NewsJul 3, 03:55 PM
Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
America tends to see its artists as visionaries, rebels, outsiders, and eccentrics. These long-standing stereotypes have become mainstays of popular culture—perhaps because they are so entertaining. A troubled dreamer, a footloose bohemian, or a charming deadbeat can steal the scene from any workaday character. Presented from whatever perspective—adoring, puzzled, bemused, or even hostile—these stereotypes almost always portray artists as outsiders, fascinating creatures who somehow manage to survive on the margins of society.
The purpose of the new NEA report, Artists in the Workforce, is to demonstrate—in cold, hard, unpoetic facts—that such caricatures misrepresent American artists and even contribute to their marginalization in society. The time has come to insist on an obvious but overlooked fact—artists are workers. They make things and perform services, just like other workers, and these goods and services have value—not merely in lofty spiritual terms but also in dollars and cents. Without denying the higher purposes of the artistic vocation, this report shows.
Complete summary: http://www.nea.gov/research/ArtistsInWorkforce_ExecSum.pdf
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