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Full text of "The Arts and public policy in the United States : the sixty-seventh American Assembly, May 31-June 3, 1984, Arden House, Harriman, N.Y"

THE ARTS 

and 

PUBLIC POLICY 

in the 
UNITED STATES 



THE SIXTY-SEVENTH AMERICAN ASSEMBLY 
MAY 31 -JUNE 3, 1984 

ARDEN HOUSE, HARRIMAN, NY. 



The American Assembly 
Columbia University 



The volume The Arts and Public Policy in the United States (editor, 
W. McNeil Lowry), containing the chapters described on the next 
page, will appear in public print in the fall of 1984 and may be 
ordered from the publisher: Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 
NJ 07632. The telephone number is (201) 767-9520. 



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PREFACE 

On May 31, 1984, fifty-six men and women, drawn from the 
performing, graphic, plastic, and literary arts; from artistic direc- 
tion and administration; and from government, the universities, 
business, foundations, associations, critics, and patrons of the 
arts gathered at Arden House in Harriman, New York, for the 
Sixty-seventh American Assembly on The Arts and Public Policy 
in the United States for three days. The participants discussed 
the nature of public policy toward the arts in the United States, 
influences on that policy, vehicles for support of the arts, and 
the probable future of public policy. 

W. McNeil Lowry, formerly of The Ford Foundation, acted as 
director for this Assembly program and supervised the prepa- 
ration of papers that were used as background reading by the 
participants. Authors and titles of the papers which will be com- 
piled and published as a Prentice-Hall book entitled The Arts 
and Public Policy in the United States are: 

W. McNeil Lowry Introduction 

Stanley N. Katz Influences on Public Policies in 

the United States 
Perry T. Rathbone Influences of Private Patrons: 

The Art Museum as an Example 

Paul J. DiMaggio The Nonprofit Instrument and the 

Influence of the Marketplace on 
Policies in the Arts 

A Symposium Issues in the Emergence of Public 

Policy 
W. McNeil Lowry Conclusion 

Speakers during the Assembly were Dr. Howard Johnson, 
chairman emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- 
ogy; and Mr. Phillip Johnson, partner with John Burgee Ar- 
chitects. The Honorable Sidney R. Yates, United States 
Representative from Illinois, sent a message which was read 
to the participants by Mr. Lowry. 



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On June 3, 1984, following their discussion, the participants 
produced this report, which contains both assessments and 
recommendations. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions 
of The Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Mary 
Duke Biddle Foundation, The L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs 
Foundation, and The New York Community Trust, who helped 
sponsor this Assembly. They and The American Assembly, a 
national, nonpartisan, educational institution, have taken no 
stands on the subjects that were presented for public discus- 
sion. The participants spoke for themselves rather than for the 
institutions with which they are affiliated. 

William H. Sullivan 

President 

The American Assembly 



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FINAL REPORT 

of the 

SIXTY-SEVENTH AMERICAN ASSEMBLY 

At the close of their discussions the participants 
in the Sixty-seventh American Assembly, on The 
Arts and Public Policy in the United States, at Arden 
House, Harriman, New York, May 31-June 3, 1984, 
reviewed as a group the following statement. This 
statement represents general agreement; however, 
no one was asked to sign it. Furthermore, it should 
not be assumed that every participant subscribes 
to every recommendation. 



PREAMBLE 

The arts have been moving toward a more central place in 
our national priorities. Some significant steps remain to be taken 
before this goal is fully realized. The people of the United 
States— and not merely the artists and the institutions in the 
arts— need a more clearly understood public policy. American 
artists, in their role as citizens, may have no more urgent mis- 
sion than to take leadership in analyzing and expressing that 
policy. 

Public policy in the arts has its roots deep in our history. 
These roots are found in a mix of private and public influences 
coming from the artists themselves, from the voluntary socie- 
ties they use as instruments, and from the sources of 
patronage— private individuals, foundations, corporations, and 
now three levels of government. 

The participants in this Sixty-seventh American Assembly- 
artists, managers, official and lay leaders— find this mix of pri- 
vate and public influences desirable. It encourages the great 
diversity of the arts in a large and complex country. It provides 
for the decentralization of judgment, choice, and expression. 
It makes possible development of the new and the experimen- 



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tal. The more we have examined them, the more plainly do our 
country's policies in the arts reflect the pluralism and diversity 
in which our society evolved. 

In the diverse sources of patronage in the arts, we find also 
the best protection from the possibility of outside interference 
or control. We continue, therefore, to be heartened by the many 
voices in the society giving increased attention to the artists 
and to the needs of artistic organizations and groups. Clear 
public understanding of the central place of the arts is more 
important than any official national policy or any predetermined 
ratios in the mix of private and public support. 

There are many reasons for this view. The United States is 
a long way from reaching the limits of private or public 
patronage. Greater support must be motivated by the needs 
inherent in the artistic process and by the financial needs of 
artists and of institutions. An increasing tendency in arts insti- 
tutions and funding sources to rely upon earned income to 
bridge the gap between income and expenses risks compromis- 
ing the artistic process. 

The arts constitute one of America's great underused and 
vital resources. The insight and inspiration that our composers 
and musicians, our poets and novelists, our playwrights and 
actors, our choreographers and dancers, our painters, sculp- 
tors, architects, and photographers, our media artists, and 
others provide in our society are only a fraction of what would 
be possible if sufficient means were available. 

Sources of funding for the arts inevitably exert considerable 
influence in the formation of a public policy on the arts. The 
nature and extent of support from governmental units, foun- 
dations, corporations, and private patrons help determine public 
awareness of and participation in the arts. But other influences 
are equally important: the attitudes of national leaders, the ex- 
tent and quality of media attention, the values underlying the 
educational system, and the dynamics of the marketplace. 



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The most important of all influences on policy begins with 
the artistic impulse itself. The arts function in the national in- 
terest as a recorder of history and experience and as a force 
illuminating the human condition. The participants in this Sixty- 
seventh Assembly give conscious weight to the social, politi- 
cal, and economic uses of the arts, but we find the greatest 
priority in the intrinsic value of art itself. 



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

1 . We view with admiration the European traditions of fund- 
ing in which governments have historically made strong pub- 
lic commitments to the arts, but as the arts in the United States 
have matured we find that the dynamic relationship between 
public and private funding sources is more suited for the de- 
velopment of creativity and talent throughout our own diverse 
and plural society. 

2. One of the keys to public policy in the arts is in the hands 
of the daily and periodical press and particularly the large ur- 
ban newspapers widely syndicated across the country. The 
growing tendency for even the most noted of these to treat the 
arts predominantly as "entertainment," "leisure," or "style" often 
inhibits any real insight into the primary questions of private 
or public policy or even questions of the development of careers 
of artists. 

3. Appreciation of the arts is by and large developed through 
the educational system. The beginnings of attitudes and opin- 
ions about the importance of the arts have the same locus. We 
cannot hope to establish the centrality of the arts to this socie- 
ty or their value to the individual without a clear recognition 
of this fact. More support for the arts in education is needed, 
especially at the local level. 

4. The goal of universal access to and availability of the arts 
is an essential component of a public policy in the arts. We 



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recommend that, whenever feasible, lower admission prices, 
more even distribution of arts facilities, and greater recogni- 
tion of minority art forms all be encouraged. 

5. The mechanism of the nonprofit corporation remains to- 
day, as it has for seven decades, inseparable from the institu- 
tional life of the arts in this country. It is grounded in the 
recognition by federal and state governments that art as an ex- 
ercise in aesthetic inquiry, performance, and exhibition is in- 
herently deserving of tax exemption. In the life of nonprofit arts 
organizations, the "bottom line" should be defined as the value 
placed on the quality of the artistic experience. 

6. We have recognized that the artist must be more central 
in the formulation of public policy in the arts. To equip the art- 
ist and other spokespersons with information for this increased 
role, the arts service organizations should be encouraged to 
provide facts, figures, and information about government, foun- 
dation, and corporate programs. 

7. The federal government has expressed its commitment 
to the arts in the law establishing the National Foundation on 
the Arts and the Humanities. It is recommended that the ideas 
contained in that document be extended to a broad range of 
federal agencies for valuable social, educational, and economic 
programs involving the arts. 

8. While recognizing the critical importance of autonomy and 
diversity in the philanthropic programs of private and corporate 
foundations, we are hopeful that more systematic exchanges 
of information can help to guide their actions. 

9. The efficient management of the nonprofit organization 
must not divert its artistic objective, which must remain the 
province of the artistic director. An understanding of the 
fiduciary responsibilities of the trustees is essential for the direc- 
tor and artistic personnel, while genuine sensitivity to the crea- 
tive goals of the artists on the part of the trustees is absolutely 
vital. It is urgent that each element of the organization guard 



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against the erosion of high quality of performance and the in- 
tegrity of the artistic process. A collaborative relationship in the 
structure allows for growth and development of the art to which 
the institution as a whole is devoted. 

10. We are only beginning to experience the range of forms 
and shapes in which sight and sound can be electronically de- 
livered. We hope that artists, managers, and other sources of 
policy in the arts will take the utmost advantage of the radical 
changes in the media and in new information systems. But of 
equal importance is the imperative need to support the prima- 
cy of direct access to live performing and exhibiting spaces. 

11. Public television and radio are prime sources of dissemi- 
nation of the arts. They also advance the art of the media them- 
selves. If they are to survive, the government must assist in 
their support. We recommend speedy restoration of federal 
funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and 
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). We also encourage an em- 
phasis on regional programing. 

12. A fairly common deficiency of arts groups is the absence 
of a clear statement of purpose and a long view, both artisti- 
cally and financially. Planning is an important function, but too 
often financial planning by trustees and managers extends only 
to the annual rush to close the earnings gap. A more appropri- 
ate focus would be multiyear budgets and long-range plans 
for both arts organizations and funding sources. 

13. The record of the National Endowment for the Arts and 
of state arts agencies in avoiding political interference in fund- 
ing decisions has been good. Recent incidents, however, re- 
mind us that constant vigilance on this point is necessary to 
discourage any interference, especially in the support of ar- 
tists and of artistic groups presenting art with social or politi- 
cal content. 



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PARTICIPANTS 
THE SIXTY-SEVENTH AMERICAN ASSEMBLY 



ARTHUR G. ALTSCHUL 
Member, National Board 
Smithsonian Institution Associates 
Washington, D.C. 

ALBERTA ARTHURS 
Director for Arts & Humanities 
The Rockefeller Foundation 
New York, New York 

STEPHANIE BARRON 
Curator of Twentieth Century Art 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
Los Angeles, California 

CHARLES BENTON 
Chairman 
Public Media Inc. 
Wilmette, Illinois 

ALAN L. CAMEROS 
Chief Executive Officer 
Flanigan's 
Rochester, New York 

SCHUYLER CHAPIN 

Dean 

School of the Arts 

Columbia University 

New York, New York 

MARGARET COX 
Executive Director 
The Coca-Cola Foundation 
Atlanta, Georgia 

PHYLLIS CURTIN 

Dean 

School for the Arts 

Boston University 

Boston, Massachusetts 

KENNETH DAYTON 
Oakleaf Associates 
Minneapolis, Minnesota 

LAURA DEAN 
Founder & Artistic Director 
Laura Dean Dancers & Musicians 
New York, New York 

PAUL DIMAGGIO 

Executive Director 

Program on Nonprofit Organizations 

Yale University 

New Haven, Connecticut 

MARCIA DUE 
Photographer 
Amenia, New York 



LYMAN FIELD 
Past Chairman 
Missouri State Arts Council 
Kansas City, Missouri 

OFELIA GARCIA 

Director 

The Print Club 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

DONALD R. GREENE 

Secretary 

The Coca-Cola Company 

Atlanta, Georgia 

JAMES HINDMAN 

Assistant Director 

The American Film Institute 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the 

Performing Arts 
Washington, D.C. 

IAN HORVATH 
Founding Artistic Director 
Cleveland Ballet 
Cleveland, Ohio 

SARAH HUTCHISON 
Program Officer 
Hall Family Foundations 
Kansas City, Missouri 

C. BERNARD JACKSON 
Executive Director 
Inner City Cultural Center 
Los Angeles, California 

JOAN JEFFRI 

Adjunct Professor 

Program in Arts Administration 

School of the Arts 

Columbia University 

New York, New York 

t HOWARD JOHNSON 
Chairman Emeritus 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 

t PHILLIP JOHNSON 
Partner with 
John Burgee Architects 
New York, New York 

JON JORY 
Producing Director 
Actors Theatre of Louisville 
Louisville, Kentucky 



"Discussion Leader 
tDelivered Formal Address 



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ANNA KISSELGOFF 
Chief Dance Critic 
The New York Times 
New York, New York 

THOMAS LEAVITT 

Director 

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art 

Cornell University 

Ithaca, New York 

JOHN LION 

General Director 

Magic Theatre 

San Francisco, California 

W. MCNEIL LOWRY 
New York, New York 

MICHELLE LUCCI 
Principal Dancer 
Milwaukee Ballet Company 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

ROBERT F. LYKE 
Specialist in Education 
Congressional Research Service 
The Library of Congress 
Washington, D.C. 

RUTH MAYLEAS 
Program Officer 
Education & Culture Program 
The Ford Foundation 
New York, New York 

ROBERT MILLER 

Chairman 

Alaska State Council on the Arts 

Anchorage, Alaska 

RICHARD MITTENTHAL 
Vice President, Program 
The New York Community Trust 
New York, New York 

DONALD A. MOORE 
Executive Director 
Dance/USA 
Washington, D.C. 

HENRY MORAN 
Executive Director 
Mid-America Arts Alliance 
Kansas City, Missouri 

CHARLES PARKHURST 
Cod i rector 

Williams College Museum of Art 
Williamstown, Massachusetts 

PERRY T RATHBONE 
Senior Vice President & Director 
Museums Liaison 
Christie, Manson & Woods 

International, Inc. 
New York, New York 



DEBORAH REMINGTON 

Artist 

New York, New York 

SAMUEL SACHS II 

Director 

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 

J. MARK DAVIDSON SCHUSTER 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Urban Studies 

& Planning 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 

ELEANOR BERNERT SHELDON 
Former President 
Social Science Research Council 
New York, New York 

ANA STEELE 

Associate Deputy Chairman for 

Programs & Director of Program 

Coordination 
National Endowment for the Arts 
Washington, D.C. 

HOWARD STEIN 

Chairman 

Oscar Hammerstein II Center for 

Theatre Studies 
School of the Arts 
Columbia University 
New York, New York 

ROGER STEVENS 

Chairman 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the 

Performing Arts 
Washington, D.C. 

WILLIAM STEWART 
Managing Director 
Hartford Stage Company 
Hartford, Connecticut 

ELIZABETH SWADOS 
Composer & Playwright 
New York, New York 

ARNOLD SWARTZ 

Past Chairman 

Texas Commission on the Arts 

San Antonio, Texas 

MARCIA AT. THOMPSON 

President 

National Arts Stabilization Fund 

New York, New York 

VERONICA TYLER 
Soprano 

Metropolitan Opera 
Baltimore, Maryland 



Discussion Leader 
•Rapporteur 



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STERLING VANWAGENEN 
Executive Director 

Sundance Institute for Film & Television 
Salt Lake City, Utah 

ESTEBAN VICENTE 

Artist 

Bridgehampton, New York 

THOMAS WALTON 
Coordinator of History & Theory 
Department of Architecture & Planning 
The Catholic University of America 
Washington, D.C. 

RUTH WEISBERG 

Professor 

School of Fine Arts 

University of Southern California 

Los Angeles, California 

BARBARA WEISBERGER 
Founder & Director Emeritus 
Pennsylvania Ballet 
Kingston, Pennsylvania 

DAVID R. WHITE 
Executive Director & Producer 
Dance Theater Workshop 
New York, New York 

JESSIE A. WOODS 
Honorary Chairman 
Urban Gateways 
Chicago, Illinois 

PETER ZEISLER 

Director 

Theatre Communications Group Inc. 

New York, New York 



* Discussion Leader 



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ABOUT THE AMERICAN ASSEMBLY 

The American Assembly was established by Dwight D. Eisenhower at 
Columbia University in 1950. It holds nonpartisan meetings and publishes 
authoritative books to illuminate issues of United States policy. 

An affiliate of Columbia, with offices in the Sherman Fairchild Center, the 
Assembly is a national, educational institution incorporated in the State of 
New York. 

The Assembly seeks to provide information, stimulate discussion, and 
evoke independent conclusions on matters of vital public interest. 

American Assembly Sessions 

At least two national programs are initiated each year. Authorities are 
retained to write background papers presenting essential data and defining 
the main issues of each subject. 

A group of men and women representing a broad range of experience, 
competence, and American leadership meet for several days to discuss the 
Assembly topic and consider alternatives for national policy. 

All Assemblies follow the same procedure. The background papers are 
sent to participants in advance of the Assembly. The Assembly meets in small 
groups for four or five lengthy periods. All groups use the same agenda. At 
the close of these informal sessions participants adopt in plenary session 
a final report of findings and recommendations. 

Regional, state, and local Assemblies are held following the national 
session at Arden House. Assemblies have also been held in England, 
Switzerland, Malaysia, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Central 
America, the Philippines, and Japan. Over one hundred forty institutions have 
cosponsored one or more Assemblies. 

Arden House 

Home of The American Assembly and scene of the national sessions is 
Arden House, which was given to Columbia University in 1950 by W. Averell 
Harriman. E. Roland Harriman joined his brother in contributing toward adap- 
tation of the property for conference purposes. The buildings and surround- 
ing land, known as the Harriman Campus of Columbia University, are fifty 
miles north of New York City. 

Arden House is a distinguished conference center. It is self-supporting and 
operates throughout the year for use by organizations with educational 
objectives. The American Assembly is a tenant of this Columbia University 
facility only during Assembly sessions. 



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AMERICAN ASSEMBLY BOOKS 

1951— U.S. -Western Europe Relationships 

1952- Inflation 

1953— Economic Security for Americans 

1954— The U.S. Stake in the U.N. • The Federal Government Service (revised 1965) 

1955— United States Agriculture • The Forty-eight States (State Government) 

1956— The Representation of the United States Abroad (revised 1964) 

—The United States and the Far East (revised 1962) 
1957— International Stability and Progress • Atoms for Power 
1958-The United States and Africa (revised 1963) 

— United States Monetary Policy (revised 1964) 
1959— Wages, Prices, Profits, and Productivity 

—The United States and Latin America (revised 1963) 
1960— The Federal Government and Higher Education • The Secretary of State 
1961— Arms Control: Issues for the Public 

—Outer Space: Prospects for Man and Society (revised 1968) 
1962— Automation and Technological Change 

— Cultural Affairs and Foreign Relations (revised 1968) 

1963— The Population Dilemma (revised 1969) • The United States and the Middle East 
1964— The United States and Canada • The Congress and America's Future (revised 1973) 
1965— The Courts, the Public, and the Law Explosion 

—The United States and Japan (revised 1975) 
1966— The United States and the Philippines • State Legislatures in American Politics 

—A World of Nuclear Powers? • Challenges to Collective Bargaining 
1967— The United States and Eastern Europe • Ombudsmen for American Government? 
1968 — Law in a Changing America • Uses of the Seas • Overcoming World Hunger 
1969— Black Economic Development • The States and the Urban Crisis 
1970— The Health of Americans • The United States and the Caribbean 
1971— The Future of American Transportation • Public Workers and Public Unions 
1972— The Future of Foundations • Prisoners in America 
1973— The Worker and the Job • Choosing the President 
1974— The Good Earth of America • On Understanding Art Museums 

— Global Companies 

1975 — Law and the American Future • Women and the American Economy 
1976— The Nuclear Power Controversy 

—Jobs for Americans 

—Capital for Productivity and Jobs 
1977— Ethics of Corporate Conduct 

—The Performing Arts and American Society 
1978— Running the American Corporation 

— Race for the Presidency 

1979 — Energy Conservation and Public Policy 

— Disorders in Higher Education 
1980— Youth Employment and Public Policy 

—The Economy and the President 
—The Farm and the City 

— Mexico and the United States 
1981 -The China Factor 

— Military Service in the United States 

— Ethnic Relations in America 

1982— The Future of American Political Parties 

— Regrowing the American Economy 
1983— Financial Services 

—Technological Innovation in the Eighties 
1984— Alcoholism and Related Problems 

—The Arts and Public Policy in the United States 
—Canada and the United States 



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ife American Asscmmy 



Columbia University 



Trustees 

Arthur G. Altschul 
George W. Ball 
Charles Benton 
William Block 
Courtney C. Brown 
William P. Bundy 
John C. Burton, ex officio 
Bradley Currey, Jr. 
Robert H. Finch 
Janet C. Fleishhacker 
Roberto C. Goizueta 
Clifford M. Hardin 
Jerome H. Holland 
Sol M. Linowitz 
Kathleen H. Mortimer 
Fayez Sarofim 
Isabel V. Sawhill 
Eleanor Bernert Sheldon 
Michael I. Sovern, ex officio 
William H. Sullivan, ex officio 
Arthur R. Taylor, chairman 
Cyrus R. Vance 
Clarence C. Walton 

Officers 

William H. Sullivan, President 
David H. Mortimer, Vice President 
Robert White, Secretary-Treasurer 

Trustees Emeriti 
Milton S. Eisenhower 

W. AVERELL HARRIMAN 

J. Erik Jonsson 



New York 

New Jersey 

Illinois 

Pennsylvania 

New York 

New Jersey 

New York 

Georgia 

California 

California 

Georgia 

Missouri 

New York 

District of Columbia 

New York 

Texas 

District of Columbia 

New York 

New York 

New York 

New Jersey 

New York 

Pennsylvania 



Maryland 

District of Columbia 

Texas