Secretary of the Arts: Ask Obama for What You Want
Yes Viginia, folks still do listen to Public Radio, at least the programs that haven't yet been canceled. How do I know? Because Quincy Jones was interviewed on November 14, 2008 in conjunction with the publication of his new book, The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions (Insight Editions, 2008) by John Schaefer on WNYC's Soundcheck. During the interview Jones apparently said, "...next conversation I have with President Obama is to beg for a Secretary of Arts."
Bassist Jaime Austria took Jones seriously and created a petition asking soon-to-be President Obama for just that. Austria plays bass with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and the New York City Opera, the latter which recently suffered through some major personnel changes and like other companies, great and small, is struggling with a sharply declining annual budget resulting from the current international economic crisis.
Austria's effort seems to have the blessing of Quincy Jones. Jones' homepage indicates as of January 15, 2008, the petition's signatures have surpassed the 100,000 mark, and gone global with coverage from Ireland and Norway.
To sign the petition, go here
Listen to the Jones interview here: