The Grades Are In!
U.S. Senators Evaluated on Their Support for the Arts
October 31, 2010Did you ever bring home a bad grade on a report card as a kid? What about an F in the arts? Hard to imagine. Well, according to the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, U.S. Senators weren't graded on their paintings or musical scales, but many managed to fail the arts — and some failed while the other Senator in their state received an A or B.
The Arts Action Fund graded members of the U.S. Senate on their support for the arts, using criteria like casting votes in support of the arts, joining the Senate Arts Caucus, and more.
Whether they blatantly speak out against the arts, say they support the arts and then vote another way, or simply don't know the economic role the arts play and the well-being they provide in their state, each of the 12 Senators they featured received an F grade on their support for the arts.
Sadly, there are more than 12 Senators who failed the arts this year. In fact, there are 28 who received an F on their Congressional Arts Report Card. They include:
• TN — Lamar Alexander (R) — Grade C
• TN — Bob Corker (R) — Grade F
• VA — Mark Warner (D) — Grade B
• VA — James H. Webb (D) — Grade B+
Unlike the report card you used to bring home though, an F grade affects more than just these Senators or their states. Failing the arts as a Senator means failing the arts for the whole country. It is the support of the arts at the federal level that helps the arts in your community, and communities across the country, thrive.
Senators had three opportunities to vote on the arts during the past two years – from ensuring jobs and infrastructure projects in the arts could receive economic stimulus funds to supporting public art around our nation's highways to ensuring museums received federal funds.
In addition, Americans for the Arts has a new release called "Same State, Different Story" about how senators from the same state are remarkably different when it comes to their support for the arts.
There are also many who aced their support of the arts and should be commended.
Let your senators know how you feel about their arts grades or use Facebook to share with friends and help spread the word. Make your views known here.
Sadly, there are more than 12 Senators who failed the arts this year. In fact, there are 28 who received an F on their Congressional Arts Report Card.