Friday, January 20, 2017

SUPPORT THE ARTS: Message from president of the Dramatists Guild of America

*The following statement is a message from Doug Wright, president of the Dramatists Guild of America, sent today to the Guild’s 7000+ members*

January 20, 2017


Dear Fellow Dramatists Guild Member,

Your Guild is acutely aware of newspaper reports stating that the incoming Trump administration wants to slash the Federal budget with a host of ill-conceived cuts. Notable among these is proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts.

We recognize that this is a specious, even disingenuous idea since the Endowment is .003 percent of the national budget; abolishing it will do little to curb spending. On the contrary; such action will do us all financial harm, as we’ve seen again and again that the arts prove themselves a worthy investment. Theatre alone contributes roughly $7.1 billion to the national economy.

Destroying the endowment isn’t only misguided fiscal policy; it would also have catastrophic symbolic impact as well. It would render concrete the world’s suspicion that our nation 
is becoming increasingly anti-cultural, anti-intellectual, and anti-humanitarian. It will demoralize those Americans who already feel under siege by the new administration. It will demonize artists, the true arbiters of our national and spiritual conscience.

The arts promote empathy, nourish the spirit, and increase our understanding of complex,eternal truths. Our government should value them as central to our national wellbeing.
To do less is to invite a further slide into the rancor and vulgarity that increasingly constitutes our national discourse.

The Dramatists Guild will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are strategizing a rigorous, forceful response should plans to eradicate the NEA move forward. In the
meantime, we urge you—American dramatists—to use your authorial gifts to address these and other troubling political developments on stages all across this country.


Doug Wright
President, The Dramatists Guild of America


Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. I also invite you to check out the website Show-Score.Com, where you will find capsule reviews of current plays from Yours Truly and many other New York critics.  

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