Although the drive to demolish the National Endowment for the Arts has slowed considerably in recent months, indignant voices from the far right still occasionally make themselves heard. One of these voices belongs to the Christian Action Network, a little-known organization which staged an anti-art art show on the steps of the NEA on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC, June 30.
Associated Press reports that for the benefit of passersby, Christian Action Network president Martin Mawyer propped up a ramshackle gallery of what he called "indecent art," according to a report by the Associated Press. Among the works displayed were photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andre Serrano, the controversial artists who set off the NEA storm a decade ago.
NEA officials were unconcerned with the demonstration. "This is another one of those tiny fringe groups that disseminate misinformation and lies about the Endowment in order to raise money," said agency spokesperson Cherie Simon. "No one is paying attention."
AP said that Mawyer was seeking to get arrested to bring attention to his cause. However, the U.S. Park Police were unaccommodating.
The Senate's Interior Appropriations Committee recently set NEA funding at $100 for the coming fiscal year. The amount is $2 million more than that allotted for the agency by the corresponding committee in the House. The budget bill is expected to reach the House floor for a vote on July 16. --By Robert Simonson