“You have my promise that as president, I will be an arts president,” says Bernie Sanders matter-of-factly into the camera in a new two-minute video released by the Arts Action Fund. This pledge is backed up, he explains, by a “longstanding commitment to the arts and arts education,” which he has stood by during his decades in congress despite “terrible attacks by conservative ideologues.”
Sanders traces this governmental passion back to his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Vermont and the “street murals, performance art, and music festivals” he supported there through the Burlington Arts Council — thereby “hoping to unleash the creativity of our residents,” he says, “and harness the untold benefits that investment in the arts brings to our communities.”
Politico-speak aside, it’s a welcome message coming from someone who’s seeking influence over national funding — especially given the less than full-throated arts support indicated by some of the other candidates. Sanders, meanwhile, means business: “Art is speech. Art is what life is about,” he concludes, hammering home each word, before praising the work of the Arts Advocacy Caucus and eking out a quick smile.
Check out the full video, below.
— Anneliese Cooper (@DawnDavenport)