Dustin Kidd

Andrew W. Mellon Regional Fellow in the Humanities

20082009 Forum on Change

Dustin Kidd

Assistant Professor, Sociology, Temple University

Legislating Creativity: The Intersections of Art and Politics

Legislating Creativity explores social change through an examination of debates faced by the National Endowment for the Arts in the 1980s and 90s. This book project focuses on the ways that art and political structures transformed one another through their intersections during the moment of controversy. It relies on historical analysis of several controversial projects and a contemporary revisiting of the entities involved. The book observes that Congress has moved away from direct funding for artists, responding in part to the notion that all art is political; that the art world now takes content more seriously, responding to the political focus on content above formal concerns; and that the artistic dimension of some projects is often diminished if they are also seen as political.