Government and the Arts

August 2, 1961

Report Outline
New Proposals for Support of the Arts
Varied Federal Patronage of the Arts
Evidence of Fresh Government Interest

New Proposals for Support of the Arts

Current support of proposals to enlarge the role of the federal government as a patron of the arts brings to mind the period of the 1930s when federal agencies put thousands of unemployed artists, writers, actors and musicians to work on a wide variety of projects. Nothing on the scale of the short-lived New Deal arts program is contemplated today, but measures pending in Congress would give official recognition to the arts as an essential feature of American life and encourage the growth of cultural activities.

Now, as in the depression era, new federal activity in the arts would serve more than an esthetic purpose. The earlier program was motivated in large part by a need to relieve unemployment; the programs for which approval is sought today would be expected to enhance the prestige of the United States as a cultural leader among nations.

Bills IN Congress TO Promote Cultural Activity

Present proposals to augment government support of the visual and performing arts take three main forms. The House Education and Labor Committee on July 19 reported a bill to establish a permanent Federal Advisory Council on the Arts in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A second proposal is to authorize modest grants-in-aid to the states to induce them to sponsor cultural activities. A third is to establish a government foundation to underwrite deficits of non-profit groups presenting exhibits or performances. Nine senators and nine House members have introduced bills this year to carry out one or more of these proposals.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 22, 2022  Concert Safety
Feb. 08, 2019  Movie Industry Disruption
Jul. 14, 2017  Funding the Arts
Apr. 13, 2007  Stolen Antiquities
Oct. 21, 1994  Arts Funding
May 25, 1990  Tying Down Federal Funds for the Arts
Jun. 05, 1987  The Art Market
Jan. 22, 1982  Trends in Architecture
Feb. 20, 1981  Criticism and Popular Culture
Aug. 11, 1978  Support of the Arts
Sep. 27, 1974  Museum Boom
Feb. 01, 1974  Black Arts Revival
Nov. 28, 1973  New Directions in Architecture
Oct. 17, 1973  World Art Market
Dec. 25, 1970  Directions of the Dance
Jun. 04, 1969  Movies as Art
Feb. 12, 1969  Regional Theater
Mar. 27, 1968  Art and Antique Frauds
Aug. 28, 1963  Arts and the People
Aug. 02, 1961  Government and the Arts
Arts and Humanities