Alec Baldwin Hates NPR and Turning STEM into STEAM

If you have been listening in on the public radio fund drives occurring the past couple weeks, you probably heard Alec Baldwin issuing various over the top threats about pledging to your public radio station. If you haven’t some of his greatest hits are collected on the KPLU website. In the first, he channels his character from 30 Rock and in a later one, reprises one of his speeches from the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross. Not included is an extremely frank, but very funny bit he did on This American Life this weekend. I have been trying to find it to no avail. If anyone has a link, send it my way.

Alec Baldwin has come a long way since his first appearance on NPR. (Warning, double entendres)

In other news, I got in to work just as the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities started a live streaming chat this morning. Chuck Close, Margo Lion, George Stevens, Jr. and Damian Woetzel were talking about the place the arts have in the US and what can be done. You can watch the archived video here if you missed it. There was a simultaneous chat on the White House Facebook page so you could watch and discuss at the same time. (And let me just say, apropos to yesterday’s entry, as I listen to the archived video I realize how much I missed while trying to stay abreast of the comments.)

Chuck Close seemed to carry the day among commenters with his dismay/disgust with the lack of the arts in schools. He mentioned, as he often does, that the arts gave him hope in school and he credits the arts with keeping him out of jail. After the subject how the focus of education is on STEM courses, someone in the chat suggested it be changed to STEAM to include the arts.

It got me thinking that acronym would really lend itself to some good slogans. – STEAM drives America’s Productivity and Creativity; STEAM Powers The Economy. Not the most imaginative perhaps, but I am sure the products of STEAM education can generate some inspirational ones. It provides a good shorthand to use during advocacy because it binds the arts in with concepts in which many policy makers are already intellectually invested in advancing.

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. (

My most recent role was as Executive 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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