New York Foundation for the Arts, February 23, 2009
Rhetoric about a “new WPA”—a government-sponsored arts funding project for the 21st century—has been bandied about since the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy last fall. And yet little has been written about how such a project might function in today’s changed landscape: new media, new politics, and new economic realities make the question a challenging one. NYFA Current gathered a group of prominent writers, painters, historians, and others from the arts and arts administration fields to discuss what a “21st-century WPA” might look like, and how it might best serve working artists.
Carol Becker is dean of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her books include The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change; The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, and Gender; and Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art. Her newest book is Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production.
Phong Bui is an artist, writer, and independent curator. He is also the editor and publisher of the monthly journal The Brooklyn Rail, which offers critical perspectives on arts, politics, and culture in New York City and beyond.
Chris Martin is an abstract painter living in New York. He is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
Irving Sandler is a critic, art historian, and the author of The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism; Alex Katz: A Retrospective; Defining Modern Art: Selected Writings of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; the memoir A Sweeper-Up After Artists; and Avant Garde to Pluralism: An On-The-Spot History, among others. He is one of the founders of Artists Space.
Sacha Yanow is a New York-based actor and the Program Director of Art Matters. Previous to Art Matters, she served as Director of Operations at The Kitchen.
Suzan Sherman, Editor, NYFA Current
Logistics and Research, Emily Warner, NYFA Editorial Intern
Video, Amber Hawk Swanson, Officer NYFA Source