In this impassioned and persuasive book, Bill Ivey, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, assesses the current state of the arts in America and finds cause for alarm. Even as he celebrates our ever-emerging culture and the way it enriches our lives here at home while spreading the dream of democracy around the world, he points to a looming crisis. The expanding footprint of copyright, an unconstrained arts industry marketplace, and a government unwilling to engage culture as a serious arena for public policy have come together to undermine art, artistry, and cultural heritage--the expressive life of America. In eight succinct chapters, Ivey blends personal and professional memoir, policy analysis, and deeply held convictions to explore and define a coordinated vision for art, culture, and expression in American life.
Summary: Very informative and thought provoking Rating: 5
Bill Ivey covers an enormous amount of arts terrain in this thought provoking book. Anyone involved with the arts rarely considers all the facets of the arts and the way in which they intertwine. Ivey, from his unique perspective as former NEA Chairman, is in the position to inform and to a slightly lesser degree offer solutions to some of the larger problems to how greed and neglect have destroyed our cultural rights.
As a music educator, I found his assessment of the historical hierarchical structure of music valuing on target, but felt he could have acknowledged the more recent progress in multicultural music education. The National Association for Music Education developed national standards in the 1990's that have largely been adopted by the states. As written, these national standards have proven to be a vehicle to promote all types of established cultural traditions in music. The correct argument he makes in Arts, Inc. that music education is about "band and choir", is a practice that is slowly changing.