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Discuss the role of the NEA(National Endowment for the Arts) in public art.


1) Discuss the role of the NEA(National Endowment for the Arts) in public art. While the government does not fund many public artworks, the government agency of the NEA does select and provide funds for some artists, museums, artist groups, as well as programs in music and art for children in economically challenged communities who apply for funding. The NEA has limited funds, so getting funding is very competitive. In your opinion, is the role of the NEA important in our government and to our culture? Why or why not?

3) The controversy over the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition of 1982 is discussed. If you were allowed to vote for whether or not the NEA should fund this exhibition or part of it, what would your decision have been? Explain your decision.


Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial is discussed. Although this memorial was not funded by the NEA, the government had to get involved because the memorial was being placed on Federal land. Describe the controversy over her design and the resolution to this controversy. Did you agree with the selection of her design? Did you agree with the resolution to the controversy? Include in your discussion reasons why you agreed or disagreed.

4) History is all around us. Let’s use technology and our enlightened awareness of our world to document and live this history. Let’s use our phones and cameras to document the world we live in. As you go about your daily lives, see if your readings and lecture material sink into your world.

Challenge yourself to think, live, and breathe the history you are learning. If there is something in your daily life that reminds you or makes you think about your history content, document it. (Example: you read about Concept “A” in your text. You’re at work, and you witness something that makes you think about Concept “A.” Take a photo or video of it. Remember that it has to be a real picture or video taken by you in real life, and it has to be taken in THE PRESENT MOMENT-meaning within the past day or two). Give a brief description of the photo (what is happening, where, why, etc.) Most importantly: Explain what this has to do with what you are learning. Photos/Videos must be taken physically by you within the past day or two. Be in the moment, don’t script this, and don’t just sit there planning out a “History Matters.” It should be organic and spontaneous.


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