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.