Censored This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Do we have the same Congress that we had in early summer? In June, I attended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing discussing the passage of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1989, which would provide protection for artists against destruction of their work. During the meeting I heard a number of politicians pledge their unceasing commitment to support artists. Some three months later this same Congressseems to be trying to limit budding artists' constitutional right to freedom of expression by taking away their funding.

Many people believe that by eliminating financial assistance from the art community, the government is engaging in a form of censorship. Is this true? You bet I think it is! Senators want to decide who receives federal funding in an attempt to eliminate "questionable" works of art. Without money the artist is financially strangled and forced to abandon his/her talents. Picasso, at one time a federally funded artist, was considered controversial. Had government money not been available to him, we may never have been blessed with the beauty of Picasso's work.

Former President John Kennedy once said, "To further the appreciation of culture among all the people, to increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillment of art , this is one of the fascinating challenges of these days." (Congressional Record, June 16, 1989, pg SC811) If we don't provide assistance for different kinds of art we limit our cultural horizons. Those on Capital Hill who fear controversial art fear the progress that JFK said is vital to our culture. We musn't cut funding, we should expand it. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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