Biden has reinstated the art committee that was disbanded over Trump’s handling of Charlottesville


President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday that includes a provision to reinstate the president’s Arts and Humanities Commission, which was disbanded in 2017 after members of the commission resigned over then-President Donald Trump’s handling of a deadly white nationalist rally. Charlottesville, Virginia

“The arts, humanities, and museum and library services are essential to the well-being, health, vitality, and democracy of our Nation,” Biden’s executive order reads. “They are the soul of America, reflecting our multicultural and democratic experience.

“They help us strive for the more perfect Union that generations of Americans have wanted. They inspire us; provide livelihood; sustain, anchor, and bring cohesion to our Nation’s diverse communities; stimulate creativity and innovation; help us understand and communicate our values ​​as a people; compel us to grapple with our history enable us to imagine our future; energize and strengthen our democracy; and point the way to progress.”

The PCAH was created under President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to advise the White House on issues related to the arts and humanities. Members are typically from the arts and entertainment community. The committee is made up of politicians, educators, lawyers and businessmen.

More than a dozen members of the commission resigned in 2017 in sharp disapproval of Trump’s response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, in which Trump blamed deadly violence on people on “both sides” and rejected calls to remove divisive Confederate monuments.

Actor Kal Penn, best known for his role in “Harold and Kumar,” was a member of the committee and shared his resignation letter. on Twitter at that time

“We cannot stand idly by, as your West Wing advisers have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” said the letter, which was addressed directly to Trump. “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would make us complicit in your words and actions.”

“Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President,” the letter continued. “But it is our role as PCAH commissioners to do that. Art is inclusion.”

Biden’s executive order says the reformed committee will be made up of the president of the National Endowment for the Arts, the president of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and up to 25 other people. they are not full-time government employees.

The commission is expected to meet twice a year and make recommendations to the president to improve the effectiveness of federal support for the arts.