WASHINGTON — John Frohnmayer has announced his resignation as head of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The NEA, already raised as a presidential campaign issue, has come under attack from conservative politicians for giving grants paid for from federal taxes for projects that they see as promoting homosexuality, erotic themes or radical feminism. On the other hand, Mr. Frohnmayer has been criticized by some artists for what they see as caving in to those conservative forces.
Frohnmayer told the NEA staff that during his 2 1/2 years with the agency, "We have not accepted content restriction nor have we blacklisted artists or favored some ideas over others. This independence - both from critics and artists - is essential to our future health and success as an agency."
In an aside, he added, "I believe that adequate federal government support of the arts, free of content restrictions, is vital to our educational, economic, community and intellectual success as a country."