Thursday, May 21, 2009

Michelle Obama Supports the Arts

"Nearly 6 million people make their living in the nonprofit arts industry," First Lady Michelle Obama reminded everyone yesterday during her remarks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she cut the ribbon for the re-opening of the American Wing. "Arts and cultural activities," she continued, "contribute more than $160 billion to our economy every year." Those are big numbers, and it's good to see the First Lady emphasize them. They should make clear to anyone that the arts is as legitimate an industry as any other when it comes to government support in this recession. Those numbers should also make clear that $50 million--the grand total given to the arts out of the $787 billion stimulus package--is nowhere near what the arts industry needs.

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