Ivey calls for cultural equivalent to EPA

Posted on: July 26, 2010

In Sunday’s (7/25) Boston Globe, Drake Bennett writes how, according to former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey, “American culture is being taken over by powerful private forces and, as a result, fenced off from public use. … Ivey has an ambitious proposition: create what he calls a ‘cultural EPA.’ His vision is not a European-style culture ministry, but a federal agency that would make sure no one gained too much control over the nation’s cultural assets: Just as the Environmental Protection Agency was created to regulate any activity that exploited the nation’s environmental resources, so would a cultural EPA regulate activities that affect the nation’s cultural riches. … The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, he points out, helped solidify in the public mind the idea that a set of diverse concerns about resource extraction and dams and woodlands were actually part of a single larger issue that people began to call, simply, the environment. The creation of a cultural EPA, Ivey believes, would similarly unite seemingly disjointed issues and encourage the public to think in a cohesive way about the health, preservation, and accessibility of the nation’s cultural treasures.”

Posted July 26, 2010