Should the U.S. Government Subsidize Accordion Festivals?

Categories: Arts, Morning Poll
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A group of accordion fanatics in Texas aren't happy with Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake.

This coming weekend is the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas. The Festival is subsidized by the National Endowment of the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government pegged with dishing out cash in the form grants to support the arts.

Last year, the NEA gave the Accordion Festival $35,000. Thanks to Congressman Flake, the festival only received $30,000 in government coin this year.

As Gwen Rivera, the festival's director, told New Times yesterday, the festival -- which has a budget of $150,000 -- is feeling the cuts.

See our story on the festival here.

She credits Flake with the cuts to her budget after he grilled Rocco Landesman, chairman of the NEA, during a U.S. House Appropriations sub-committee meeting earlier this year. Flake wanted to know why -- given the current realities of the U.S. economy -- the NEA should give funds to certain groups that, according to him, are "a bit tough to justify."

Flake specifically singled out the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the International Accordion Festival.

"Those kind of grants lend themselves to ridicule," Flake said at the time.

If you ask us, that's because the federal government spending taxpayer money on things like accordions and mimes is ridiculous -- but we want to know what you think: should the federal government subsidize an accordion festival?

Cast your vote below.



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17 comments
Mistalee
Mistalee

It's arguably more benign than paying for the killing of Afghani villagers, and we pay billions for that.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Or the hundred thousand+ Iraqis killed in the war which three WAR CRIMINALS, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, LIED US INTO.Too bad these three will never face justice and the hanging they so richly deserve.

Bobby
Bobby

Possibly the only thing I've ever agreed on with you.

Vic
Vic

Half of the people voting think our hard earned money should be spent on this?  Come on,if we want to spend money, let's spend it on people who are struggling now with no job orno health insurance, not on a certain groups hobby.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Great idea Vic

Too bad your state "Leadership" turned down the unemployment money from the feds. That money probably would have helped the "People who are struggling now with no job and no health insurance."

Bobby
Bobby

Illegal immigration is the democratic party's hobby, and it costs U.S. taxpayers billions.

Bobby
Bobby

Sorry, bro, most of that money is going, by mandate of the Democrat left, to the "undocumented" poplulation, including to La Raza and other Mexican power groups, that use some of it for Mariachi Music and a dozen Mexican holidays.

Bobby
Bobby

I love this poll above and the results. The fact that a majority of Americans love the idea of accordian festivals and beer is a sign that Americans still are in touch with the more solid side of their nature. I'll bet the leftists were the 41% of those that had no appreciation for the accordian or beer as being worthy of subsidizing. Afterall, with so many important "programs" of the "progressive left" needing money,, such as subsidizing millions of foreign nationals here illegally, why should money for anything be spent on American citizens?

Jack Dermody
Jack Dermody

When the government stops subsidizing the wealthy and killing country peasants overseas, I'll start worrying about subsidizing accordion festivals.

Bobby
Bobby

Then your'e going to wait a long long time. I say enjoy the accordian and beer now.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

I'll gladly pay for Texas' accordion festival if Texans will help pay for the MCSO's Skin Flute festival.

Guest23
Guest23

Though I am no fan of mime or polka, I do enjoy accordians as a musical addition in bands. Tom Waits has used them tp great effect in the past.

I don't think politicians should be judging what is art as they generally have no clue about it and since art is often a critique of life, society and religion, and the art world often steps on these toes which upsets their constituents that don't understand the positive effect art has historically on culture as a whole in the long run. Historically cultures support of art is a sign of an intelligent and forward thinking culture. Art being repressed or govts that support the villification of certain types of art is a sign of repression creeping into society. Remember that artists were some of the early persons to be put into concentration camps during world war two in Germany. A great example of the type of art that makes a huge impact and speaks a message louder than words is Andreas Serranos "Piss Christ." It caused much public outcry because it was a comment on religion and christianity and offended many christians which in turn lead to less funding for the NEA which was a shame. Though most are not knowledgeable enough to see the value in such art, those that know anything about art and its purpose and place in society do. I look forward to many flames for this stance but when you look at the rise and fall of many cultures, the falls are usually precipitated by the repression of the arts. It is something to consider when thinking about how we want culture to be 100s to 1000s of years from now. Personal taste and religious or political beliefs should not dictate which arts are funded, and that even includes art I find distasteful, otherwise that is censorship and repression of the freedom of speech. Though I will say that not all artists and art is good and that can be determined by factors other than subject matter, personal taste, societal mores, etc. Technical ability in form and function as well as how the art communcates the artists intentions are what art should be judged by and sometimes this produces something beautiful and at other times grotesque, horrifying, or blasphemous.

Guest23
Guest23

I agree but that is the thing with taste and we need to remember that taste has nothing to do with how good something is other than an objective opinion that shouldn't cause an infringment on someone who may be a technical master at what they do, which is what Phillip Glass is. I don't care for his music but he does what he does very well and if one knows anything about composing he has that mastered as well. Art has many layers to it other than how it looks and sounds, intention, technical skill and final execution hold more weight than subjective taste. I am really surprised I have had my ass flamed off here.

Bobby
Bobby

Personally, I wouldn't mind if Philliop Glass's music faded quietly into the void.

Mistalee
Mistalee

I feel the same about you.

Bobby
Bobby

Surprise, surprise ..........ZZZZZ.zzzzzZZZZZZZ.zzzzzzz........

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