Bernie Sanders: I Will Be an Arts President

Art is speech. Art is what life is about. 

A rousing sentiment, and one rarely expressed by those running for the nation’s highest office.

Once a candidate has been safely elected, he may feel comfortable betraying a deeper affinity, or ceding to the tastes of an arts-inclined First Lady. Sanders isn’t waiting, pledging in the video above, that he will be an Arts President.

The Americans for the Arts Action Fund tracks the candidates’ records with regard to arts advocacy, and it appears that Sanders has been walking the walk for quite some time.

He filmed a half-hour long documentary about labor leader Eugene Debs.

He recorded a 1987 folk album with the help of 30 Vermont musicians, stoutly pronouncing the lyrics to “This Land is Your Land” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” a la Rex Harrison.

Vice’s Paul Best made a compelling case for how Bernie Sanders shaped the northeast punk scene.

If Allen Ginsberg could vote from beyond the grave, I’m pretty sure I know which lever he’d be pulling…

With regard to living celebrities, it’s no big surprise to see that Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, and John C Reilly are among the artists supporting Bernie Sanders. Hollywood has long embraced liberal candidates. They are joined on the ever growing list of Artists and Cultural Leaders for Bernie Sanders by musicians Jello Biafra and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, comedians Margaret Cho and Sarah Silverman, and graffiti artists Ron English and Shepard Fairey, creator of the Obama Hope poster.

As Sanders fans wait to see whether Fairey will perform a similar service for his 2016 pick, Stencils for Bernie is taking up the slack with downloadable images for the DIY-inclined.

I presume that it’s only a matter of time before some young animator puts him or herself at Sanders’ disposal, though I kind of hope not. The candidate’s short video is reassuringly devoid of the snappy visuals that have become a staple of the form, thanks to such popular series as Crash Course, CGP Grey, The School of Life, and TED Ed.

via Hyperallergic

Related Content:

Bernie Sanders Sings “This Land is Your Land” on the Endearingly Bad Spoken Word Album, We Shall Overcome

Allen Ginsberg’s Handwritten Poem For Bernie Sanders, “Burlington Snow” (1986)

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Her play, Fawnbook, opens in New York City later this month. Follow her @AyunHalliday

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