A group of 16 high-profile artists, authors, performers and architects serving on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned today. The en masse departures were an act of protest against Trump’s defense of white nationalists following last week’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The group is an advisory committee to the White House that works with the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services. It particularly focuses on matters of art education and cultural exchange.
In an open letter to the President, shared on Twitter by actor Kal Penn, the Committee’s departing “private members” make their reasoning plain: “Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville. The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”
The Washington Post gives some context for the development, which seems to have been brewing for sometime: “members of the arts and humanities commission quit after Trump’s victory last fall, but the remaining commissioners agreed to continue in their roles until Trump named successors, according to the two people familiar with their plans. In recent days, however, they agreed it was time to resign and have spent the last several days drafting a letter explaining their decision.” read more