Sunday, July 27, 2008

Other Residencies, 2

A bit of theatre too good to have been written (though I did edit it down here and there):

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to offer this amendment:

SEC. 801. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to employ any individual under the title ``artist in residence''.

This amendment is really about prioritizing spending and fiscal responsibility. Over the last 2 years, NASA has spent $20,000 for an artist-in-residence program. My amendment is designed to prevent or limit that practice in the future.

Mr. Chairman, nowhere in NASA's mission does it say anything about advancing fine arts or hiring a performance artist. In fact, Laurie Anderson, the person that was chosen to perform the role of a performance artist, when she was called to be offered the job, she said, “Sure, what do I do?”

And the response she got from NASA was, “Well, we do not know; we have never done this before.”

One of the first things that I did in 2003 after I showed up as a new Member of Congress is I attended a memorial service for the Columbia astronauts. Certainly, spending money by NASA on a performance artist and an artist-in-residence program does nothing to make sure that the shuttle program gets back into space and prevents such tragedies in the future.

1 comment:

ddyment said...

Particularly disturbing is the fact that the Republican National Study Committee took offense that Anderson worked on other projects in the two years that she was in residence. Two years. $20 000. How could they possible expect her not to generate other forms of income?