The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, after weeks of criticism, has conceded that a conference call that seemed to mix politics and discussions of NEA grant-making was "not appropriate" and confirmed that its former communications director, Yosi Sergant, has been "relieved of his duties" as a result.
“I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service," Sergant said on the call with artists who support Obama. “And then my ask would be to apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities utilities and bring them to the table.”
A conservative artist on the call complained that the NEA was breaking tradition by mixing politics and the arts, and the NEA -- and the White House -- evidently agree.
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman sought to "clarify" the situation in a statement through a spokeswoman promising that politics would stay out of the business of making grants, and including these three points: (continues here)