Artist: National Alliance for Media Arts Culture
Confronting Bodies: National Endowment for the Arts
Date of Action: 8/25/93
Specific Location: Washington, DC
Description of Artwork: Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals
Description of Incident: A decision on August 25, 1993 to reverse a Bush administration ruling and approve grants for three homosexual film festivals showed renewed strength by the NEA. The decision headed off a threatened lawsuit by the Oakland, California-based, National Alliance for Media Arts Culture, an umbrella organization that had requested the original funding on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Media Coalition in Los Angeles, the New Festival in New York, and the Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The NEA said it would give the alliance the $17,500 the film festivals would have received in 1992. The grants were rejected in November by then-acting Chair Anne-Imelda Radice, who was appointed by President Bush after he fired her predecessor, John Frohnmayer. Arts organizations said that many of the films shown in the festivals were also shown at mainstream film festivals. They charged that rejection of the grants was based purely on politics, not artistic merit.
Results of Incident: The NEA said it reversed its decision after acting Senior Deputy Chair Ana Stelle found an "abuse of process" in Radice's rejection of the grants. Radice made the decision after the deadline for notifying grant applicants had passed and the festivals had already occurred.
Source: Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association
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