Covert Ops: blogger’s conspiracy theory has NEA funding individuals through artistic excellence awards

by Bill Davenport July 21, 2011

Real Clear Arts applauds what it sees as the NEA’s back-door efforts to get public money into the hands of individual artists through residency programs, after their direct grants fell victim to Jesse Helms and the culture wars of the 1990’s. NEA chief Rocco Landesman has said that he would like the agency to once again fund individuals, and RCA blogger Judith Dobrzynski theorizes that the upswing in Access to Artistic Excellence awards are a covert artist-funding initiative.  In 2011 the NEA granted artist-supporting orgs in Texas including Artpace, Blue Lapis Light, Inc., Chinati Foundation  Project Row Houses, and Glasstire (they’re supporting me!). By contrast, things are more straightforward for writers: Houston poets Anna Journey and Ashley Capps each got $25,000 literature fellowships, directly.

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