Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Musing: Electoral futures

In today's brief musing I want to draw your attention to a piece by Philip Kennicott in yesterday's Washington Post.

In "Would Donald Trump make art great again?" Kennicott pens a short scenario of what the arts might be like under a Trump presidency. Given that candidate Trump hasn't made any specific policy pronouncements about the arts, Kennicott's sketch focuses on how public attitudes might be affected by the kinds of statements Trump has made, and his general attitude about civic discourse.

Some of the developments Kennicott envisions in this future include:

  • Vandals targeting a gallery showing art that satirizes the new president
  • Threats to federal funding of the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art
  • Cultural leaders self-censoring exhibits and performances that might provoke Trump supporters
  • A growing gap between "preservationists" who advocate hunkering down to defend arts funding until the next election and "purists" who argue that arts leaders have an obligation to resist the "new authoritarianism."

Give it a read. What elements of this scenario do you find plausible? Implausible? What do you think the arts would be like under a Clinton presidency? While there are only 77 days until the election, a little future thought might help you prepare your organization for the outcome. 

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