Letter to the Speaker in Support of the Establishment of a National Council on the Arts.
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I am glad to learn that H.R. 9586, which provides for the establishment of a National Council on the Arts, is scheduled for floor action today. The principles expressed in this legislation are sound and have my wholehearted support.
There has been an encouraging growth of interest in the arts. For example, 85 cities and states have either formed or are in the process of forming arts councils, the number of symphony orchestras and the number of people who play musical instruments have virtually doubled in the last 25 years, and in the last 30 years the number of museums has grown from 1500 to 5000.
But there are many problems in the fields of the arts which not only are limiting their development, but threaten their very existence. Private initiative is, and should undertake the major responsibility for resolving these problems. However, they are also of vital concern to the Federal Government.
The formation of a council of outstanding representatives of the arts fields, as provided in the bill on the House floor, will help us express that concern and provide a method of cooperation with private groups that will have lasting benefits for all the people. In addition, this council will provide the much needed recognition of the artist, assure his place in society, and stimulate audience participation.
History has shown that, if we are to achieve The Great Society for which we are all working, it is essential that the arts grow and flourish.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
[Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington 25, D.C.]
Note: On September 3, 1954, the President approved H.R. 9586 providing for the establishment of a National Council on the Arts (Public Law 88-579, 78 Stat. 905).
The membership of the Council was announced on February 23, 1965. Roger L. Stevens, Special Assistant to the President, was nominated as Chairman.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the Speaker in Support of the Establishment of a National Council on the Arts. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241916