June 25, 1998:
A NewsHour interview with the new head of the NEA, Willliam Ivey.
March 31, 1998:
The Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of the NEA vs. Finley.
February 6, 1998:
An Online Forum explores to benefits and pitfalls of corporate sponsorship of the arts.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of Arts & Entertainment.
The National Endowment for the Arts has a new chairman.
William Ivey comes to Washington from Nashville, where he was the director of the Country Music Foundation. A musicologist and folklorist who has written television specials, Ivey has broad tastes and eclectic hobbies like flying antique airplanes. His arrival at the helm of the beleaguered agency will set the tone for public support of the arts in America in the 21rst Century.
There are many problems waiting for Ivey in the nation's capital. The NEA's budget has dropped from $174 million to $98 million in the past 3 years. Conservatives in Congress would like to see the agency eliminated all together. Strong support in the Senate has repeatedly saved the NEA from annihilation.
|"The great process of accommodation and sharing and borrowing that has made our artistic life
such a good reflection of our democratic experiment needs the federal presence to
make sure that it's strong, make sure that it's healthy. "|
-William Ivey, 6/25/98
On June 25th, the Supreme Court upheld the NEA "Decency Standard" law enacted by Congress in 1990. The High Court ruled 8-1 that the government can apply a "decency standard" and use "highly selective" funding rules to decide which arts projects most deserve taxpayers' support. Critics say the law violates artists' freedom of speech. The ruling highlights questions about the agency's mission and the process by which it awards grants.
William Ivey brings experience running a non-profit arts organization and, according to people who have worked with him, the ability to see opportunities where others see none. He has served on NEA panels and has articulated a broad arts policy as a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Go to question 1....