In addition to heading the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia (pronounced JOY-ah) is the author of several collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon. He has also translated the poetry of Italian Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale. Before he quit to become a poet, Gioia was a vice president at General Foods.
Actress Jane Alexander talks about her 4 years as Chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts. She served from 1993 through 1997 when the GOP controlled Congress targeted the agency for budget cuts. She was the first artist to head the NEA. Alexander has returned to acting and is writing a book on her experiences at the NEA.
House speaker Newt Gingrich has called for abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts. We discuss the pros and cons of federal funding of the arts with two guests. Art critic Hilton Kramer is the founder of the Arts Magazine, "The New Criterion," and is former chief art critic for The New York Times. He's against federal funding for the arts. John Brademas is Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and former Democratic Congressman from Indiana. He also helped write the legislation that created the NEA.
We explore the current controversies over the NEA with Lynn Munson, former Special Assistant to Chairman Lynn Cheney at the NEA and current Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute, and Paul Goldberger, The New York Times' Chief Cultural Correspondent.
Serrano's 1987 photograph, "Piss Christ," showed the figure of Christ on a cross in a pool of urine. It was one of the controversial art works which provoked a storm from the political-right. His work was denounced on the Senate floor by Senator Jesse Helms, who then began a crusade against the National Endowment for Arts. Serrano has a new exhibit of photographs taken of dead bodies, called "The Morgue."
A Bush apointee, Frohnmayer ran the National Endowment for the Arts from 1989 until last May, when he was asked to resign. Frohnmayer was routinely attacked by the religious right for giving grants to what it deemed "obscene" art. He also angered many who thought he didn't question enough the administration's pandering to the right. Since his resignation, he's become a strong advocate for the First Amendment.
Jon Robin Baitz is a playwright who was awarded a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). While he has accepted the money, he has turned around and donated the exact amount to the two institutions that were recently turned down by the NEA's acting Chairwoman, Anne-Imelda Radice.
The political journalist is a former Jesuit seminarian and professor of public policy at Northwestern University. His new book is called Under God. It's a collection of essays about the frequent collison of politics and religion in America.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Stephan Salisbury talks with Terry about the most recent news regarding the National Endowment for the Arts. The agency has been re-authorized by Congress, but some artists aren't satisfied by its revised provisions.
Philadelphia Inquerier reporter Stephan Salisbury has the latest on the government debate of the NEA. The House of Representatives has voted to drop the anti-obscenity pledge as a requirement for artists to receive funding.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Stephan Salisbury discusses the internal reforms that are redefining the mission of the National Endowment for the Arts, including an elimination of smaller grants and a reconsiderations of what topics and images are acceptable. In the long term, such changes may influence facts Congressional action.
Performance artists Karen Finley and Holly Hughes, whose work is often sexual and political in nature, recently had their NEA grants vetoed, despite a recommendation by the organization's peer review board. Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Stephan Salisbury speaks to Fresh Air about the controversy.
Artist David Wojnarowicz (voy-nah-ro-vich). His work has twice been the cause of controversy, once, when a political essay accompanying his work caused the NEA to suspend funding to a gallery, and more recently, when a conservative organization excerpted parts of his work to dramatize what it calls pornographic art. Wojnarowicz is now suing that organization for copyright infringement and libel.