LA Without the NEA, Her Opponent and more - This Week's Must Read


  • What does the NEA's $148-million budget buy? 7,789,473 taco bowls but not even one mile of the 405 Freeway (LA Times)
  • What are We Watching? What are We Teaching? Preparing Acting Students for the New Golden Age (Howlround)
  • Look Back at the Original Production of Miss Saigon (Playbill)
  • Gender-Bending Debate Play ‘Her Opponent' to Open Off Broadway (NY Times)
  • What Theatre Artists and Administrators Should Know About Sexual Harassment (Howlround)
  • A Conversation With Anne Bogart: “I'm Absolutely Certain That Certainty Is Bad” (Theatre Times)
  • Two Female Playwrights Arrive on Broadway. What Took So Long? (NY Times)

The LA Times is doing a series on what local companies will be affected if the NEA is cut - CHECK IT OUT

And for some FUN: Donald:  The Musical

What "must read" stories in the arts did you encounter this week?

Save the NEA Edition of: This Week's Must Read


As most of you are aware, the Trump administration has proposed complete elimination of the NEA. So here are a bunch of stories about it to make sure you're up to date.

  • Trump Proposes Eliminating the Arts and Humanities Endowments (NY Times)
  • How would the death of the NEA affect your community? California can cite 162 ways (LA Times)
  • What is the National Endowment for the Arts and what would we lose without it? (For starters, works like 'Hamilton') (LA Times)
  • The NEA works. Why does Trump want to destroy it? (LA Times)
  • Trump Wants to Eliminate the NEA. Here's What That Means for L.A. (LA Weekly)
  • If Trump really wants to unify American culture, he should fund public broadcasting (Washington Post)
  • Arts and Humanities on President Trump's Budget Chopping Block (American Theatre)
  • Statement from NEA Chair Jane Chu on FY18 Budget (NEA Arts Work Blog)
  • Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton: Rescue the arts from the budget chopping block (CNN)
  • Actors' Equity President Kate Shindle calls Trump's proposed elimination of NEA grants "a job killer" (Time Out)
  • Seven Influential Filmmakers Whose Careers Were Launched By Federal Funds (Esquire)
  • Tony Kushner on Trump's proposed arts cuts: 'It's an appalling idea' (Guardian)
  • In the Absence of Federal Arts Funding (Bloomberg)

Here are a couple of Onion Articles for sad laughs

  • Trump Says Wasteful NEA Hasn't Produced Single Valuable Work Since Claes Oldenburg's ‘Giant Three-Way Plug' (Onion)
  • Gaunt, Hollow-Eyed Big Bird Enters Sixth Day Of Hunger Strike Against Proposed Trump Budget (Onion)

Be sure to write to your representatives to tell them why you support the NEA.

What "must read" stories in the arts did you encounter this week?


From the Americans for the Arts Action Fund:

The White House released its proposed budget to Congress today, officially recommending full termination of funding of both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for FY2018. This is the first American President in history to propose zeroing out all funding for the nation's federal cultural agencies.

Eliminating the NEA would be a devastating blow to the arts in America. For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories as well as placing arts therapists in 12 military hospitals to help returning soldiers heal from traumatic brain injuries. The NEA is also an economic powerhouse, generating more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds and helping to shape a $730 billion arts and culture industry that represents 4.2% of the nation's GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.

The federal appropriations process does not end here. We now begin a concerted grassroots effort to convince Congress to #SaveTheNEA. Here are the actions you can take right now:

1. The most important thing you can do is to take two minutes to send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose any attempt to eliminate or cut funding to the NEA.

2. Post on Facebook and Twitter to help rally national support to save the NEA. There is strength in numbers and your social media friends can help.


3. Contribute to the Arts Action Fund PAC to help ensure we have the resources to support pro-arts Congressional candidates who will help us save the NEA.

Lincoln Center Makes a Plea to Save the NEA

Lincoln Center, the world's largest performing arts center, released a public statement about President Trump's threats against the National Endowment of the Arts. By contributing $704.2 billion every year to the U.S. economy, the arts not only are a robust facet of American culture, but are also attract private philanthropy.
Lincoln Center is home to the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In an open letter posted to their website, the New York arts institution argued for both the human and economic benefits of continued federal support of the arts.
“Beyond our shores, American arts institutions are the envy of the world,” reads the statement. “In a unique public-private model, private sources provide the vast majority of funding for our artists and arts organizations. Government helps in targeted ways at pivotal moments, for example, by providing early funding to get projects off the ground or helping to create or expand promising initiatives to achieve greater reach and impact. Underlying all of this is the National Endowment for the Arts.”
“For more than 50 years, the NEA has provided leadership in the public arts arena,” reads the statement. “The total cost of the NEA is less than one dollar a year for every American. But because it is so successful and its imprimatur so prestigious, every dollar the NEA contributes leads to nine additional dollars being donated from other sources.”
Lincoln Center, which brings in six million people annually to its events, also made the strong case for how the arts serve a public good, while highlighting organization's work in arts education.
“A child's early introduction to ballet teaches strength and discipline,” the statement said. “A veteran's exposure to art therapy brings healing and hope. A student's participation in music class improves math scores and critical thinking skills. Art shapes achievement, with profound and practical effects.”
The statement does not mention President Trump by name, but in an echo of his “Make America Great Again” slogan, it states: “A great America needs that kind of return.”
You can read the full statement here.

Hillary Clinton receives a standing ovation and the Equity debate continues - This Week's Must Read


  • John Cleese: How to write the perfect farce (Guardian)
  • See Hillary Clinton and Steven Spielberg at Sunset Boulevard (Playbill)
  • 2 Cast Albums Hit Billboard Top 20 for the First Time in 50 Years (Playbill)
  • The most fearless woman in opera? Patricia Racette on coming out, Trump, nudity and the demands of 'Salome' (LA Times)
  • Unmasking the Trauma: A Look at Research on Mask Making as a Creative Arts Therapy (NEA Art Works)
  • Watch Phillipa Soo Perform From Amélie (Playbill)
  • Headlong Theatre's “1984”: Orwell's Nightmare Or A Smug Satire For The Inner Party? (The Theatre Times)
  • In Search of an Artistic Sabbatical (Howlround)
  • What Has Equity Won in Los Angeles? (American Theatre)
  • A new satire must emerge – one that breaks out of the liberal bubble (Guardian)
  • Privilege is playing too great a role in the arts (Guardian)

What "must read" stories in the arts did you encounter this week?

This Week's Must Read


  • Simon McBurney: Beware of Pity is chillingly resonant in the Trump era (Guardian)
  • Taking Note: Trending Now—an Arts Imperative in Economic Policy (NEA Arts Work)
  • If you love cultural criticism, you have to see ‘I Am Not Your Negro' (Washington Post)
  • Remembering playwright Sarah Kane (Theatre Times)
  • Headlong's 1984, the Hot Book of the Trump Era, is coming to Broadway (NY Times)
  • Middle Eastern America and the Theatre of Belonging (Howlround)
  • Dramatists Legal Defense Fund to Honor HAMILTON Cast for Speech to Vice President Mike Pence (Broadway World)
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is 50 and racial tension still a problem in America (LA Times)
  • Shape the Future of the World Theatre Map (Howlround)
  • That Time John Malkovich Nearly Burned Down Steppenwolf (Playbill)
  • How the Trump travel ban is already impacting L.A. arts institutions and artists (LA Times)
  • What if Trump Really Does End Money for the Arts? (NY Times)
  • Video Games as an Art Form Part 3: Bringing Games to Life (Howlround)

What "must read" stories in the arts did you encounter this week? Let us know in the comments!