John on September 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm
The National Endowment for the Arts said Thursday that its communications director, Yosi Sergant, has resigned.
“This afternoon Yosi Sergant submitted his resignation from the National Endowment for the Arts. His resignation has been accepted and is effective immediately,” said a spokeswoman, Sally Gifford, in a statement.
Sergant, who helped make artist Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” image ubiquitous as an organizer of Obama campaign support from artists, had seemed to mix the NEA’s work — essentially non-partisan politics — with the administration’s legislative agenda on a conference call reported on by Andrew Breitbart’s new conservative site, Big Government.
“I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service,” Sergant told artists on the call, which he reportedly invited some of them to attend. “My ask would be to apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities utilities and bring them to the table,” he said.
The new NEA Director issued a statement two days ago claiming that Sergant acted “unilaterally” and used “inappropriate language” on the conference call. He also assured taxpayers that no legislative agenda was being pushed.
If you haven’t read it, click over and read Morgen’s post detailing a previous meeting between six members of the White House staff and 50+ artists. It’s clear from the notes of this meeting (which took place in May) that Yosi Sergant was not acting unilaterally. On the contrary, he was doing exactly what he, the President’s “Arts Czar” and others in the Public Liason Office intended he do.
The White House is hoping this will all quietly blow over. They’re being aided in that by a news media that can’t be bothered to look into the situation. But stay tuned. There’s more to come. I predict Sergant won’t be the last to resign.
Category: Politics |