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Department of Education or some other program that gets resources directly into schools?
Ms. Alexander. I don't believe so. I think that our limited funds would be a drop in the bucket in the overall school system and would not impact positively for all the schools in America. What I think we do best is act as a catalyst, a collaborator, and a convener with regard to issues of arts education and continue to fund the artists and the arts organizations of America and involve them in the lives of our students in lifelong learning in the arts, bringing people to performing arts, to museums, and also teacher training in the arts with artists, artists in residencies in the schools, and things like that.
Mr. Riggs. Let me ask before my time expires one other question about the concentration and distribution of funding. I had a chance to review your testimony before the Senate. You seemed in your testimony to agree that at least one-third of all NEA funding goes to six cities. Isn't it the mission of the NEA if it's going to continue to exist to get art and artists out to the areas of the country that don't already have flourishing arts communities?
I very much appreciate that you mentioned in your testimony the DellArte, Inc. touring troop in Blue Lake, Humboldt County, California, which I represent. I'd like you to speak to that and also answer the question of why NEA funding shouldn't be concentrated where there are fewer applications or where census data shows that there are fewer existing arts organizations at the local level.
Ms. Alexander. Let me remind you that we receive applications from the communities. We do not go out and initiate arts activity except in our leadership grants. And, for example, one we have that might interest you is our folk and traditional arts leadership initiative with the states in order to build an infrastructure for folk and traditional artists and apprenticing to have a legacy in all states in America for our folk and traditional artists to pass on. That's one area that we can help serve people all over America.
Touring, as you point out, the DellArte in your district tours. And, as I pointed out, just 3 grants alone out of the almost 1,000 that we made this year impact 140 communities in America. And I could show you that kind of reach over and over again with our grantees.
Mr. Riggs. It seems to me that - this is my final comment - perhaps more aggressive outreach might be a better way to go than relying on sort of the trickle down theory, but we can continue this conversation.
Ms. Alexander. I would love that. I need more staff to do it.
Mr. Riggs. Okay.
Mr. Hoekstr. Mr. Martinez?
Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me say before I get started in the questioning that I'm going to do that in the eight minutes that the Chairman is going to allow me because he took eight minutes-or nine minutes, rather, I won't have time to ask you all the questions I have to ask you, but I do want the questions asked and in the record and the responses inserted in the record. So I will be submitting you questions dealing with the allegations and questions dealing with some of the clarifications that I would like on the program and would ask unanimous consent they be included as part of the
To begin with, I guess we all operate here a lot of times on a lot of false premises because of our own bias and because we don't take the time to find the facts.
There is some questioning that has been going on about the detailee to the White House. I don't know why I may be the only one in this room who knows this, but over half of the White House staff are detailees from different agencies. You know, that's good. And I'll tell you why. Because the President ought to know what's going on in those agencies so he can operate better.
Number two, there is a program in which legislative fellows are provided by every agency, where an individual career person of GS 14 or 15 can ask to be assigned to some office on the Hill. And we have had them here.
The gentleman who was just sitting behind me was from the IRS, and he requested to come here on the Hill for this specific committee on my staff. So he ended up working for us, in fact, because he was so delighted with the kinds of work that were done here.
Your answer to the other question as to whether or not you dictate curriculum to the local schools with arts education was great because we on the federal level should not be dictating curriculum. And I think we should all know that. It's always been a policy of the Education and Labor Committee here and the Senate committee on the other side not to dictate curriculum. That's a responsibility for the local education agency and the elected officials on the local level.
The question I wanted to ask you about the reference that was made to the three grants, and where the great portion of the money went, you've answered that. That chart answered it as explicitly as it could be answered. So I don't need to ask you that question.
I do want to, before I go any further, commend you for the job you have done because a few years back I was as offended as anyone by some of the grants that were made. I must mention that Mr. Doolittle represented as almost a current event a grant that was made back in '89, I believe he said, or '88
Ms. Alexander. '68.
Mr. Martinez. '68. That many years ago? '68, 78, '88, '98. Jesus Christ. You know, to bring up something like that almost as if it were current is deceitful. I can't put it any other way.
The fact is of the 45 of 112,000 grants that were actually offensive to a majority of people, how many
of those 45 were made before you ever took the office?
Ms. Alexander. An awful lot of them.
Mr. Martinez. I would venture to say the majority of them were made during the Reagan and Bush years. So I don't know how we can even start bringing that up as a reason to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts.
One of the things that impressed me and changed my mind because, like I say, I was offended by those is the great job you have done. And I want to associate my words with those of Mr. Roemer from Indiana and Mr. Castle of Delaware and some of the others who have commended you for the great job you have done because you have actually made me realize that for a few indiscretions, you don't
, as the cliche is, throw the baby out with the
You have made a lot of changes, changes that you made in spite of a reauthorization, which if Congress were diligent in their duties, they would have done that reauthorization. They would have given you some of the tools that you talk about more flexibility and the ability to solicit private funds. We in the federal government must realize that when we contribute a certain amount of money that seems like it may be a staggering sum nationally, it is all the money it takes to run these programs. They never stop and realize that it's only a small percentage but that seed money is what leverages,-and Mr. Houghton said it as good as anyone-brings other money to that particular venture, to that particular effort.
Since you have been all over the country and you have witnessed a lot of these programs firsthand and you have come back and you have made some changes, the ones that I'd like you to address and center on are the changes that you have made in how the grants are awarded. We're still under the impression that some of these grants could go to things-and it possibly can-that are not favorable to the majority of the public. But the things that you have implemented go a long way toward stopping that.
Will you elaborate on those, please?
Ms. Alexander. Yes. I'd be happy to. Thank you, Mr. Congressman. We now grant in 4 divisions, rather than 17 different programs: Creation and Presentation, which is for the presentation of old and new works and the creation and development of artists in residence with organizations or in colonies; secondly, Heritage and Preservation, which is just what it sounds like, the heritage of our great cultures, varied cultures, in the United States and the preservation of some of our art forms, conservation of paintings, preservations of film and so on; Education and Access, which is, as I've said, lifelong learning in the arts, K through 12, and arts programs after school, and access for people in America to the arts; and Planning and Stabilization for our arts organizations. And I've already cited how
many of them are not stable financially. We seek to help them in that, and we actually provide-we have management assessment before we provide the grants and so on.
And then there's another category, which is less formal. It's called Leadership Initiatives, which I've cited already, which involve our millennium projects right now and many leadership initiatives, like the Mayors' Institute on City Design and so on.
Mr. Martinez. Ms. Alexander, on many occasions you have said that if the NEA didn't exist today, you would have to invent it. Could you explain that remark?
Ms. Alexander. Yes. In my opening remarks, I talked about what had happened to the arts in America, how they have moved from a few urban areas, in particular, and expanded across the country and that people everywhere in America, certainly where I visited, the very smallest towns of Womego, Kansas on up to the very large ones, want the arts in their communities. The inner city wants the arts. Everybody wants it. That's why we've received so many applications at the endowment or we did in the past. And so this has resulted in a seeding of the arts in America and a flowering of the arts.
What we need to do now-and we're embarked on a very large initiative called American Canvas-is seek to build an infrastructure to help communities support their arts facilities and their arts organizations for their children and their children's children. Much as we commit to our natural resources, we need to commit to our cultural resources in America. This will result in healthy organizations, which we don't have at this time.
Mr. Martinez One last question. But before I make that question, I'd like to make an apology to Mr. Baldwin. I want to get back, if I can, for your testimony since I'm a big fan of yours and have seen most all of your movies.
Mr. Martinez. But the last question I would ask you, Ms. Alexander, you have launched several new initiatives, such as the American Canvas and Leadership Initiative. Could you explain what these initiatives are and what you hope to accomplish with these new programs?
Ms. Alexander. Yes. American Canvas is this initiative. We went to six cities in the United States. We have a committee of over 100 people from all across the United States. And we have a report coming out in June which will seek to help communities everywhere build infrastructure for their arts.
We don't see any need for the wheel to be reinvented over and over again when something might work in one community that needs to be communicated to another. So that's what American Canvas is about, and we think that it will be helpful.
Mr. Martinez. I think it sounds very exciting. And you're to be commended again.
Ms. Alexander. Thank you.
Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hoekstra. Thank you. And I think we gave you eight and a half minutes. So you got 30 seconds more than I did. Just a couple of last questions. FC2, did they receive a grant after the reforms that you talked about were put in, place?
Ms. Alexander FC2 did receive a grant.
Mr. Hoekstra. A couple of things in the questions that came through. You are interested and think it would be helpful if the National Endowment were given greater flexibility in soliciting funds. Is that correct?
Ms. Alexander. Yes, I do.
Mr. Hoekstra. But you would support that kind of a chance and legislative change?
Ms. Alexander. The ability to solicitand
Mr. Hoekstra. Soliciting, soliciting funds.
Ms. Alexander. Solicit and invest.
Mr. Hoekstra. Okay. Also, you do not initiate grant requests. You only respond; is that correct, to grant requests?
Ms. Alexander. To applications, yes.
Mr. Hoekstra. To applications.
Ms. Alexander. We do try to nurture the field. The staff is very much in touch with the field. But I haven't had enough staff to do that kind of work, for example, in what you bring up, more areas that want to be served.
Mr. Hoekstra. So it is a response agency? You're responding
Ms. Alexander. For the most part, yes.
Mr. Hoekstra. Okay. Good. Thank you. I have no more questions. Thank you very much.
Ms. Alexander. Thank you. I appreciate it. I'd like to submit my written statement for the record.
Mr. Hoekstra. We'll submit the written statement. I think there is also a number of questions. We're interested in what happens with this Education Department mailing and those types of things. And other members who have questions can submit them to you. And I would assume that you would be willing to respond. And the responses would be put part of the record.
Ms. Alexander. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hoekstr. Great. Thank you very much.
Mr. Hoekstra. We're going to take a five-minute break. And then Mr. Riggs will convene the fourth panel. Thank you.
Mr. Riggs. (presiding] The subcommittees will come to order. Let me ask our last panel of witnesses to take their places. And I'd like to explain that procedurally we will alternate between, if you will, pro and con witnesses. And I will make a very short introduction of each of our witnesses as they are recognized to present their testimony.
Our first witness of the fourth, final, and in my view most important panel of today's joint subcommittees' hearing is Mr. Pat Trueman. He is the Director of Government Affairs for the American Family Association based here in Washington, D.C. Mr. Trueman, thank you for being here. You're recognized. You may proceed with your testimony for up to five minutes.
Mr. Trueman. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.