Obama for the Arts.

(Art from zeushadesposeidon)

It feels rather fitting. Here we are near the finish line, and the biggest reason I have been working so hard for Barack Obama has finally hit the interwebs big time.

Raymond J. Learsy spells it out on HuffPo.

As never before, in this century of instant communication and the dissemination of information, it is the culture of a people, of a nation that portends its influence and its standing throughout the world. Yes, armaments and weaponry still count, as does economic might, but who we are and what are our values are will have far greater impact in the minds of friend and adversary alike. And it is our art, our culture of today, playwrights and actors, our song writers and musicians, our choreographers and dancers, our poets and writers, our artists and museum curators, our filmmakers and our art visionaries of every kind. This is the America the world is keenly interested in learning more about, hearing, seeing, feeling, experiencing. It is also one of our great strengths. This is a talented and gifted land with vast reservoirs of energy to create and dream.

(Art from Le Silly)

As an artist, and even more as an art educator, I have never had this much hope in a presidential candidate. Barack Obama actually has a fully fleshed platform for the Arts:

To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has made this country great. To do so, we must nourish our children’s creative skills. In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education.

Unfortunately, many school districts are cutting instructional time for art and music education. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that the arts should be a central part of effective teaching and learning.

The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts recently said “The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.”

(Art from a35mmlife)

Yes, that quote is part of the official Obama platform. I did not write that myself, and I did not pull it from an Arts Education magazine. This campaign actually understands what is necessary to regain America’s creative spirit. And they plan to do something about it.

(Art from Rudloff)

I have been phone banking my ear off these last precious days, and I consistently get parents who agree with this stance. The schools are losing all the enhancement programs that give their children an expanded sense of self. Clubs and music and art and dance and drama programs are being thrown away because of the tragic Bush economy and the criminally short sighted focus on high stakes standardized tests. Parents know how limited their childrens’ education has become. It’s time to do something about it.

(Art from craynol)

Barack Obama’s plan has three specific tactics, but his strategy will encourage all of us to get creative with the solutions to the real “culture war”. Here are the three seeds.

Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will increase resources for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants, which develop public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. They will also engage the foundation and corporate community to increase support for public/private partnerships.

Create an Artist Corps: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support the creation of an “Artists Corps” of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities. Studies in Chicago have demonstrated that test scores improved faster for students enrolled in low-income schools that link arts across the curriculum than scores for students in schools lacking such programs.

Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education: As president, Barack Obama will use the bully pulpit and the example he will set in the White House to promote the importance of arts and arts education in America. Not only is arts education indispensable for success in a rapidly changing, high skill, information economy, but studies show that arts education raises test scores in other subject areas as well.

(Art from tsevis)

All of those are great ideas, and the Art Corps in particular sends exquisite chills through my body – directly to my creative spirit. And it gets me itching for the phone bank. We must win this, for our children and the cultural health of our nation. Hit the phones with me if you can. And, if you need yet another great reason for people to vote for Barack, stress the Arts.

We are on the right side of history, and it feels rather fitting that the final days of the campaign, for me, will be focused on this.

One last quote, from Raymond Learsy:

In Senator Obama’s opinion it appears the arts have become essential to reengage our standing in the world. According to an article in Bloomberg, he is the first White House contender to include a far- reaching arts-plank in his platform. Quoting Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of “Americans for the Arts” a highly respected Washington based arts advocacy group, “no presidential candidate in recent times has addressed cultural issues in such detail.”

(Art from january20th2009)


Filed under Politics

46 responses to “Obama for the Arts.

  1. Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Would you mind if I spotlight your spot?

  3. these are all really beautiful.

  4. Thanks, everyone.

    chamay… absolutely! Spotlight as loud as you wish!

  5. doug4obama

    Beautiful artwork!

  6. absolutely gorgeous artwork! all so very complex…I’m jealous I don’t own any, lol!

  7. Thanks for sharing such beautiful words and images. 🙂

  8. iandotcom

    I’ve seen a lot of beautiful artwork from this Election season, especially those in support of Barack Obama. There’s some really nice artwork out there and in here.

    It’s nice to hear that he cares about the artists and creative minds of the country.

  9. jiovanni

    Awesome work. He has inspired so many artists and in a way, helped artists come out from a sea of obscurity.

  10. letscallthis

    Yet another excellent artist with an Obama themed work is Justin Bua, whose work can be found at justinbua.com.

  11. Ah, excellent and thank you for sharing. It has been a pleasure to interact with you. The past year has been interesting and eye opening.

    Barack Obama inspires all of us to do our best. It is all positive.

  12. Yes I did, since I love what you are doing. Here’s the link to how I spotlight you http://chamay0.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/spotlight-that-is-so-beautiful/. You are beautiful and I thank you for coming to my site.

  13. Fantastic news. I wasn’t aware of Obama’s position on this. Actually, I wouldn’t have dreamt either candidate would have a position on the Arts or Arts education. Amazing!

  14. realtalkdesign

    You can never go wrong by promoting creativity, viva Obama!

    However, that unicorn in the water piece is pretty disturbing…

  15. Disturbing unicorns for the win!

  16. dummidumbwit

    Excellent, thanks for sharing!!!!

  17. Denise ThatOneFromMSgaAZca

    From the experience of this artist, nurse, and mom, the arts teach critical thinking and process over product. These dual merits make art vital to improve our national education system.

  18. Promoting the arts makes a lot of economic sense. Typical manufacturing products tend to leave the community as an export and to depreciate with time. Artistic products, by contrast, are more likely to remain in local hands, and to increase in value over time.

    Artistic initiatives can even help isolated communities and moribund industries.

    Here is one story of a small Oregon town with a growing cluster of bronze foundries:

  19. henriettadrinker

    I love the Obama art! Promoting art (and science, and green technology)……yeah, I can dig it.

  20. What a beautiful blog. I am dumbstruck by the potential before us. Bless all of you working so hard and may a new creative spirit liberate this country beginning in January 2009.

  21. *Screech* So exciting!!! This is so incredibly cool and so freaking awesome, and thank you SO much for publishing this information.

    We have Obama for president!!! High-five to the world!

  22. prashantsajiv

    Insane stuff mate. Keep it up.

  23. Liz

    Thanks for the comment and sharing your link. Very cool stuff!

  24. littleblueworld

    How inspiring. I hope that he follows through. It would be nice to have a president and a country that recognizes artists as contributing and valid members of society, rather than the bums and leeches the right makes them out to be.

    Yes, we did. 🙂

  25. Velcrow Ripper

    Fantastic! What an amazing, exciting time to be an artist ~ and to be a human being.

  26. donderhead

    It’s amazing that someone actually made the arts such an important part of their platform.

    People don’t realize that art is what generations ahead of us will remember, not the score of last week’s Cowboys game…

  27. mrdixieboy

    Your page and passion for what you do is amazing!

  28. I loved it. Because Obama’s voice stretches over to the other side of the Atlantic, here’s mine…


    Y’all be a nice nation now. 😉

  29. Awesome.

    Obama represents the “heart” energy that has been missing from our lives and that energy is all intermingled with our creative energy. And that’s why “they” resist it, it’s why they don’t value it (reflected in the oppression of women, and the pushing down of our emotions) — it’s all that frilly, useless, impractical, feminine stuff, heh 😉 .

    But, oddly enough (heh), we ARE our creativity, our heart, our “intuition.” That energy comes from that “female” part of us, a most powerful part of us. So, understandably, when we do away with (deny, hate, push down) that significant part of ourselves, we rapidly move toward our own destruction (which includes our world, and each other).

    When we plug into every aspect of her, embrace and allow this “female” (heart, intuition, creativity — all of which dance together) aspect of us to be, we empower ourselves — we heal, we thrive. When we ignore “her,” we slowly die (our world is at that critical point now).

    So yeah, it’s about teaching the “good ole boys” that Art (music, our creativity…) is very not impractical. That in fact it is crucial for our survival. It’s crucial for us to thrive, to be healthy. It heals us at our core.

    We create, each of us, it’s what we do, it’s what we are… Helping the world understand this, that’s Job One 🙂


  30. luminaria

    Thanks for this. The art here inspires and conveys what words can’t.

  31. myronj906

    I’m glad you commented otherwise I could have possibly never seen this.

    Initially, I scrolled through and looked through all of the pictures, and then I decided to actually go back up and read about what was being said.

    and it’s true, the focus on the arts has been shrinking more and more each year. It’s to the point that art classes in my local schools are generally where people go just for an easy grade.

    Not because they’re creative and not because they care. I’m just glad that someone’s trying to bring them back.

  32. 3 Chopsticks

    Wow awesome! I love the Obama art – very original. Keep the passion up!

  33. mike0488

    Awesome dude. Just too awesome. Thanks for your comment on my blog.

  34. cascastheexplorer

    Thanks for the comment, it’s so interesting and funny….I just wrote an article about an art gallery in Paris called “Dorothy’s Gallery” which is running an exhibit dedicated strictly to Obama with sculptures, paintings, drawings, music, and more. Went by the other day…great stuff.

  35. Let’s hope this plank in the platform isn’t torn out due to budget cuts or some other crisis. Art and creativity can win out.

  36. cafesmitty

    Thanks for leading me here. I can’t think of anything more important than freedom of expression. I am big fan of philosophy and we now have a philosopher as president, a thinker, a writer who values what a lot of artists do. I find this pieces on your site, beautiful. Welcome back to the light, it’s nice to be out of the shadows of the last 8 years.

  37. blueaura

    thanks for visiting my blog. your artwork is very impressive! and your passion for obama is good to see. i hope he will deliver on at least a few of his promises, and i hope he’ll be successful in undoing some of the damage done to this country and the world in the last 8 years.


  38. Wonderful artwork. I am quite hopeful that Obama’s position on the arts will bring an environment full of aesthetic experience!

  39. It is Friday. We have a fabulous President Elect!

    And now that I have found this blog, and your inspiring blog post, I think I have discovered how I might contribute.

    Thank you so much. I had long ago stopped thinking of the arts as something the powers that be cared about.

  40. the labrynth or maze in salmon caught my eye the most. very good shot in my opinion. all other works are spectacular as well. keep going!

    & thank-you for your beautiful comments!

    peace, light & love,

    life’s natural bookcraft:.

  41. dummidumbwit

    He wouldn’t be President w/o rating a Mad cover?

  42. Oh man, that is so sweet. Thanks!

  43. asprinta

    Very nice artwork!! All of it is poster-worthy. You know, after listening to the first debate, I knew McCain-Palin didnt have a chance. Sure, they would win the hardcore republican states, but I just knew that Barack would win. And not just because he’s black, but because he knew what he was talking about and had a legitimate platform.

  44. dummidumbwit

    He likes Spiderman so a Peter Parker/Obama/Spiderman fusion?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s