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Posted at 1:56 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Don't discourage D.C. artists

By Harry M. Bagdasian, Silver Spring

Regarding the Feb. 13 Arts story "A new NEA bomb: Too many arts venues?":

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman's for-profit Broadway sensibilities are clouding his judgment. He's supposed to be encouraging growth in the arts. Why go all negative? Why not "start a conversation" about how ineffective the NEA has become due to lack of financial growth? Too many theaters? That's nonsense. Is Mr. Landesman going to propose artistic death panels to determine who should continue their creative pursuits and who should not?

Fortunately, the dedicated theater artists of the D.C. area won't listen to people such as Mr. Landesman and other naysayers. They will continue to pursue their artistic dreams and enrich the cultural life of our city even if it does not enrich their bank accounts. For Mr. Landesman, maybe theater is just about money. For the people he wants to discourage, it's about a creative pursuit.

The writer is president of the Comedy Academy and is a former artistic director and co-founder of the New Playwrights' Theatre.

By Harry M. Bagdasian, Silver Spring  | February 16, 2011; 1:56 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, arts  
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Rocco Landesman should stick to gambling, horse races, minor league baseball and overblown melodrama that no one (mercifully) will ever read. His lack of vision on the need for more art of all forms is disturbing in light of the cushy political appointment he currently occupies. And, why would he say this when the NEA budget is about to be proposed to be zeroed out entirely?

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | February 17, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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