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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Creative America: Fighting the Radical Right

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Published Dec 16, 2005 by Terri Rimmer
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Did you know?
Howard Stern is going to satellite radio because of FCC restrictions.
Takeaways
· Creative America was founded by Tom Tresser.
· The group does presentations all over the country.
· The far-right extremist groups ran for office starting in 1980.
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They are attempting to train and lead creative types to run for office to change the face of the political scene.
At Creative America the thought is that creativity should be a national value.

"It should be priority," said the organization's founder Tom Tresser. "We know that there are tens of thousands making a living in the creative field but there are also teachers, scientists, educators, architects, people who develop products, advertising reps, people who work in the technical field of the internet - all these people work in creative fields, too."

Creative America is making presentations to different organizations in the country with this motto: "The politics of creativity: A Call For Service."

"We try to make the case that creativity is part of America's national heritage," said Tresser. "We start out by having people read a little bit of the Declaration of Independence at our presentations. We make the argument that when the Declaration was read aloud in the summer of 1776 that that was actually public performance, political art."

Tresser said that reading in the public square in the colonies actually is the first time that people were hearing that there was a U.S. and that by hearing it and agreeing to it it was a collective performance.

"It was actually real and that to me is a mammoth act of audacious creativity," he said. "And so we start off at that pint and if that resonates with people attending than that's the foundation, that America was founded on creativity and that creativity is the American way. That sort of sets the stage that tells us creativity is important and how we have the need for innovation. And that there is a mindset that was in order to have a creative society we need to have an open mind. We can't shut out new ideas and new ways of being. That puts us in opposition to others who have a different point of view. For many people in the arts and cultural field they need to be reminded about some of these adversarial organizations because of the cultural wars from the 1990s."

Tresser said the group reminds people about 1990 through 1992 happenings like the Christian Coalition and others who were actively opposing the National Endowment for the Arts and generally organizing an anti-gay, anti-intellectual organization. There were letter writing campaigns all over the country directed at arts organizations objecting to some art. The consequences were very negative.

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