Should the U.S. have a culture secretary?

Posted on: July 2, 2013

At the Atlantic Monthly website on Monday (7/1), Megan Garber writes about a recent discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival about whether the U.S. should have a Secretary of Culture. “The United States both recognizes and systematizes ‘the place of the artist’—think, for example, of the National Endowment for the Arts or the National Endowment for the Humanities. But does it do enough? Not according to Murray Moss. During a discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival , the industrial designer … argued that the United States should further systematize its support of art and culture—through, specifically, adding a Secretary of Culture to the presidential Cabinet…. Today, Moss noted, several European countries give grants and provide other types of support to their artists…. Yet ‘in America,’ Moss said, ‘we’re one of the few countries that doesn’t have a minister of culture, or a cabinet post.’ Moss’s is a design-focused spin on an argument Quincy Jones has been making, as well: in 2009, the producer started a campaign asking President Obama to appoint a Secretary of Culture. The idea, broadly, is that a cabinet position could ostensibly oversee grants to artists and designers.… At the moment, federal oversight of the arts crosses governmental branches.”

Posted July 2, 2013