A comment by Quincy Jones, the musician/composer/general arts supporter (and FOB - that's Friend of Barack, now), made during a post-election interview with has spawned an online petition drive to create a cabinet-level Secretary of Arts position. While it's unclear exactly what such a person would do, the very existence of the position would certainly raise the profile of arts and their contribution to national life, economic activity, and culture.
This is precisely the sort of effort I called for in the original piece. And John Nichols took a similar view in The Progressive on Monday, writing:
"The way to influence Obama and his Administration is to speak not so
much to him as to America. Get out ahead of the new President, and of
his spin-drive communications team. Highlight the right appointees and
the right responses to deal with the challenges that matter most. Don't
just critique, but rather propose. Advance big ideas and organize on
their behalf; identify allies in federal agencies, especially in
Congress, and work with them to dial up the pressure for progress.
Don't expect Obama or his aides to do the left thing. Indeed, take a
lesson from rightwing pressure groups in their dealings with Republican
administrations and recognize that it is always better to build the
bandwagon than to jump on board one that is crafted with the tools of
Let's get moving!