Two Art Centers Protest `Obscene Art' Funding Cuts

DIRECTORS of two arts centers are protesting the potential loss of $250,000 in annual federal grants if a Senate-passed measure banning government aid for works judged obscene becomes law. The Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia said it could lose about $175,000 for each of the next five years because it organized a controversial exhibit by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Spokeswoman Nancy Burd said a $500,000 federal grant to aid in the institute's move to a new building next year at the University of Pennsylvania may also be threatened.

Last week's Senate action also places in jeopardy a $75,000 annual National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant that helps support an artist fellowship program at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The center was targeted by the measure's sponsor, Sen. Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina, because it used federal funds to sponsor a photo exhibition by Andres Serrano that included a picture of a crucifix submerged in a container of the artist's urine.

Both centers are seeking to muster support against the proposed federal funding ban, which would last five years.

The funding ban amendment was tacked on to a $171 million NEA appropriation approved by the Senate last Wednesday. It would bar NEA support for ``obscene and indecent materials, including but not limited to depictions of sadomasochism, homoeroticism, the exploitation of children or individuals engaged in sex acts.... '' It will be up to a House-Senate conference committee to determine whether the amendment should remain in the final bill passed by Congress.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK