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President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Resigns

Posted on: Aug 18, 2017

Today (8/18/17) the remaining seventeen members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) formally resigned.  The Committee members include artists, politicians, supporters of the arts, and other members of the arts community. Over a dozen members had previously resigned upon the election of President Trump in November, but the remaining seventeen, all of whom were appointed by former President Obama, chose to remain on the committee until now.

Actor Kal Penn is one of the seventeen who signed today’s resignation letter. Penn tweeted the letter at 10:08AM. Later that day, Penn added, “PCAH is an official agency, that makes this the first White House department to resign.”

The resignation letter states “Art is about inclusion. The Humanities include a vibrant free press. You have attacked both.” Notably, the first letters of each paragraph spell “R E S I S T.”

The full letter can be read here.

PCAH was formed in 1982 under President Regan, and since then, has served to advise the President on arts and cultural policy. The Committee is most known for the creation of the Turnaround Arts education program, an arts education program in low-performing schools that was previously managed by Americans for the Arts, and is now managed by the Kennedy Center.