136. Memorandum From the Associate Director for Programs, International Communication Agency (Schneidman) to the Executive Assistant to the Director (Cohen)1
- International Arts Policy
The attached decision memo has for this year served as the framework for this institution’s approach to the arts. From several fragmentary comments I have heard, it is not wholly acceptable to ECA for reasons that are not wholly clear to me but which I believe have been communicated to persons outside of the Agency.
At the last full-scale meeting of the Interagency Art Group, held at Mrs. Mondale’s house, I set forth essentially the contents of the attached decision memo. In response to a question, I suggested that $10,000,000 was a good, round figure to pay for the overseas deployment of the products identified, developed and otherwise funded through the Endowments’ domestic infrastructure and that the money be placed in the Endowments’ budget as a separate line item.
The seminal attitudes that should be considered in following on that meeting are the following:
Paul Henze, NSC—“The two Endowments have a role to play in international relations but that role will be determined by ICA.”
Barry Jagoda—“The $10,000,000 should be placed in the ICA budget and not in the Endowments’.”
Liv Biddle, NEA—“Enthusiastic and unqualified support.”[Page 394]
Joe Duffey, NEH—“General support.”
Nancy Hanks, former Chairman of NEA, at a meeting with the Director—“The arts offer the greatest international impact for the least investment. The creation of the International Exhibitions Committee was the only real mistake in my tenure as chairman.”
Mrs. Mondale—“It is important that these activities be controlled by the creative personnel, in the case of the arts by the artist, rather than by administrators, bureaucrats or impresarios. I will lobby to get you the $10,000,000.”
The only way I know to make a collegial, non-redundant relationship work is to have our international infrastructure list the art and humanities people and products called for by our communication and cultural relations needs. The Endowments would then focus their domestic infrastructure on filling those needs in terms of both quality and Mrs. Mondale’s strongly held views. There may be other ways, better ways, that are not known to me. If so, the possessors of such ideas should come forward with them. What is not acceptable in my view is continuing in the same old comfortable way which adds up to an infinitesimal product in terms of the present and potential need.
- Source: National Archives, RG 306, Associate Directorate for Programs, Subject Files of Basic Operating Documents, 1969–1982, Entry P–100, Basic Documents—1978 [A]. No classification marking. Printed from an uninitialed copy.↩
- No classification marking. A copy was sent to Bray. Reinhardt and Miller initialed the memorandum, indicating that they saw it.↩
- Not attached and not further identified.↩
- References are to the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Bienal, and Biennale de Paris.↩
- An unknown hand, presumably Reinhardt’s, crossed out Solmssen’s name and placed a check mark next to this option. _______↩