The National Council On The Arts Gets Jingoistic With It

Dan Gibson | November 11, 2008 1:00 am

The National Council On The Arts was created in 1964, and it’s had members like Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Helen Hayes, Harper Lee, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Richard Rodgers, John Steinbeck, and Isaac Stern. The NCA advises the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and is appointed with deciding how grant money should be doled out. George W. Bush’s most recent appointment to the board is his attempt at a parting shot toward those highbrow elitists who think that “talent” is a more important quality in artists than “patriotism”: Lee Greenwood, who’s best (well, exclusively) known for his hit “God Bless The U.S.A.,” will start his four-year term with the council on Nov. 17. According to the council’s Web site, “The Presidential appointments, by law, are selected for their widely recognized knowledge of the arts or their expertise or profound interest in the arts. They have records of distinguished service or achieved eminence in the arts and are appointed so as to represent equitably all geographical areas of the country.” And here I thought Greenwood’s top qualification was “He’s generally available to mug his way through Republican events on short notice.” [LA Times]