Barry Hessenius has some good questions for selecting the next NEA chair. He also has some names for possibilities for the next chair. I want to loudly second one of his endorsements:
Adam Huttler - an innovator’s voice - his of the next generation of arts leaders and his appointment would signal a new era at the agency.
Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, seconded and thirded.
I've talked at length about how one of the ways we can reform the NEA to answer its critics is to shift its focus away from direct subsidy and towards arts infrastructure. Read that post if you want to follow my logic, but I really strongly, strongly believe it. And the big inspiration for that thinking is Fractured Atlas. One organization does far, far more to support thousands of arts organizations across the country -- by providing tangible infrastructure for many smaller arts organizations to exist.
- Providing the ability for organizations to accept donations without having to have an accountant and 501(c)3 filing fees and reporting
- Providing low-cost group-rate insurance, so that artists have an option for health care, accident insurance, liability insurance
- Providing an easy way to find performance space in a number of cities
- Creating an open source boot-strapped CRM tool for the arts space
Putting forward someone who can make the argument that the government can help artists without making them dependent, who can multiply the value of the dollar of the government, and can find new models of support -- I really believe it would change the framing of this zero-sum argument we've been struggling with for so long.