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Lesson Plans

More on the NEA

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betti P. Longinotti (wsfcs-art)
Fri, 23 Oct 1998 21:13:24 -0400 (EDT)

Hi all-
Life has been busy, and I haven't kept up with as much of the
conversation as I like .... and I am almost afraid to enter this
conversation because it is so controversial, and I fear being lynched
but oh well here goes it anyway.
Funding from the NEA:
- I recently had written our favorite Senator Jesse Helms as the NC Art
Educator of the Year, to ask him to please support funding for the NEA.
You can expect what kind of letter I received back. In my letter I also
conveyed that I am in support of seeing decency standards in place for
projects funded by the NEA. I make this statement as a Christian, and
also from the perspective that taxpayers are sometimes supporting
projects that are highly offensive and some which should be classified
as pornogaphy, and perhaps not Art(s).
- I live in a city that has a contemporary art museum that showed
Maplethorpe, and was under alot of heat at one time (Hence our good
friend Jesse). Art, such as the "Piss Christ", grieve me personally,
and I can therefore understand why some of the general public, who don't
understand Art, get so heated. It is personally offensive, and
questions are then raised about why we are funding these artists.
- Yet this same museum has brought internationally acclaimed artists
into my classroom, and others too. These have been life changing and
life inspiring experiences for me and my students and would have not
been possible without the generousity of the NEA and other agencies.
- I suppose I am bias because I have been the benefactor of grants both
as an artist and educator. However I also feel very fortunate to have
been blessed with these immense opportunities that would have been
impossible without the NEA and other agencies. It makes me want to give
back to life... to Art.
- Though I feel encouraged... Treat yourself to a movie, go see "What
Dreams May Come" and delight in the visual feast. Enjoy the paintings
of Stephen Hannock that are immersed thoughout the film. I had the
opportunity to meet this artist in his studio, this past summer through
an art museum/university course I was taking. Again, this would have
not been possible for me without the scholarship the museum was able to
provide to me.
- Though I feel hopeful... I am interested in seeing "Pleasantsville",
because just from the movie's ads, I think it connotes the value that
Art can have for a culture. Isn't this what the NEA advocates for us...
the value that the arts places within and for our lives, culture and
society? As art educators shouldn't we stand within this Arts advocacy?

Artfully yours,
Betti P. Longinotti
K-12 Lead Art Teacher
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
on the www at: