From Our Director: All Are Welcome Here

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” – Alphonse Karr, French novelist (1808-90)

Will the new administration eliminate the NEA, NEH, and CPB? We hear rumblings from the other Washington that Republicans in Congress are newly emboldened to achieve the long-desired goal of shutting down federal support for the arts and humanities and the commercialization of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about supporting public television or that arts and humanities contribute to the public good.

The above quote translates to “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Yes, we will once again be pitched in a fight to save the pittance the federal government invests in community creativity, and civics. Advocates for arts and humanities in the Congress—and they are many—have successfully resisted these efforts in the past and they will be geared up to resist again. It helps mightily when Congress hears from you.

We have recently been asked how the elimination of the NEA would impact 4Culture. Many are concerned that 4Culture would have to reduce grants if federal funds evaporate. Not to worry. 4Culture is in no way dependent on NEA funding, except for partial support we receive for initiative projects. While 4Culture won’t be seriously impacted, we know that important state and local programs could lose critical funds, and we empathize with the anxiety facing every group whose services depend upon the NEA’s dollars. And we add our voice to all those who believe in creativity as the currency of tolerance.

We state as clearly and strongly as we can: all are welcome at 4Culture. We acknowledge that government institutions have historically not been strong partners to people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, trans people, the poor, the disabled, and more. 4Culture commits to amplifying the voices of those who have been excluded, and to building trust in our relationships with these communities.

As our region’s leaders reaffirm the values of inclusiveness and openness even at the risk of losing federal funding, we stand with them. 4Culture has long prided itself on finding creative ways to meet the needs of all county residents—that will never change.

Jim Kelly