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Do We Need a Secretary of the Arts?

Quincy Jones thinks we do. In an interview on WNYC radio in November, the legendary producer said he would beg President Obama for a cabinet level position devoted to the arts. Fans of the cause have since started a petition to bring America up to speed with a tradition that many countries have had for..

Quincy Jones thinks we do. In an interview on WNYC radio in November, the legendary producer said he would beg President Obama for a cabinet level position devoted to the arts. Fans of the cause have since started a petition to bring America up to speed with a tradition that many countries have had for centuries: some sort of minister of culture, or the arts.Cabinet positions aren't generally conjured out of thin air; the last one was added in 2003-the Department of Homeland Security-and the one before that was the Department of Veterans Affairs, in 1989. But that hasn't stopped people from suggestion them at a steady clip. Dennis Kucinich has been advocating for a Department of Peace since 2001, and political blogger Matthew Yglesias has wondered aloud if there needs to be some sort of Secretary of Climate. According to Wikipedia (famous last words...), the full (and by full, I mean almost certainly arbitrary) list of proposed cabinet positions over time can be found here.So far, the Secretary of the Arts Petition has just under 200,000 signatures. Will you add yours?(Photo by Flickr user disneymike.)