I’m honored and delighted to be participating this month and next in Barry Hessenius’s six-week group blogging exercise on the future of the National Endowment for the Arts and federal cultural policy, billed as “likely the longest scheduled blog discussion ever attempted in our field.” This truly gargantuan enterprise, which officially launches on September 15, will involve the voices of some 40+ “panelists” from past NEA administrations, the funder community, arts service organizations, academia, the private sector, artists, and “emerging leaders” (under which umbrella you’ll find little ol’ me, in Week 4). Each of us will write responses to a particular series of questions for our assigned week, and continue to respond to our fellow panelists’ remarks throughout the week. I expect to pop in occasionally to add to the discussion during the other weeks as well. The list of participants is truly a who’s who of national arts leaders (many of them overlapping with Barry’s just-released ranking of the top leaders in the nonprofit arts sector), and it’s a truly exciting to have the opportunity to engage with them on such a substantive level. But that’s not the most exciting part — the most exciting part is that, since this is after all a blog panel, you will have the same opportunity as me to engage with the field’s leaders and help shape the debate. Barry reports that his blog has 10,000 subscribers, and I’m told that the new leadership at the NEA will be following along closely – so come, make the most of this chance to make your voice heard. Bookmark http://www.westaf.org/blog or add Barry’s Blog to your RSS reader to catch the action.
By Ian David Moss on September 2, 2009