In 2005, FoxNews.com reported the NEA’s reputation had made marked improvements among its stark critics in Washington, including longtime detractor Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C). Ms. Myrick stated she had a “renewed confidence in the agency” and applauded the NEA’s “concerted effort to spread resources to more communities, national initiatives and higher standards for grant-make,” FoxNews.com said. Since the controversial August 10th teleconference call led by the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve, her confidence appears to have been undermined.
On Friday, she released this statement to The Washington Times:
“While I appreciate the NEA’s support for community service, I was troubled that the NEA participated in a conference call to encourage members of the art community to use their creative talents to build consensus for the President’s policy proposals. Because the NEA’s grant programs offer substantial support for many artists, this discussion could have been interpreted as sending a subtle message to would-be grant recipients about the NEA’s preferred subject matter. Furthermore, I feel the recent reassignment of the NEA’s communications director, Yosi Sergant, is appropriate given the questionable nature of the call.”