Musicians, artists and numerous arts lovers are participating in a campaign to support the creation of a Secretary of the Arts in the United States. The United States is one of the few western democracies that does not have a higher cabinet level minister or secretary in charge of the arts or cultural affairs.
In a recent radio interview with John Schaefer on WNYC’s Soundcheck, renowned musician and producer Quincy Jones mentioned that he plans to request from president elect Barack Obama the creation of a Secretary of the Arts. Quincy Jones’ call for a U.S. secretary of the arts inspired an online petition. “The next conversation I have with President elect Barack Obama is to beg for a secretary of the arts,” he said.
An online petition was started by classical and jazz bassist Jaime Austria, inspired by Quincy Jones’ interview. According to Quincy Jones’ official website, during his travels Quincy Jones has observed that people in other countries seem to have greater appreciation for American music than Americans. He hopes the creation of a secretary of the arts in the U.S. will help preserve American music and other U.S. arts and ensure that they remain a vital part of American schools’ curriculum.