Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 592

union. We kept repeating that over again -- where they work, where they live, and in their union community. 1199 Plaza would be the place where they live. At all levels of the union there's understanding and an okay, and there's approval and excitement -- although I must confess that Doris Turner was never very enthusiastic about this project. As a result, the hospital staff sort of held back a bit from it. But this project was so good that it had it's own momentum. You couldn't stop it, even if you wanted to. You couldn't put obstacles in it's path. It just rolled right over any obstacles.

Lynn Smith and Len Oliver were extremely important and helpful. Len Oliver's assignment in the endowment was labor -- to work with labor unions. This was his first live thing. Lynn Smith was the advisor, assigned by NEH to work with me on the project. Jack Golodner and Nina and Bob Peck. In NEA we had a problem. We thought we were on the right track, but we were not aware of changes that were taking place in NEA until later on. The person who was named to work with me was a Black woman, a very wonderful person, in special projects -- Marian Dockery.

Now the reason why NEA was a problem is that unlike NEH, where things are centered and things come out of the center, and grants are given from the center and then are moved around, in NEA you have to apply to different divisions in the arts, in theater, in music, in festivals. You were going in different places every time, and you had to figure out what goes there -- and with a different budget and a different proposal for every single one. It could be approved here and not approved there. You never knew. Or they could knock it down, they would raise it up. So you didn't know what was going to happen -- it was very complicated. We were in special projects in NEA, and we found out later that special projects had a very small budget. Of course in one of the early meetings with Carl Stover he said to me, “How much do you think this is going to cost?” I said, “Gee I really don't know -- I haven't figured it out.” “You're supposed to come in with figures,” he says. “What do you mean, 100 thousand? Fifty thousand?” So I said, “Maybe 150 thousand.” I didn't know what I was talking about. They also suggested that we talk in terms of two years. In NEA it was never clearly stated what it was and later on before the whole thing was approved we would run in to terrible problems in NEA. But at NEH everything was going very very smoothly.

They also said, “You ought to contact the state arts and state humanities councils. Don Grody, who was at that time the head of Actor's Equity, was very very helpful. I got to meet with him -- he's very close to Jack Golodner because of the Actor's Equity and the deep

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help