The New York Times Editorial Desk Thursday, March 16, 1995
To the Editor:
In 'Mocking America at U.S. Expense' (Op-Ed, March 10), Lynne Cheney correctly states that I think Arts Endowment funding for a few controversial artists was a mistake. (Actually the individuals I had in mind were given tiny amounts of money indirectly through institutions that received N.E.A. funding.) What she doesn't say is that it doesn't bother me in the least if the N.E.A. subsidizes art I don't like. I see these grants as a mistake only in the sense that they have made life more difficult for the agency.
It is highly debatable whether the art world sees the work of Ron Athey and Karen Finley as 'examples of outstanding accomplishment.' What is undeniable is that under the distinguished leadership of Jane Alexander the current N.E.A. is firmly committed to giving awards based solely on merit.
Co-President, The Creative Coalition
New York, March 10, 1995