Growth & Partnerships, Green For All (Meeting Organizer)

Jacqui D. Woods, Arts Administrator, Community Organizer, Skylight Gallery, Bedford Stuyvesant
Restoration Corporation

Jawole Zollar, Urban Bush Women
White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery—12 May 2009 Page 17

White House Briefing: Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery

On May 12th, more than 60 artists and creative organizers engaged in civic participation, community
development, education, social justice activism, and philanthropy will come together for a White House
briefing. During the campaign, powerful narratives, compelling images, and creative activism moved people
from all walks of life to get involved in civic participation and public service. Every day, artists and organizers
apply our knowledge and creativity to the actions that make democracy concrete. We perceive this as a
favorable moment to catalyze broad public support for a bold and forward-looking national agenda and we
look forward to discussing how we might work together toward that end.

Our purposes for this White House briefing are:

(1) To learn about key Obama Administration initiatives that might be advanced through the long-term
engagement of artists working with communities;
(2) To connect the creative community with campaigns and other action opportunities involving important
national issues;
(3) To share the exemplary work of our diverse field;
(4) To facilitate the inclusion of dynamic cultural strategies as an integral part of the administration’s
agenda for economic recovery, community renewal and civic engagement.
Our work encompasses both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Our group includes individuals working
independently and with a range of organizations and networks, in new and old media, including hip hop
activists, green designers, creative communicators, arts educators, social networkers, and visual, performing,
literary and media artists. While we work in many different ways, we share a common dedication to the
power of the word, music, and image to capture moments of triumph, struggle, and transcendence. Within
our group we:


Honor unheard, authentic and diverse voices;

Reach the hearts and minds of Americans who often are not included in organizing campaigns or town
hall meetings, transcending the polarization that marks so much public discourse;

Cultivate social imagination, helping people to envision positive changes in their communities and the
nation, to see past differences to common purpose and see themselves as part of the change;

Engage the earthshaking power of creativity in the service of national recovery.
Some of us focus on the arts’ power to call attention to possibility and generate hope. Some of us focus on
cultural development as a process that cultivates democracy through art and imagination, through shared
stories and an experience of our own creativity. Some of us focus on cultural recovery, putting artists to work
for the common good in communities across the country.
As artists and organizers we are interested in advancing public policies, generating ideas, raising the visibility

of key issues, and working collaboratively with the administration in support of its long-term goals. We have
a deep passion for social justice and experience in carrying out successful programs and campaigns. We see
this as a special moment of opportunity to be of service and advance the administration’s goals for national
recovery.

That the briefing is taking place is unprecedented acknowledgement from the White House that our work’s
value is being perceived, which we receive with gratitude and hope. We look forward to using our creative
muscle in collaboration with the Obama administration, making our mutual vision for change a reality. We
will meet after the briefing to immediately begin drawing on what we have learned to inform our strategies
for future action.

Caron Atlas, Claudine Brown, Arlene Goldbard & Billy Wimsatt


31 posted on 09/21/2009 4:57:13 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

32 posted on 09/21/2009 4:59:14 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

Is that what I think it is? Messiah in Urine?


33 posted on 09/21/2009 5:00:18 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers
I don’t go to links when the original post is so screwed up. Someone will post it later.

You have to sign up to download either the PDF or text file.

I didn't sign up.

34 posted on 09/21/2009 5:02:54 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

It’s art, baby, it’s art.


35 posted on 09/21/2009 5:03:44 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

Okay, rich text is posted. I just used my junk mail address.


36 posted on 09/21/2009 5:04:05 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: machogirl
Okay, rich text is posted. I just used my junk mail address.

Thank you!!

37 posted on 09/21/2009 5:04:45 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

They did speak about redefining “public art”. Wonder if they had this in mind? /s (only with Bush, Palin, Cheney, Rove, ...)


38 posted on 09/21/2009 5:05:13 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

de nada :)

now i don’t have to speak to myself on this thread anymore, yipee!


39 posted on 09/21/2009 5:05:57 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

Terms not found in this document:

Orchestra
Symphony
Opera (mentioned once in describing something else)
Concert
Classical (mentioned once in describing something else)
Chamber

Maybe I’m narrow-minded but there were a lot of people in this meeting, some of them “musicians” but nothing on this general topic?


40 posted on 09/21/2009 5:12:28 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

You are right. Only hip-hop type music.

I think Art has a place in Healthcare, that is for Adults and Kids that have chronic or terminal illnesses (or their family members do) it can be very therapeutic. Also waiting and hospital rooms can become more soothing. But I don’t think that they were talking about that. It’s how can Healthcare (SEIU) use Art to get Obama’s agenda passed? How can they use Art to respond to Republican talking points?

I agree with the guy who first wrote about this on biggovernment.com, these kind of politics have no place in the NEA (if we have to have the NEA).


41 posted on 09/21/2009 5:17:51 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

You know what they call urine in a water or milk jug?
“Trucker Bombs”.


42 posted on 09/21/2009 5:19:53 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: machogirl
It’s how can Healthcare (SEIU) use Art to get Obama’s agenda passed? How can they use Art to respond to Republican talking points?

Well if that's the case then I've misunderstood the discussion so far.

Of course they're not going to use classical music to get voters to support healthcare.

Unless they were smarter and realized that the demographics that support classical music are the seniors and those seniors would feel that a classical-themed campaign would probably give a more serious and responsible air to the entire issue.

But, like I said, they're not that smart.

43 posted on 09/21/2009 5:25:16 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

“talk about how the remarkable mobilizing power of community arts can be used by the Obama administration as a tool and a pathway for national recovery.”

Funny stuff. I talked to an old guy who was part of a crew that created “art” under FDR. (Forgot the name of the program.) Anyway, he and a large crew of “artists” created literally tons of art and paintings and especially sculpture work. He told me to take a trip to a warehouse in Milwaukee, and inside were hundreds of pieces of art, collecting dust and forgotten.


44 posted on 09/21/2009 5:35:55 AM PDT by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

By way of my incoherent posting due to lack of sleep. (got my youngest home with some type of flu), I don’t think that I was very clear.

This doc that I found on scribe, describes their entire agenda and using “Art” and the non-political (yea right) NEA. It was related to the “Conference call” story that Breitbart broke yesterday, and Glenn Beck spoke about last week. I just couldn’t believe that there had been any other meetings with the WH besides that conference call. This meeting happened on May 12, 2009. The conference call was in early August.

I know what Obama’s agenda is, or at least thought I knew. To read it in a WH briefing was astounding. (to me) Cronies were there, they described whom to form “relationships with” in the WH (Jarrett). Most of those on the list that I googled are far lefties with far lefty agendas.


45 posted on 09/21/2009 5:41:51 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: sergeantdave

In Phoenix, the city paid a couple hundred thousand for some concrete “pots” to adorn the tops of the freeway walls. I don’t even know if these are there anymore. It was a big waste of money and a lot of the talk radio hosts were making fun of it. This happened at least 10 years ago if not more.

When I was in high school, I did a Federal Program over the summer called YCC, Youth Conservation Corp. We made concrete picnic benches and tables for a soon-to-be park. The park never was and the next year when I drove out to look at it, the stuff was destroyed. One of the leaders of our group said that the Federal Govt. came in and wrecked it. Figures.


46 posted on 09/21/2009 5:46:36 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

It’s early. Maybe we’re *both* confused!

zer0’s agenda sucks and there is no place for the NEA to become the taxpayer-funded propaganda wing of the 0bama Project.

On that I think there is no confusion, right? :0)


47 posted on 09/21/2009 5:48:12 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

right-O ;)


48 posted on 09/21/2009 5:50:30 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: paulycy

I have not been drinking. ;)


49 posted on 09/21/2009 5:51:10 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: machogirl

For anyone wanting to know more about Buffy (since she’s in the news and maybe soon to be thrown under the bus) she’s engaged.

“ENGAGED: White House Office of Public Engagement Deputy Director Buffy Wicks and FERC policy hand Michael Kadish. Wedding is anticipated to be May 2010. They met on the campaign trail when he attended a “Camp Obama” session that she was leading. Mr. Kadish asked for Ms. Wicks’ hand during a recent trip to Sicily, Italy. While the two were having a romantic picnic, Mr. Kadish popped out the custom made ring and asked for Ms. Wicks to be his wife. After a couple of teary minutes, she gave the affirmative. People throughout the Administration, throughout Missouri, New York and California, and literally spanning the globe are sending best wishes to the couple. Get ready for toasts, parties, roasts, you name it. (hat tip: Debbie Mesloh, Ben Smith)”

Bittersweet engagement right now I’d say.


50 posted on 09/21/2009 6:26:03 AM PDT by machogirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson