Yosi Sergant, now former Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts was active in the Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2008. He was a curator at an art show during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. In this video (at 1:20 in) he talks about how artists coalesced around themes of the Obama campaign:
“The arts movement has really coalesced around the themes underneath the Barack Obama campaign. There have been individual artists working all over the country to raise visibility for those themes from hope and unity and healthcare and union support and what we wanted to do was we wanted to give them a place to showcase these messages here at the Democratic National Convention.”
“Barack Obama is the first nominee who had a policy before he was even the nominee for arts and culture, and I think that really has struck a chord with a lot of the artists. They have activated and coalesced before there was a call to action for themselves.”
Another individual interviewed in the piece talked about how excited he was to have Obama in the White House, because the NEA would be well funded under an Obama administration.:
INTERVIEWEE: The next logical step is for Obama to be in the White House right now, and to get rid of the current republican right-wing conservative administration that completely want to get rid of the arts. They totally took away all funding for the NEA… National Endowment for the Arts they have no respect for arts or the artists or musicians…at least in Los Angeles, where I’m from. They completely took it away from all the public schools. And you know, if Obama gets elected…arts music for everybody, and I think that’s great.”
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a fear that Obama or anyone in the political scene could be co-opted and neutralized by the machinery?
INTERVIEWEE: Of course that’s always a strong possibility, but everything is in greys nothing is in black and white and he’s definitely less of a grey than other people. I would think so. I would hope so.”