Is It Art If the State Department Likes It?

| 10/16/2007 4:57:29 PM

It’s often a delicate dance when government gets involved in the arts, and a new U.S.-backed program appears to be off to a stumbly start. The American Prospect reports that the program, called Museums and Community Collaborations Abroad, is intended to fund artists to create works for overseas museums. To that end, the State Department and the American Association of Museums are handing out $700,000 in grant money to lucky artists.

There are a couple of hitches, though. “For one thing,” the Prospect writes, “the State Department requires that each proposal explain ‘how this project promotes U.S. foreign policy.’ For another, it turns out that U.S. embassies and consulates are allowed—or, one might guess, encouraged—to preselect foreign museums for participation.”

Given these criteria, what would a winning entry look like? Perhaps something like this. —Keith Goetzman

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