May 29 -June 1,1997
Harriman, New York
THE AMERICAN ASSEMBLY
This report is a public document
and may be reproduced without permission.
On May 29, 1997, seventy-eight men and women gathered at
Arden House, in Harriman, New York, for the Ninety-second
American Assembly entitled "The Arts and the Public Purpose."
The participants included artists, arts executives, critics, busi-
ness men and women, foundation officers, academics, politicians,
and policy makers — from all over the country; from the commer-
cial, not-for-profit, and "unincorporated" worlds; and from the
left, middle, and right of politics. (This Assembly used the word
"unincorporated," to reflect a range of citizen-based, often avoca-
tional, arts in their many manifestations.) Consistent with The
American Assembly's meeting format, the participants represent-
ed a broad spectrum of views and interests.
For three days the participants examined the arts as a sector in
American life and the extent to which the arts meet the public
purposes of the American people. This Assembly then identified a
number of measures that, if implemented, would enable artists
and artistic enterprises both to meet public purposes better and
Frank Hodsoll, former chair of the National Endowment for the
Arts, and Alberta Arthurs, former director for Arts and
Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation, served as co-chairs.
Daniel Ritter, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on
Education, Arts, and Humanities, was the director of this
Assembly. Margaret J. Wyszomirski, professor of political science
and director of the Arts Management Program at Case Western
Reserve University, served as the chair of the project's steering
Joni Maya Cherbo was the research director for this Assembly;
the titles of the commissioned essays and commentaries that she
edited are listed at the end of this report. The Assembly expects
these essays to be published as a book, which will be edited by
Joni Maya Cherbo and Margaret J. Wyszomirski. In addition,
eighty not-for-profit and commercial service organizations and
trade associations were asked to identify short- and long-term
issues in their fields; their helpful responses and materials were
bound as a book for the participants. The participants also
received a book of previously published articles and essays select-
ed from publications throughout the nation that related to the
issues in their discussions.
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. will publish a book by the
project's co-chairs, Alberta Arthurs and Frank Hodsoll, on
the central issues of this Assembly.
During the Assembly, participants heard three panel presenta-
tions, which provided additional background and informed the
participants' discussions. The first panel set the parameters for
the meeting and was moderated by Daniel Ritter, with Alberta
Arthurs, Alison Bernstein, Frank Hodsoll, and Margaret J.
Wyszomirski. The second, entitled "Commercial and Not-for-
profit Arts Nexus," was moderated by Mark Rosenthal and
included Jane Alexander, Harvey Lichtenstein, David Henry
Hwang, and William Ivey as panelists. The last, on "Views from
the Field," was moderated by William Honan, with panelists Sam
Campana, Jeffrey Cunard, Murray Horwitz, and Maria-Rosario
Jackson. At the final evening plenary session, there were presen-
tations by Robert Pinsky, poet laureate of the United States, and
Pat Alger, songwriter and recording artist.
We gratefully acknowledge funding support for this project by:
The Ford Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
The J. Paul Getty Trust
The Henry Luce Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation
Thomas S. Kenan, III Institute for the Arts
The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The Overbrook Foundation
The New York Times Company Foundation
Time Warner Inc.
We would like to express our appreciation for the fine work of
the discussion leaders and rapporteurs in guiding participants in
their sessions and preparing the first draft of this report; Jeffrey
Cunard, Catherine French, William Glade, Nicolas Kanellos,
Kevin Mulcahy, and Barbara Robinson were indispensable. We
owe our special gratitude to the project's co-chairs, Alberta
Arthurs and Frank Hodsoll, and the chair of its steering com-
mittee, Margaret J. Wyszomirski, for the work that they did in
bringing the report to its final form.
The American Assembly takes no position on any subjects pre-
sented here for public discussion. In addition, it should be noted
that the participants took part in this meeting as individuals and
spoke for themselves rather than for the organizations and
institutions with which they are affiliated.
The text of this report is available on The American Assembly's
home page on the World Wide Web (www.columbia.edu/ cu I
amassembly I ') , along with information about other Assembly
David H. Mortimer
The American Assembly
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries
NINETY-SECOND AMERICAN ASSEMBLY
At the close of their discussions, the participants in the
Ninety-second American Assembly, on "The Arts and the
Public Purpose," at Arden House, Harriman, New York, May
29 - June 1, 1997, reviewed as a group a preliminary draft of
this report. While not everything that follows was endorsed by
everyone, this report reflects general agreement as to the
results of this Assembly.
The Arts and the Public Purpose
The Arts in American Life. The Ninety-second American
Assembly defined the arts inclusively — in a spectrum from
commercial to not-for-profit to volunteer, resisting the conven-
tional dichotomies of high and low, fine and folk, professional and
amateur, pop and classic. This Assembly affirmed the interde-
pendence of these art forms and the artists and enterprises that
create, produce, present, distribute, and preserve them, and
underscored, in particular, the interdependence of the commer-
cial and not-for-profit arts.
This Assembly saw the arts sector as a large, ubiquitous, eco-
nomically and socially significant aspect of American public life,
comparable in scale and importance to other sectors of American
life, such as the health, education, and science sectors.
The Public Purposes of the Arts. The Ninety-second
American Assembly identified the broad public purposes served
by the arts and the specific ways in which the arts can and do
meet the needs of the nation and of all Americans. Specifically,
this Assembly identified four public mandates addressed by
1. The arts help to define what it is to be an American — by
building a sense of the nation's identity, by reinforcing the
reality of American pluralism, by advancing democratic
values at home, and by advancing democratic values and
2. The arts contribute to quality of life and economic growth —
by making America's communities more livable and more
prosperous, and by increasing the nation's prosperity at
home and abroad.
3. The arts help to form an educated and aware citizenry — by
promoting understanding in this diverse society, by develop-
ing competencies in school and at work, and by advancing
freedom of inquiry and the open exchange of ideas and
4. The arts enhance individual life — by encouraging individual
creativity, spirit, and potential; and by providing release,
relaxation, and entertainment.
The Arts Sector. The Ninety-second American Assembly
found that the arts sector — commercial, not-for-profit, and unin-
corporated — is enormous. A conservative estimate puts consumer
spending on the arts in 1995 at roughly $180 billion, or 2.5
percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If all copyright
industries are included, these numbers roughly double.
This Assembly also found that, notwithstanding the arts
sector's size, investment and jobs in it are risky. Even in the
commercial world, very few arts products make money. Not-for-
profit organizations have to raise half their revenues through
contributions and grants. "Unincorporated" groups rely on volun-
teers. Only about 25 percent of artists work full time at their art,
and the vast majority of them make considerably less than other
professionals and lack basic health and other benefits.
Yet, all Americans attend, consume, encounter, or create some
kind of art each year. The largest proportion of this participation
appears to be through the media, and this is so whether the art
derives from the not-for-profit or commercial worlds. This
Assembly found that cooperation between the commercial and
not-for-profit worlds can reduce the barriers to access for
American audiences, and that the new technologies, especially
the Internet, are becoming increasingly important in this respect.
The Arts Sector and Public Purposes. The Ninety-second
American Assembly found that all three parts of the arts sector
contribute, in major and varying ways, to the public purposes
that it identified.
This Assembly, however, singled out a number of opportunities
that could dynamically increase the arts sector's capacity to
achieve public purposes. These included: (i) a more overt and con-
tinuous commitment of time and resources by artists and arts
organizations to public purposes; (ii) increased collaboration
across the component parts of the arts sector to this end; (iii)
greater attention to the arts sector's general financial security
and to funding that advances public purposes; (iv) improved
means of distribution and dissemination to provide access for all
Americans to a full range of the arts at reasonable cost; (v)
renewed attention to, and funding for, preservation of America's
artistic heritage; (vi) improved educational programs in the arts;
(vii) increased and improved data, research, and analysis to
support the development of arts policies; and (viii) better collabo-
ration and coordination among advocates and professionals in
support of public policies to these ends.
Recommendations. The Ninety-second American Assembly
identified a number of ideas that, if implemented, would help
artists and artistic enterprises both to meet public purposes and
to flourish. There was consensus that all those represented at
this Assembly would need to work together if real progress were
to be made.
1. Artists and arts institutions — commercial, not-for-profit,
and unincorporated — should consider and devote time and
resources explicitly to achieving public purposes.
2. Partnerships among the commercial, not-for-profit, and
unincorporated parts of the arts sector should be developed
and expanded, to enhance its capacity to achieve public
3. Foundations, corporations, individual benefactors, commer-
cial arts organizations, regions, states, localities, and the
federal government should work together to develop strate-
gies (i) to ensure a larger measure of financial stability for
serious artists and arts organizations throughout the arts
sector, and (ii) to stimulate the diverse range of arts activi-
ties that address public purposes in American life.
4. Public and private funders, commercial arts distribution
entities, and government agencies should (i) make noncom-
mercial arts products more accessible to the general public,
(ii) help geographically disadvantaged communities get
greater access to the arts and share their community arts
outside their communities, and (hi) promote the use of new
technologies for making the arts accessible.
5. Additional and specifically earmarked public and private
funds should be identified (i) to inventory current preser-
vation efforts, (ii) to develop a code of "best practices" in
preservation, and (iii) to recognize living, contemporary
artists as critical to America's artistic heritage.
6. America's education and arts communities should make the
fullest possible range of resources available to provide
serious and rigorous arts education to young people (K-12),
adults and to older citizens. The scope of arts education
should be expanded to include the design and media arts,
media literacy, and dance movement.
7. Arts professionals, arts service and trade associations,
policy professionals, universities, and public policy insti-
tutes should collaborate on data collection, research, and
analysis on the arts sector and on arts policy.
8. The commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated parts of
the arts sector should collaborate in pursuing government
policy objectives that further the sector's interests.
9. The arts sector should continue the dialogue begun at this
Assembly — at annual association meetings and specially
convened and targeted meetings, including possibly a
national meeting of leaders from the federal government
and all segments of the arts sector.
We have come together to examine what public purposes are
served and ought to be served by the arts in America, in all
their grand variety. In limited measure, we reflect that variety.
We come from large commercial enterprises, small not-for-profit
organizations, and private workrooms. We are community work-
ers and executives of media conglomerates, poets and Broadway
producers, critics and politicians, choreographers and professors,
architects and public officials, philanthropists and movie stars.
We have struggled across differences, politics, and aesthetic
perspectives, and together have concluded that there are public
purposes to the arts in America that we all share, indeed that all
Americans share. We have specific proposals to strengthen the
ways the arts can fulfill these purposes, and we have prepared
this report to set them forth.
At this American Assembly, we have tried to find our common
concerns and hopes. What may be most significant about our
endeavor is the cooperation that it represents. Our intent was to
find fresh ground for discourse about the role and place of the arts
in American life, and to place the arts in full perspective.
Whatever the responses to the individual recommendations in
this report, three important points must not go unnoticed. First,
we insist on a recognition that the arts include the whole spec-
trum of artistic activity in the United States — from Sunday
school Christmas pageants to symphony orchestras to fashion
design to blockbuster movies. Second, we firmly acknowledge the
interdependence of all parts of the arts sector — noting particular-
ly the links between the commercial and not-for-profit parts.
Third, we affirm that the arts do serve public purposes and,
therefore, are of benefit and concern to all of us. We pledge our-
selves to the reinforcement of the interdependence of all the arts
and to the public purposes that they serve. We also call on others
to join us in these efforts.
THE ARTS IN AMERICAN LIFE
The arts in America derive in unique ways from the pluralism
of our society, and from many traditions — preserved, imported,
wedded, and put into collision — that originate here and in every
country on earth. America's arts are as diverse as rhythm & blues
and symphony orchestras, movies and mambo, abstract expres-
sionism and the dozens, singing commercials and stand-up come-
dy, Charlie Parker and Georgia O'Keeffe, advertising logos and
Bruce Springsteen, Balanchine and Bill "Boj angles" Robinson,
Superman and Carlos Santana, Buster Keaton and the Vietnam
War Memorial. As happily profane as Harpo and as sacred as a
kachina doll, as eclectic as jazz itself, as unpredictable as the
rhythms of William Carlos Williams, as sweeping as Oklahoma,
our national art, as an immeasurable whole, remains a form or
motion, rather than any kind of stasis or purity.
The arts in our country celebrate and preserve our national
legacy in museums, concert halls, parks, and alternative spaces;
they also inhere in the objects and buildings we use every day,
and in the music we listen to in our cars, workplaces, homes, and
streets. They calm us and excite us, they lift us up and sober us,
and they free our spirit from the relentless mill of daily obliga-
tions; they entertain as well as instruct us; they help us
understand who we are as individuals, as communities, and as a
people. Their beauty or rage can fill us with emotion. In grief or
celebration, and also in the subtler modes of irritation, amuse-
ment, sexiness, or depression, in great works or in the humblest
objects or diversions, they tell our personal and national stories.
Through them, Americans examine their national unity and
Participation in the arts is a treasured American activity. An
overwhelming majority of Americans personally take part in the
creation or presentation of art. Americans have accorded a place
to all of the arts. Indeed, the arts are so pervasive that we are not
always conscious that we are engaging in them when we are.
"The arts," as this description makes clear, are defined broadly
by this Assembly.
They include the not- ^he arts"...are defined
for-profit arts and the broadly _ they include the not-
commercial arts, as t? . n
well as the range of for-profit... commercial... and
citizen arts that is "unincorporated" arts....
referred to as "unin-
corporated" — community, avocational, traditional, or folk arts,
the indigenous arts in their many manifestations. This Assembly
resisted calling up the conventional dichotomies that have
separated the arts into high and low, fine and folk, professional
and amateur, insisting, instead, on a full spectrum concept of an
In developing this fresh concept of the arts spectrum, this
Assembly offers an associated concept: that a fully functioning,
flexible arts sec-
tor is institution- ...a fully functioning, flexible arts
ahzed within our se ctor...should figure in public
society, and that -. -. , ..-. r -, ,
this sector should debates with a force...equal to
figure in public that of other sectors...
debates with a
force and importance equal to that of other sectors, such as
science, health, transportation, and education. The arts sector
does not have this status yet. But the participants in this
Assembly are in agreement that the arts do attend dynamically
to the public purposes of the nation, and that the missions and
the contributions of the arts should be recognized and reinforced
with due seriousness. It is the relationship between the arts and
the public interest of all Americans that this Assembly identified
THE PUBLIC PURPOSES OF THE ARTS
Typically, arts issues have been addressed in terms of the needs
of the arts and artists. In contrast, this Assembly presents find-
ings based on a very different assumption: that the arts can and
do meet the needs of the
...the arts can and do meet ^, on and its citizens ;
, , r , . Public purposes are not
the needs of the nation... static . they change and
evolve; they are reinter-
preted over time. For our time, in the context of rapid technolog-
ical, media, and social change, the arts — it can be argued — have
special public responsibilities. Through the interpretive and
expressive strengths of the arts and of artists, Americans can
much more fully live with change and make change meaningful.
This nation's founders perceived the importance of the arts
both in civil society and in the marketplace. They wished to
establish conditions in which art could flourish. They also
commissioned monumental works of art dedicated to the public
purpose. Clearly, there is a grounding in the Constitution for the
view that the arts serve important public purposes — both in the
First Amendment (which reflects the value in a democratic soci-
ety of diverse views) and in the copyright clause (which urges
Congress to promote the progress of knowledge by granting rights
to authors to induce them to be creative). Today, there is a role for
the arts in fulfilling some of the public purposes contained in the
Preamble of the Constitution. Art is a necessary and important
component of a healthy Republic.
This Assembly identified four public mandates that are
addressed by the arts.
I. The arts help to define what it is to be an American :
• By building a sense of the nation's identity. The arts provide
the symbols of who we are and what we stand for. They tell
the nation's story as it unfolds, defining and redefining that
which we hold in common. The arts provide this sense of
identity at the national, state, and local levels — in neighbor-
hoods and homes, rich and poor.
• By reinforcing the reality of American pluralism. This
country's diverse populations and its ethnic, indigenous, and
historic communities find their voices and parallel histories
and share them through many art forms. Through the arts,
we cross borders — among individuals, geographies, and
• By advancing democratic values at home. The arts encourage
association, and provide us with opportunities for shared
creativity and shared enterprise. They help us experience
community, and invite us to focus together on ideas, issues,
and emotions. In doing so, they sustain and deepen the dia-
logue about the American experiment and democratic values.
• By advancing democratic values and peace abroad. America's
arts are often advance agents of democracy. They project
American values, vitality, and resourcefulness, as well as
technological prowess, around the world. This American pres-
ence abroad often helps bridge cultural divides and makes
cooperation and peaceful relations more possible.
II. The arts contribute to quality of life and economic growth :
• By making America's communities more livable and prosper-
ous. From murals, songs, and dances to museums, stages,
landscapes, and built environments, in cities, suburbs, and
towns, the arts make the places we live in better. Not only do
the arts provide the grounding of identity and the creation of
spirit in communities, they also provide jobs and incentives
for community improvement. The arts help to attract new
residents and visitors. There are solid studies documenting
the importance of the arts in local and regional economies, in
inner cities and rural towns.
• By increasing the nations prosperity domestically. The arts
sector represents an enormous industry. It provides jobs on a
national basis, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
In addition, Americans' involvement and education in the
arts strengthens the ingenuity and creativity of our
workforce and the design and usability of our products and
• By increasing the nation's prosperity globally. American
commercial arts are one of the nation's largest export indus-
tries. They dominate world cultural markets and produce a
trade surplus in the billions. The arts also help to design and
package American products and services, making them more
III. The arts help to form an educated and aware citizenry :
• By promoting understanding in this diverse society. Study of
the arts can help Americans to understand the experiences
that move us and communicate to us, to develop discrimina-
tion and judgment, and to gain a sense of our civilization and
the civilizations that contribute to ours.
• By developing competencies in school and at work. It is
now well documented by studies that engagement in the arts
has beneficial, measurable effects on cognitive development
in children — fostering creativity, problem-solving, team-
building and communication skills, discipline, and direction,
all desirable citizen qualities. Lifelong learning in the arts
provides many of the same benefits.
• By advancing freedom of inquiry and an open exchange of
ideas and values. The arts invite us to critique what we
know, to challenge the conventional, and to consider change.
In this way, the arts help the citizenry analyze, interpret,
and debate the conditions of national life.
IV. The arts enhance individual life :
• By encouraging individual creativity, spirit, and potential.
American values include, although they are not limited to,
creativity, individualism, competence, and a commitment to
self-improvement. The arts help to advance these values.
The arts can also promote self-fulfillment, spirituality, and
respect for tradition. However we . define our individual
goals, the arts provide meaning and motivation. This
enhancement of private goals ultimately serves our collective
• By providing release, relaxation, and entertainment. In the
opinion of most of the participants at this Assembly, provid-
ing opportunities for entertainment is a valid public purpose.
THE ARTS SECTOR
This Assembly, in its attempt to define the arts sector, made
certain observations regarding the sector's size, organization,
participants, customers, and audiences. At the same time, this
Assembly recognized that a great deal of additional information
is needed for any realistic measure of the sector. The brief analy-
sis presented here frames a general sense of the sector, drawn
from the participants' experience and the background materials
made available to them.
Size and Financing of the Arts Sector
The arts sector is enormous. A conservative estimate of con-
sumer spending on the arts, entertainment, and communications
amounted to roughly $180 billion in
1995, 2.5 percent of the GDP, according The arts Sector is
to sources prepared for this Assembly. _ _ r i j_n
A l ■ ^ ij enormous... LbutJ
A more comprehensive accounting would
include newspaper publishing, maga- investment in It
zine publishing, business information IS risky.
services, and interactive digital media
from the full arts and entertainment/communications industry,
raising the figure to $292 billion. If one includes all copyright
industries, the $180 billion number would roughly double.
A principal asset of the commercial arts is the development of,
and access to, sophisticated marketing and distribution systems.
A principal asset of the not-for-profit arts is intellectual capital,
in the form of collections, repertoire, and other creative materials.
Both for-profits and not-for-profits draw on artistic talent, and
both attempt to develop brand or trade names.
Despite the magnitude of the arts sector, investment in it is
risky. Very few art products make money or break even. For
instance, in Hollywood, 20 percent of the movies make 80 percent
of the revenues, and most feature films lose money. Few
Broadway shows recoup their investment. Not-for-profit organi-
zations cannot "earn" all the money it takes to sustain their
operations; they have to raise on the order of half their revenues
through contributions and grants. For most not-for-profits, grants
do not provide sufficient or dependable funding, and the efforts to
raise the necessary funds can divert attention away from artistic
concerns. Most unincorporated activities rely largely on the
in-kind and volunteer contributions of community members.
Commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated arts organiza-
tions vary greatly in management dimension and stability.
Entertainment companies are organized by industry and have
increasingly become dominated by a few very large firms, but
even these large organizations are unsettled by mergers,
takeovers, and the effects of boom-bust cycles. Not-for-profits
comprise many autonomous and specialized organizations. The
largest and most successful of them may be established and rela-
tively stable, but the existence of many not-for-profits, especially
small and mid-sized ones, is precarious. Some unincorporated
institutions live day-to-day; most depend on volunteers; others
are run as successful small businesses. It is notable that in more
rural areas, cultural organizations often serve as dependable,
ongoing "centers" of community activity and spirit.
For artists themselves, work in the sector can be risky. Only
about one quarter of all artists work solely at their disciplines.
Although relatively well
educated-40 Percent of <artists are often poorly
them have a bachelors or ., , , 1 , ,*
higher degree— artists are P aid and lack Jleal tn Or
often poorly paid and lack retirement benefits.
health or retirement bene-
fits. On average, artists earn about $24,000 a year, which is about
$7,000 less than other professionals earn. But even these figures
are misleading. Few artists earn this much directly in the arts;
most earn two-thirds of their income from other, nonartistic jobs.
Although a very few artists are among the highest paid people in
the United States, these "Star" earners are atypical and skew the
average earnings figure upward.
Artists work in all parts of the arts sector and often move back
and forth from commercial to not-for-profit to unincorporated set-
tings. In 1990, half of this country's artists worked in for-profit
businesses. Slightly more than one-quarter worked for them-
selves in unincorporated businesses, and about 7 percent were
employed by not-for-profit organizations.
The Arts and Their Publics
Commercial arts organizations market to broad, mass, and
global audiences, on the one hand, and to niche audiences target-
ed by specific advertising needs or other corporate objectives, on
the other hand. They are, in large part, market driven. Not-for-
profits work hard to maintain and expand existing audiences for
the artistic fare they specialize in. They are, in large part, mis-
sion driven. Unincorporated arts activities depend on donations
of time and effort by interested members of their communities.
Everyone in America attends, consumes, encounters, or creates
some kind of art each year. A 1992 "Survey of Public Participation
in the Arts" reports: 65 percent
of adult Americans watched or Everyone in America
listened to the arts primarily attends, Consumes,
produced or presented by not- . .
n n., . . v encounters, or creates
for-profit arts organizations '
through the media; 58 percent SOme kind of art each
created or produced these arts year.
themselves; and 43 percent
experienced these arts in person. From these numbers, it appears
that the electronic experience has become the dominant form of
participation in the arts, followed by personal involvement, even
for those arts normally associated with the not-for-profit world.
The media are the primary means of distribution in both the for-
profit and not-for-profit worlds.
A problem for the not-for-profit and unincorporated worlds, and
even for independent producers in the commercial world, is that
the most effective means of distribution are beyond their reach.
This is so whether one is trying to reach a broad or niche
audience, unless the niche is very local. The electronic media and
the marketing that sells them are expensive; so is the allocation
of shelf space in chain book stores, video stores, and other outlets.
In the case of the broadcast media and most cable outlets, adver-
tiser objectives and the importance of their revenues dictate what
is seen, except in less desirable time segments. And this is so, no
matter how deep the pockets of a particular sponsor.
Although the commercial and not-for-profit arts are distinct,
cooperation between them occurs regularly. Not-for-profit thea-
ters produce work that goes to Broadway and then on to the
movies or television. Performing companies often use both classi-
cal music and rock, for example, and other art forms as well.
Commercial publishers occasionally look to not-for-profit presses
for new products. Movie and television stars, and other commer-
cial artists, work, from time to time, in the not-for-profit sector.
Commercial producers look to the not-for-profit world for the
development of talent, and commercial professionals are enabled
in the not-for-profit world to hone their skills and to work more
A new means of electronic distribution and dissemination is
available through the Internet. With its linked architecture, mul-
timedia features, interactive capacity, and global reach, the
Internet is proving to be an effective way to provide information
about art and to market art, as well as to represent and distrib-
ute print, visual, and audio products. It may become particularly
effective in the areas of literature and the visual arts, including
museum collections. The Internet can also be helpful in fund-
raising and building audiences and membership. However, given
the easy and broad public access to materials on the Internet,
intellectual property issues represent a growing concern, one in
need of systematic attention.
While there is no substitute for experiencing objects directly or
attending live performances, the Internet and other media allow
persons far from the museum, the concert hall, or the theater to
have access to art that would not otherwise be available to them.
They also allow producers and presenters, including those from
rural areas, to share their art with those outside their own com-
munities. In addition, the media permit both quiet contemplation
and quick scanning of art works at home. Finally, it is possible
through the Internet for audiences and artists, on a worldwide
basis, to more easily comment on and discuss art.
THE ARTS SECTOR AND PUBLIC PURPOSES
Across the sector, the arts — commercial, not-for-profit, and
public purposes with vary- . ... . , ,
• j r mi. ...opportunities exist to
mg degrees of success. This . ^^
Assembly believes a num- increase the arts sector s
ber of opportunities exist to capacity to achieve public
increase the arts sector's purposes
capacity to achieve public
purposes. These include:
• more overt and continuous commitment of time and
resources by artists and arts organizations to public
• increased collaboration across the component parts of the
arts sector to this end;
• greater attention to the arts sector's general financial secu-
rity and to funding that advances public purposes;
• improved means of distribution and dissemination to provide
access for all Americans to a full range of the arts at reason-
• renewed attention to, and funding for, preservation of
America's artistic heritage;
• improved educational programs in the arts;
• increased and improved data, research, and analysis to sup-
port the development of arts policies; and
• improved collaboration among arts sector associations,
advocates, and professionals in support of public policies to
This Assembly discussed some of the ways in which the arts
serve or do not serve public purposes. The following issues
seemed particularly significant.
Defining What it is to Be an American
Lack of access to the arts, in all their diversity, appears to be a
major obstacle in meeting public purposes. In the commercial
realm — movies, television, and recordings — a variety of products
reach many publics, both at home and abroad. This popular cul-
ture makes a significant contribution to establishing our contem-
.. porary national
Not-for-profit and unincorporated * , en * y ' .f n
r . also provides sto-
artists and arts organizations... ries from our past.
often have severe difficulties in However, through
achieving the distribution the power of its
necessary to make a substantial marketm g> thls
product tends to
impact. obscure other,
contributions of communities and artists that are not part of the
"Top 40." Not-for-profit and unincorporated artists and arts orga-
nizations also contribute to the establishment of national, state,
and local identities and provide stories from our past, but they
often have severe difficulties in achieving the distribution neces-
sary to make a substantial impact. A big challenge for the future
is the best use of technology to provide access for all Americans to
the full spectrum of the arts.
Contributing to Quality of Life and Economic Growth
Across the spectrum, as previously noted, the arts create large
numbers of jobs and produce a major trade surplus for the nation.
Such economic benefits affect localities throughout the country —
attracting tourists, anchoring urban development, and providing
local jobs. However, there are a number of problems asssociated
with economic growth in many American communities. For exam-
ple, the application of design principles and planning to urban,
suburban, and rural settings merits more consistent attention.
Increasingly, communities are debating appropriate preventive
regulation or other public action to help ensure positive benefits
from growth and change.
Forming an Educated and Aware Citizenry
All three parts of the arts sector help educate citizens and pro-
vide perspectives on the social conditions and issues of the day.
However, throughout the sector, the educational effects of the arts
are underappreciated. For instance, the educational programs of
not-for-profit arts institutions are often given low priority and are
underfunded despite the major services that they provide. The
are similarly under- ...throughout the Sector, the
valued; they help -■ ,. -, rr , r j_i ±_
many children and educational effects of the arts
adults develop skills, are underappreciated.
see their potential,
and get information. But they are not used and funded for educa-
tional purposes to the extent that they should be. On the other
hand, the vast marketing and outreach activities of the commer-
cial sector are great resources that could be better used to help
form an educated and aware citizenry — and to help the not-for-
profit and unincorporated parts of the arts sector achieve their
All three parts of the arts sector are accused, at times, of pro-
ducing material that is inimical to the public interest, and debate
on such issues will surely continue. This Assembly acknowledged
that the arts mirror the great differences in values and expecta-
tions of the society, and urged openness, tolerance, and fullness of
information and participation in these debates.
Enhancing Individual Freedom, Spirit, and Potential
Individuals draw courage, solace, and inspiration from works of
art that circulate across the commercial, not-for-profit, and unin-
corporated parts of the arts sector. The American who watches
network television, sings in a choir, listens to audio-books, and
enjoys a dance performance, lives in a matrix of all three. It is not
possible to draw a bright line between the commercial, not-for-
profit, and unincorporated arts. Furthermore, the distinction
between them has little meaning to audiences and individuals.
However, the importance of the unincorporated part of the arts
sector is not fully appreciated. There is perhaps no ingredient in
this mix more supportive of individual freedom, spirit, and
potential than the activities carried out without compensation by
avocational practitioners in traditional, community, and other
unincorporated settings. The importance of these artistic activi-
ties needs better documentation, attention, and support.
The following recommendations reflect a broad spectrum of
views expressed by participants in this Assembly. They address
the issue of how the capacity of the entire arts sector might
be strengthened, practically and realistically, to meet public
At the outset, this Assembly recommends that all arts business-
es, arts institutions, and artists continue and expand the time and
...arts businesses, arts institutions, the y devote t0
and artists [should] continue and ac ievmg
. public purpos-
expand the time and resources es f tne arts
[for] achieving public purposes... The arts sec-
of existing public benefits, and its inherent capacity to illuminate
American life in all its diversity, argue strongly for it to consider
explicitly the public purposes inherent in its work, and to make
that work broadly available.
Achieving Collaboration and Partnership
Recognizing that audiences and artists flow freely across the
commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated parts of the arts
sector, this Assembly strongly encourages developing and
strengthening partnerships and collaborations among the parts of
the arts sector to achieve public purposes.
1. The productivity and competitiveness of American business
in general — and of the communications, information, tech-
nology, advertising, design, fashion, and entertainment
industries in particular, the "arts industries" — depend on
creative, intelligent, and imaginative men and women.
Persons educated in the arts can help businesses achieve
such productivity and competitiveness.
• Business, educational, and cultural organizations should
work together to encourage the careers of artists and their
involvement in making American business more produc-
tive and competitive. Ideas for consideration include
internships and scholarships for art students; equipment
donations; consultancies for art faculty members in
industry; joint fundraising; and "arts industry" mentoring
of artists as they develop their trades and talents.
American business is attracted to communities with strong,
lively, educational and cultural institutions. Many regions,
cities, and towns have used the arts to make themselves
notable as destinations to visit and as places to live.
• National associations of arts organizations, chambers of
commerce, and similar institutions should work together
(i) to produce impact studies and cases that show the rela-
tionship between a strong arts presence and economic
development, and (ii) to educate communities as to the
impact of this relationship. American cities represented
at this Assembly expressed interest in demonstrating
their success in developing through the arts.
• As state and local governments mount development
efforts, they should work closely with arts organizations
and artists as well as with businesses and business men
and women. Again, models for such cooperation exist and
should be publicized.
The commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated parts of
the arts sector have
important reasons to The commercial, not-for-
work together in a fit ^ unincorporat ed
variety ol areas. n , .
• They should collab- P arts of the arts sector
orate to yield have important reasons
shared ideas and to work together...
approaches in such
areas as preservation, protection of intellectual property
rights, First Amendment protections, access to technolo-
gy, and access to the most effective means of distribution
of art. Scholars and lawyers working on these problems
should work across the sector.
• The arts sector should develop mechanisms that will
enable it to share information and ideas on behalf of con-
stituents and on behalf of the entire spectrum. Executives
of associations representing all parts of the arts sector
should take responsibility to achieve this, and should
begin to meet to identify their shared needs.
Improving Financial Support and Investment
Enormous differences in size and scope characterize the finan-
cial support of artistic activities across the entire arts spectrum. To
ensure that the richly diverse American arts flourish, grow, and
better meet public purposes, this Assembly recommends that all
interested parties — government; private funders; commercial, not-
for-profit, and unincorporated arts organizations; and members of
the general public — explore new ways of funding and investing in
the arts that would further public purposes.
1. Commercial arts institutions have long had an interest in
the products and talents of the not-for-profit and unincorpo-
rated worlds, just as not-for-profit arts institutions have
long had an interest in the products and talents of the com-
mercial and unincorporated worlds.
• The three parts of the arts sector should work together to
attract an investment pool from foundations, corpora-
tions, and individuals to fund specific projects and/or
organizational capacities that would help the arts achieve
2. Foundations — private, community, and family — have played
a critical leadership role in stimulating the growth and
evolution of America's not-
for-profit arts. Building on ...foundations Can
their experience, founda- . ■% . j
tions can today provide ^ "
renewed leadership in renewed leadership...
defining ways in which the
arts might better meet public purposes and be funded to
• In addition to their consideration of artistic achieve-
ments, foundations should devote serious attention to the
public purposes of the arts, and set goals for themselves
and their grantees that fund improvements in the capac-
ity of the arts to meet these purposes.
• Foundations are funding more research and policy-
related projects in the arts than was the case in the past.
As a part of this effort, they and their grantees should
develop evaluation criteria that measure and assess the
impact of public and other funding in achieving public
• Arts institutions and artists cannot sustain their efforts
to achieve public purposes without a degree of long-term
financial stability. Foundations should take the lead in
generating funds for general operating support, as well as
project support, for arts institutions. They should also
help generate funds to support individual artists who
have demonstrated a capacity for excellence.
• A "New Crowd" of potential donors is emerging with
resources and reasons to be interested in the arts.
Foundations should take the lead in locating new individ-
ual and corporate donors interested in helping the arts
and in working with them to increase funding to achieve
• Foundations should explore and analyze alternative fund-
ing sources for the arts, including PRI's (program-related
investments); loans and guarantees; in-kind as well as
contributed support; prizes and competitions.
Corporations play a significant role in funding the not-
for-profit arts — sponsoring major international museum
exhibitions, concert series, and domestic and international
tours of major performing arts companies, as well as making
grants. Corporations have also distinguished themselves in
sponsoring quality series on both commercial and public
• Corporations should consider (i) specific grants to help
artists and arts organizations achieve public purposes,
(ii) increased corporate image sponsorship of quality offer-
ings on television, (iii) broadened employee matching
grant programs benefiting the arts, (iv) subsidized tickets
for employees to attend arts productions and exhibits, and
(v) in the case of financial institutions, allocating percent-
ages of credit card transactions to the arts.
The federal government has long provided support for the
arts through copyright and First Amendment protections,
broadcast spectrum allocation, tax policy and incentives,
and direct funding of selected activities. The federal govern-
ment achieves national public purposes in these ways.
• All interested parties should explore, in a fresh, open, and
informed way, the most appropriate methods of federal
support of the arts in furtherance of the public purpose. In
. .- . , . , , , addition to programs
All interested parties should and tax ince ntives
explore... the most appropriate that assist not-for-
methods of federal Support of Profit and unincorpo-
the arts in furtherance of the rated arts actlvlties >
, t . consideration should
public purpose. be given to providing
support for activities
undertaken by commercial arts organizations that
achieve specific public purposes.
• Most, but not all, Assembly participants believe that it is
essential to maintain direct funding for the arts and
humanities at the federal level by agencies such as the
National Endowment for the Arts.
• Federal tax laws and regulations should be examined to
see how they might more effectively support the arts in
achieving public purposes. In addition, (i) the charitable
deduction should be retained for gifts to all 501(c)(3)
organizations, (ii) the deductibility of gifts of appreciated
publicly traded stocks to private foundations should be
made permanent, (iii) estate tax regulations should be
amended to treat artists' estates in a manner similar to
the treatment of the estates of the owners of small busi-
nesses, and (iv) the federal government should consider
granting waivers that would allow foundations and state
and local agencies to make grants to groups that do not
have 501(c)(3) status — for the purpose of stimulating
innovative partnerships with commercial arts organi-
zations in furtherance of public purposes, and for the pur-
pose of providing support to unincorporated arts groups.
5. There is a growing movement of regional, state, and local
initiatives in support of the arts. These initiatives target the
specific needs of the geo-
graphic areas which they Regions, States, and
cover. In most cases, localities should closely
regions, states, and local- , n n -, -■ n
... u , . n , study successful models
lties are best informed J
about the most effective that they might adapt
ways to achieve public to help achieve public
purposes in their areas. purposes
• Regions, states, and
localities should closely study successful models that they
might adapt to help achieve public purposes. These
include (i) special sales tax districts for the arts and/or
culture (as in the greater Denver area in Colorado), (ii)
bed taxes on hotels and motels (as in San Francisco,
California and Columbus, Ohio), (hi) special property
taxes (as in Aspen, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri), and
(iv) other taxes (as in South Dakota on gambling and in
Huntsville, Alabama on liquor).
• States and localities should (i) respect the tax-exempt
status of cultural and other not-for-profit organizations,
(ii) consider supplementing their current base of
appropriations with permanent endowments (as in the
case of the Missouri Cultural Trust and the Arizona
Arts Trust Fund), and (hi) consider linking some funding
more explicitly and directly to the pursuit of public
• Community foundations exist at both local and regional
levels in many parts of the country. They have unique
capacities to identify community public purposes and
raise and grant money to achieve them. These founda-
tions should consider proactively establishing pools of
funds from both public and private sources that would
help the arts achieve public purposes in communities and
Making the Arts More Accessible
The arts — commercial, not-for-profit and unincorporated — are
important both for their contributions to the public purpose and in
themselves. This Assembly believes it is essential that all
Americans have access to the arts at affordable cost.
1. Distribution systems for the arts work inadequately across
the full spectrum, putting both creative artists and the
general public at
disadvantage. Distribution systems for the
impediments to the arts work inadequately. . .
free flow of creative ... * ., ,. ,. .
ideas and artistic P uttm £ botn creative artists
products reduce the and the general public at
arts sector's capaci- disadvantage.
ty to achieve public purposes; such impediments also hurt
the development of the arts.
• Commercial enterprises in the fields of print and
electronic distribution should make a greater diversity of
art products available to the general public. An example
is provided by the inexpensive print editions of short
classic texts that have achieved great popularity in other
2. Access to the live arts and to a full range of arts options
remains a problem in communities underserved as a result
of their geographic location.
• Public and private funders should direct particular
support to programs and organizations in such communi-
ties, as should major not-for-profit organizations and
commercial arts enterprises. A successful example of such
a program is the Chamber Music Rural Residency
Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.
• Higher education institutions — often publicly support-
ed — sometimes house the only theaters, art and film
collections, and other arts resources in their regions.
They should develop and improve their public outreach in
3. Technology is both a boon and a challenge to making the arts
more accessible. The "old" technologies of broadcast
television and radio, film, and recordings have greatly
expanded the accessibility of the arts. Now, new technologies
(e.g., the Internet) present new opportunities and challenges
for the production and distribution of art and information
about the arts.
• The arts community and public and private funders
should promote the use of these technologies by artists,
and encourage their availability to the public, especially
through schools and libraries.
Preserving the Nation's Heritage
Preserving the arts clearly contributes to the public purpose
inherent in maintaining the heri- ]
tages of the nation and its many a reserving tne arts
communities. Preserving the heri- clearly Contributes to
tage has become increasingly th@ nublic DUTOOSe
expensive. From Monticello to
movie classics, modern dance documentation to book preservation,
the challenges are much the same.
1. There is an urgent need to develop detailed inventories of
needs, costs, and current plans for preservation in each of
the arts disciplines. Some arts institutions and communities
have made notable strides in doing this and should provide
models for others.
• Appropriate scholarly institutions should work with
interested business, government, and community leaders
to discuss the feasibility of a fund (contributed to by both
the private and public sectors) that would make such
2. There is no effective exchange of information and no agree-
ment on what "best practices" are in the preservation field.
• Public advocates, private sector leaders, and specialists
interested in the American heritage should develop a code
of "best practices" — defining the interests and standards
of authenticity to be met, the theories of curator ship and
stewardship to be advanced, and the degrees of entrepre-
neurship to be encouraged.
3. Recognition of living treasures, of outstanding contemporary
artists and art achievements is inadequate in the United
• The arts community, media, and general public should
find appropriate ways to recognize contemporary work
and its creators as a part of America's artistic heritage.
The national medals in the arts and humanities and the
MacArthur Foundation fellowship awards are good
examples of the kind.
Improving Education and Training
Arts education is fundamental to achieving the public purpose.
Arts education includes education through the arts, education
about the arts, and education in doing the arts. While arts educa-
tion is critical for young people, life-
long and continuing education in the ml -, ,
. u A u . , „ . There is a need to
arts can keep adult minds growing
and older citizens engaged and vital. Stimulate greater
1. There is a need to stimulate attention to arts
greater attention to arts educa- education
tion in schools (K— 12), to assess
the strengths and weaknesses of arts education programs,
and to identify practical ways of improving them.
• In some states, state arts agencies are sponsoring gather-
ings to assess and improve the state of arts education.
This activity should be undertaken more broadly, through
partnerships among state arts agencies, state depart-
ments of education, and representatives of the arts sector.
• Foundations and other funders should continue to provide
leadership and support to develop rigorous, sequential
arts education programs in sample schools — identifying
successful techniques related to specific objectives, seeing
them implemented, and evaluating and disseminating the
results. Examples include the J. Paul Getty Trust's initia-
tives in arts education, and such programs as the "A+"
schools in North Carolina and elsewhere.
• The academic community and the arts sector should work
together to develop joint educational programs in schools
and in the broader society.
• Alternative means of teacher certification should be
developed to permit artists to contribute more regularly
and directly to the formal educational process.
The scope of arts education at every level should be expand-
ed beyond the arts disciplines that are normally taught in
schools — music, visual arts, theater, and literature.
• The design and media arts, and dance movement, should
be included in school curricula.
• Media literacy programs should be encouraged, so that
Americans of all ages may better appreciate the media as
art forms, and better understand communications tech-
niques and the impacts of the broadcast and electronic
media on the democratic process and on the marketplace.
• Educational programs should be developed on intellectu-
al property rights, their impact on creativity, and changes
to be considered in relation to the new technologies.
• Educational programs on philanthropy, volunteerism, and
the practices of a civil society should be supported and
• Universities and arts organizations should collaborate
in developing programs for journalists that enhance
their understanding and coverage of public policy issues
concerning the arts.
3. Colleges, universities, and conservatories are major
resources to help with arts education in schools, arts
programming for the general public, and life-long training
• These institutions should continue and expand their
efforts (i) to provide continuing education and teaching
materials for elementary and secondary school arts teach-
ers; (ii) to make a variety of art (including the work of
artists working in their areas) available to the general
public, both live and via the media and the Internet; and
(iii) to offer postgraduate education and in-service train-
ing to practicing artists.
Meeting Research, Information, and Evaluation Needs
There is a need for research to understand better the scope,
scale, and interactions of the commercial, not-for-profit, and
unincorporated parts of the arts sector, the sector's supporting
infrastructures, strengths and weaknesses within the sector, and
the degree to which parts of the sector meet or do not meet public
1. Currently, research, information, and evaluation efforts in
the arts sector are fragmented and uncoordinated. Arts
professionals and policy
analysts seldom interact; ...research, information,
universities and public and evaluation efforts
policy institutes seldom .*. , ,
concern themselves with m the arts Sect ° r
arts policy; and not-for- are fragmented and
profit arts institutions uncoordinated.
often lack the skills
required to undertake research beyond rudimentary mar-
• Arts professionals and policy professionals should work
together in the development of policy studies and
research, especially on issues of public policy and the
efforts of arts institutions and artists to achieve public
• Mechanisms should be established by which industry
trade associations and arts service organizations share
data and research and make such information available
to the research and policy communities. Executives of
these associations should engage in conversations to this
• Universities and public policy institutes should devote
greater time and resources to issues involving the arts
and cultural policies as they relate to other sectors and
factors in American life.
• Businesses should donate time for their employees to
work with not-for-profit institutions to help them develop
research capacities, marketing information, and business
2. Serious and rigorous analysis and evaluation of artistic
enterprises are in many cases lacking. Information is
needed on how artistic enterprises operate, how they impact
communities, and how they cooperate among themselves,
particularly as between the commercial and not-for-profit
worlds. Information is also needed regarding the careers
• Issue analyses should be developed in the areas discussed
in this Assembly.
• Case studies should be prepared (i) of efforts of artists and
arts institutions to meet public purposes, and (ii) of
collaborations between the commercial and not-for-profit
• Longitudinal studies of artists' careers should be pursued.
• Better information should be gathered on the ways in
which the arts are supported in other countries. Of
particular importance is information on how the commer-
cial part of the arts sector supports not-for-profit and
unincorporated arts activities.
• University researchers and public policy institutes should
develop evaluation tools that can be used in assessing the
activities of artists and arts institutions, particularly in
order to understand better the economic and social
impacts of the arts on communities.
3. Comparable and centrally collected information on support
systems relating to the arts and comprehensive arts policy
research and study programs is lacking.
• A national database and information clearinghouse on
support systems and organizations covering the commer-
cial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated parts of the arts
sector should be developed in cooperation with those
organizations. A central coordinator and home base
should be identified with the assistance of interested
professionals, possibly from an existing study center.
• Universities and others should develop arts policy
research and study institutes to foster the expansion of
such research. The arts service associations should be
included in the development of these institutes. A meeting
of research professionals should be convened to advance
• Federal agencies should work with scholars and trade and
service organizations to improve federal data collection
efforts concerning information about artists and the arts.
It is critical that the arts be well represented in policy and leg-
islative debates and better understood by the general public. While
specific lobbying and other advocacy activities are necessary to
gain attention, advocacy is every citizens job in our democracy.
Such advocacy is, however, a two-way street. Just as the arts want
politicians to listen to them, so the arts must listen to the politi-
cians and understand political realities.
1. Partnering could be an important ingredient in gaining
political attention to, and policy
action on, arts policy issues. Partnering COllld
• Commercial, not-for-profit, and u e an imnortant
unincorporated arts organiza- . A' ± '
tions should, as appropriate, «
increase the resources they gaining... action
make available for advocacy on on...arts policy
behalf of achieving the public issues
purposes of the arts. They
should partner and share resources on matters of mutual
• A single umbrella organization should be considered for
the purpose of determining shared goals and coordinating
strategies. Using such an organization on issues of com-
mon concern, like intellectual property or preservation of
artistic resources, the arts sector might find a common
voice. On other issues, those likely to be of concern to one
part of the sector or another, appropriate action might be
separately taken, but alliances might be formed.
2. One function of the arts has always been to challenge the
conventional and to call for greater or lesser degrees of social
change. In recent years, the challenges posed by this func-
tion have become especially provocative in some quarters,
causing a significant public backlash.
• Arts advocacy should address both the provocations and
the backlash without masking the issue. Ways to do this
might include informed, well-staged debates around con-
troversial issues, interactions through journals and on the
Internet, and thoughtful media coverage. Civil debate on
these matters, as this Assembly itself illustrated, is more
likely to be productive than doctrinaire position-taking.
Furthering the Dialogue
This Assembly is a beginning. A continuing and broader dia-
logue should be undertaken across the commercial, not-for-profit,
and unincorporated parts of the arts sector, and leaders of other
sectors should be engaged in this dialogue.
1. Specially convened and targeted meetings are needed, on a
national basis, to discuss the kinds of issues raised in this
report and their implications for new actions.
• Recommendations of this Assembly should be discussed at
the annual membership meetings of commercial and not-
for-profit associations. Representatives of associations
present at this Assembly concurred.
• Service organization and trade association executives
should create a forum in which to discuss the public
purpose goals set out in this report and activities in
furtherance of those goals that their fields might share.
• Producers, presenters, publishers, media professionals,
should meet to discuss the public purpose goals set out in
this report and activities to achieve them.
• Business leaders should gather a group of their peers to
consider the implications of a sector approach in the arts
and to share new ideas and initiatives already under way
that could provide models for action in helping achieve
the public purposes of the arts.
• Selected commercial arts organization executives and
artists should meet with selected not-for-profit peers to
begin a dialogue on common interests and to identify
• Programs should be developed to enhance the under-
standing, tolerance, and support of the arts by religious
leaders and similarly to ,
enhance the understand- Programs should be
ing, tolerance, and sup- j i j i i
' * r . ' -,.. developed to enhance
port of religious traditions **
by the arts community. the understanding. . .of
• A pool of artists should the arts by religious
be identified to provide leaders and... the
creative leadership to understanding... of
continuing efforts result- , . . -. ,
ing from this Assembly. rellglOUS traditions by
involvement of the ere- the arts community.
ators of art is critical if
activities in furtherance of public purposes are to be
inspiring and effective.
This Assembly may be the first to engage in cross-sectoral
discussions about the public purpose of the arts. It should
not be the last to do so.
• Regional Assemblies should be conducted to continue the
• A national meeting of leaders from the federal govern-
ment and the commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorpo-
rated parts of the arts sector, should be considered to dis-
cuss the state of the arts in this country and how they
might be strengthened to serve better the public purpose.
Such a meeting could propel a national conversation on
these issues, demonstrate the positive opportunities pro-
vided to the nation and its leaders by the arts (as opposed
to the problems frequently focused on), and spark collab-
oration, formal or informal, at the highest levels.
The days spent at this Assembly were intense, productive, and
rewarding. There were, however, limits to the deliberations.
Participants had to work very fast. There was diverse but incom-
plete representation of American communities, interests, and
fields. Although the discussions drew on the experience and
expertise of participants, they also demonstrated that there were
many gaps in the knowledge base about the arts sector. Despite
those limitations, the recommendations offered do represent the
conviction that commercial, not-for-profit, and unincorporated
artists and organizations
1 1 j ti n j-i comprise a single sector, that
...the arts, all of them. ,, *\ u s A . ' ,
7 ' they nave snared interests,
are vital to the grandest and that they can secure
purposes Of democracy, mutual benefits through col-
and justify the Support... laborative action. This
Of all Americans. Assembly is convinced that
the arts, all of them, are vital
to the grandest purposes of
democracy, and justify the support, attention, and involvement of
THE NINETY-SECOND AMERICAN ASSEMBLY
t JANE ALEXANDER
National Endowment for the Arts
NEIL O. ALPER
Associate Professor of Economics
t ALBERTA ARTHURS
Arts and Humanities
The Rockefeller Foundation
New York, NY
MARGARET C. AYERS
Robert Sterling Clark Foundation,
New York, NY
JUDITH FRANCISCA BACA
UCLA Cesar Chavez Center/Murale
Digital Lab at Social and Public
Art Resource Center (SPARC)
JUDITH H. BALFE
Professor of Sociology
The College of Staten Island and
The City University of New York
Staten Island, NY
The Wilson Quarterly
National Association of Artists'
New York Foundation for the Arts
New York, NY
t ALISON R. BERNSTEIN
Education, Media, Arts, and Culture
The Ford Foundation
New York, NY
New York University
New York, NY
The Donald Byrd Dance Foundation
t SAM KATHRYN CAMPANA
City of Scottsdale
MARY SCHMIDT CAMPBELL
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
New York, NY
HARRY A. HILLMAN CHARTRAND
Founder and Chief Executive
Creative Director and Partner
Long Beach, CA
RICHARD J. COHEN
Minnesota State Senate
Saint Paul, MN
New York, NY
JOHN WESLEY COOK
The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.
New York, NY
t** JEFFREY P. CUNARD
Debevoise & Plimpton
JAMES COUNTS EARLY
Director, Cultural Studies and
Center for Folklife Programs and
The Smithsonian Institution
JERRY D. FLORENCE
Communications and Strategic
Nissan Motor Corporation
DIANE B. FRANKEL
Institute of Museum and Library
Walt Disney Theatrical Productions
New York, NY
** CATHERINE FRENCH
American Symphony Orchestra
Associate Professor & Fine Arts
Department of Cooperative
* WILLIAM GLADE
Professor of Economics and Director,
The Mexican Center
Institute of Latin American Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
MARIAN A. GODFREY
Director, Culture Program
The Pew Charitable Trusts
ROY M. GOODMAN
Senator and Chair
Senate Special Committee on the
Arts and Cultural Affairs
New York State Senate
CHARLES M. GRAY
Professor of Economics
Graduate School of Business
University of St. Thomas
National Video Resources
New York, NY
Director of Community Cultural
Chicago Department of Cultural
Professor of Economics
Professor of Comparative
Assistant Director for Public
National Museum of the American
The Smithsonian Institution
t FRANK HODSOLL
Hodsoll and Associates
National Endowment for the Arts
f WILLIAM H. HONAN
National Higher Education
Correspondent and Former
The New York Times
New York, NY
f MURRAY HORWITZ
Vice President for Cultural
National Public Radio
f DAVID HENRY HWANG
Playwright, Screenwriter, Librettist
Writers and Artists Agency
New York, NY
f WILLIAM IVEY
Country Music Foundation
f MARIA-ROSARIO JACKSON
The Urban Institute
JAMES EARL JONES
Horatio Productions Inc.
* NICOLAS KANELLOS
Founder and Director, Arte Publico
Press Professor, Department of
Modern and Classical Languages
University of Houston
Chief Executive Officer
The National Assembly of State Arts
Christian Performing Artists'
M. RAY KINGSTON
Salt Lake City, UT
STEVEN D. LAVINE
California Institute of the Arts
President and Executive Producer
Brooklyn Academy of Music
ROBERT L. LYNCH
President and Chief Executive
Americans for the Arts
Scribe Video Center
ROGER L. MAYER
President and Chief Operating
Turner Entertainment Co.
Los Angeles, CA
TIMOTHY J. MCCLIMON
New York, NY
Deputy Assistant to the President
and Deputy Chief of Staff to the
Office of the First Lady
National Campaign for Freedom of
KEVIN V. MULCAHY
Department of Political Science
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
American Enterprise Institute for
Public Policy Research
Artist, Adjunct Professor
Parsons School of Design
New York, NY
Arts Consultant and Researcher
Poet Laureate of the United States
and Professor of English and
ELIZABETH "BETTY JO" D. RHEA
Mayor of Rock Hill
Office of the Mayor
Rock Hill, SC
WILLIAM CRAIG RICE
Preceptor and Assistant to the
Director, Expository Writing
U.S. Senate Subcommittee
on Education, Arts, and
* BARBARA S. ROBINSON
Chair, Ohio Arts Council and Chair,
JOHN P. ROBINSON
Director, Americans' Use of Time
Department of Sociology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
PEDRO A. RODRIGUEZ
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
San Antonio, TX
f MARK ROSENTHAL
President and Chief Operating
New York, NY
Professor of Information
School of Information Management
University of California at
SUZANNE M. SATO
Vice President, Arts and
New York, NY
Council of Literary Magazines and
The Literary Network
New York, NY
JAMES A. SMITH
The Howard Gilman Foundation
New York, NY
PATRICK J. SMITH
New York, NY
JOHN HOYT STOOKEY
The Berkshire Choral
Executive Director and
Theatre Communications Group,
New York, NY
HAROLD L. VOGEL
Cowen & Company
New York, NY
Art Critic, Author, and
Fort Lee, NJ
HAROLD M. WILLIAMS
President and Chief Executive
The J. Paul Getty Trust
Los Angeles, CA
MARTHA S. WOOD
City of Winston-Salem
MARGARET J. WYSZOMIRSKI
Professor of Political Science and
Director, Arts Management
Case Western Reserve University
Arts and Humanities
The Rockefeller Foundation
New York, NY
* Discussion Leader
Center for Arts and Culture
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
JONI MAYA CHERBO
Nonprofit Sector Consultant
New York, NY
Founder and President
The Kreisberg Group Ltd.
New York, NY
The Arts and the Public Purpose
Edited by Joni Maya Cherbo
AMERICANS AND THE ARTS
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN THE ARTS
Judith H. Balfe and Monnie Peters
AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT THE ARTS AND CULTURE
John Robinson and Nicholas Zill
Commentators : Martha Bayles
PUBLIC PURPOSE. POLICY. POLITICS. AND THE ARTS
RAISON D'ETAT, RAISON DES ARTS: THINKING ABOUT PUBLIC
Margaret J. Wyszomirski
PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS IN WESTERN EUROPE AND
NORTH AMERICA: GOVERNMENT, POLICIES, POLITICS
Kevin V. Mulcahy
Commentators : Marian Godfrey
William Craig Rice
THE ARTS MATRIX
THE CAREER MATRIX: THE PIPELINE FOR ARTISTS IN THE
Ann M. Galligan and Neil O. Alper
Commentators : David Henry Hwang
Steven D. Lavine
ECONOMICS AND THE ARTS
ECONOMICS OF THE NONPROFIT ARTS: STRUCTURE, SCOPE,
Charles M. Gray and James Heilbrun
FLICKERING IMAGES: THE BUSINESS OF HOLLYWOOD
Harold L. Vogel
TOWARDS AN AMERICAN ARTS INDUSTRY
Harry Hillman Chartrand
Commentator : Patrice Flynn
ABOUT THE AMERICAN ASSEMBLY
The American Assembly was established by D wight D. Eisenhower at
Columbia University in 1950. It holds nonpartisan meetings and pub-
lishes authoritative books to illuminate issues of United States policy.
An affiliate of Columbia, 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 sixty institu-
tions have cosponsored one or more Assemblies.
The home of The American Assembly and the 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 adaptation of the property for conference purposes.
The buildings and surrounding 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 educa-
tional objectives. The American Assembly is a tenant of this Columbia
University facility only during Assembly sessions.
AMERICAN ASSEMBLY BOOKS
1951 — U.S. -Western Europe Relationships
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 (rev. 1973)
1965 — The Courts, the Public, and the Law Explosion
— The United States and Japan (revised 1975)
1966 — The United States and the Phillippines • 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 '80s
1984 — Alcoholism and Related Problems • The Arts and Public Policy in the United States
1985 — Canada and the United States • The Promise of Tax Reform
1986 — East-West Tensions in the Third World • World Population and U.S. Policy
1987 — Health Care and Its Costs • A Workable Government? The U.S. Constitution
1988— Global Competitiveness
1 989— America's Global Interests
1990— The Global Economy
1991 — Preserving The Global Environment • Tort Law and the Public Interest
— Public Money & the Muse
1992 — Rethinking America's Security • From Occupation to Cooperation: The United States &
United Germany • After the Soviet Union
1993 — Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation • Engaging the Public in U.S. Foreign
1994 — The United States and Japan in Asia: Challenges for U.S. Policy
— U.S. Intervention Policy for the Post-Cold War World
1995 — Threatened Peoples, Threatened Borders: World Migration and U.S. Policy
— U.S. Foreign Policy and the United Nations System
1997 — Living with China: U.S./China Relations in the Twenty-First Century • Africa & U.S.
1998— The Arts and the Public Purpose
— U.S. Interests in the Western Hemisphere
( Thz American ttssembCy
Arthur G. Altschul
Bradley Currey, Jr.
Meyer Feldberg, ex officio
Ellen V. Futter
David R. Gergen
Roberto C. Goizueta
Karen Elliott House
Sol M. Linowitz
John F. McGillicuddy
Donald F. McHenry
David H. Mortimer
Raymond D. Nasher
George E. Rupp, ex officio
Daniel A. Sharp, ex officio
STEPHEN STAMAS, Chairman
Paul A. Volcker
Frank A. Weil
Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Daniel A. Sharp, President
DAVID H. MORTIMER, Vice President
ELEANOR H. TeJIRIAN, Secretary-Treasurer
William P. Bundy
Clifford M. Hardin
Kathleen H. Mortimer
Eleanor Bernert Sheldon
Clarence C. Walton
The American Assembly
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 456 • New York, NY 10115
Telephone (212) 870-3500 Fax (212) 870-3555