Quincy Pitches “Secretary of the Arts”

Those at the South by Southwest Music Festival who attended Quincy Jones’ keynote found flyers on their seats, promoting his idea that President Obama create a cabinet-level “Secretary of the Arts.”

Patrick Range McDonald of the LA Weekly is in Austin and says that the flyer read, “There is now a Secretary of the Arts Petition circulating to bring attention to the new White House so that the arts can be made a priority and not just a fringe element.”

McDonald also writes, “Jones also spoke to the fact that during his early career in the 1950s and into the 1960s, when he quickly enjoyed a high level of success, he still faced racism. But Jones said he dealt with it by not letting other people’s opinion of him affect his own self-worth. Today, Jones worried that Americans are “becoming isolationists,” saying that people don’t often travel out of the country.”

The petition has more than 239,000 signatures.

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