Now that the national election appears to be on in earnest, it’s time for arts advocacy groups and arts supporters to begin holding elected officials accountable for their position on the arts and arts funding.
It’s no secret where the current administration stands on the arts: with its figurative shoe planted on its throat. Consequently, that choice should be self-evident.
But there are plenty of other political races to watch, such as Senator Martha McSally, who was appointed to a vacant seat even after losing a race for the state’s other Senate election in 2018.
If McSally’s name rings a bell, that’s because she has been a driving force behind efforts to gut the US Armed Forces music programs.
McSally has a consistent track record of open hostility toward military musicians and has no problem publicly denigrating their value and the music program’s mission. If elected to the Senate, she’ll be in an even stronger position to see her plans to fruition.
Given the number of new candidates throughout the country, it’s important to ask them about their position on arts and arts funding. If they don’t have an arts and culture platform, push them to get one. If they’re an incumbent, look into their NEA funding vote history.
Perhaps most importantly, be sure to do as much as you can to help register new voters and encourage them to vote safely.