Yosi Sergant may not be the National Endowment for the Arts Director of Communication, but his spirit lives on in the misinformation released by the NEA. The NEA has given this statement to both the Huffington Post and The Washington Times:
“On August tenth, the National Endowment for the Arts participated in a call with arts organizations to inform them of the president’s call to national service. The White House office of public engagement also participated in the call, which provided information on how the Corporation for National and Community Service can assist groups interested in sponsoring service projects or having their members volunteer on other projects. This call was not a means to promote any legislative agenda and any suggestions to that end are simply false. The NEA regularly does outreach to various organizations to inform of the work we are doing and the resources available to them.”
Here’s what Mr. Sergant said on the conference call:
“This is just the beginning. This is the first telephone call of a brand-new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government.”
“So bear with us as we learn the language, so that we can speak to each other safely and we can really work together to move the needle and to get … stuff done.”
“I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment…. Then my ask would be to apply your artistic, creativity community’s utilities. Bring them to the table.”
“Take photos. Take video. Post it on your blogs. Get the word out. Like I said, this is a community that knows how to make a stink. Do it. Do it within your town. Do it nationally. Call on other producers, marketers, publicists, art — you know — artists, people from within our community and get them engaged.”
Judge for yourself who is telling the truth.