BIG HOLLYWOOD: The NEA vs. the Facts

ByPatrick Courrielche

On August 25, I published an article discussing a conference call hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve that invited a group of art community luminaries "to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda-- health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal."

In the article I argued that it was not the role of the National Endowment for the Arts to use the arts to address specific issues, especially those of "health care" and "energy and environment" that are being vehemently debated nationally. I also clearly indicated that I was invited by the NEA and questioned their involvement in a meeting of this nature.

Two days later an article was published in The Washington Times that referenced my account of the conference call. Kerry Picket reported in the article that she "asked the NEA for a copy of the invitation to the conference call, but Communications Director for the NEA Yosi Sergant told us that they were not the ones who sent out the invitations for the conference call." Picket continues, "Mr. Sergant directed us to the Corporation for National and Community Service as the body that sent out the invitations."

Patrick Courrielche is a filmmaker, marketer and art community consultant based in Los Angeles. Click here to read his complete column on Big Hollywood.