Work For Obama? Yes, You Can!

Get Your Plum
The presidential transition team has set up a website at where you can actually apply for a non-career position with the new government. There is a link to the transition directory in the lower right hand corner to give you an idea of what to expect if you apply. Even though it is a similar color, it apparently is not the famed Plum Book though you probably can use it to get a sense of the general department for which you may want to work.

I mention this in hopes some passionate people interested in government service will step forward for the NEA, NEH and other cultural and educational departments. There is certainly a need for competent people to enter public service. A foundation endowing the Wilson School at Princeton University is suing the school for not preparing enough people to enter government.

What You Should Really Look At
Even if you have no ambition to work for the government, you may want to contribute at the American Moment: Share Your Vision link. I am sure there are a lot of people with millions of ideas who will contribute via this page and anything we send may get lost in the crush. Still there is a better chance of something happening than if nothing is said.

The page provides the ability to upload a photo or video. My immediate thought was that if someone knows of a great program out there they should create a well written document supported by images and video. Share your vision for an arts education program based on something that works in at a school district in Montana. Talk about the way the local government partnered with industry to lead community investment in that arts center overlooking Lake Erie. Tell them about your idea for changing the tax code to provide arts organizations with other alternatives to the 501 (c) (3) structure. I had no intent of submitting anything myself, but now as I write, I begin to have some ideas.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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