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Session:         Page of 592

works better with a union audience than it does with a middle class audience.

Q:

Right, that particular aspect.

I'll give you one example that maybe you could comment on. The UAW, their local union press association, does this thing where they have workers' art contests. They have a calendar which is made up of workers' artworks. Did you do things like that, or did you ever consider it? If not, why not?

Foner:

I didn't consider it. Remember the Bread and Roses thing had to have professionals. Couldn't get grants for anything but that.

Q:

You don't think the NEH would have supported that other --

Foner:

Oh no, definitely not! They told us! NEA and NEH told us, that “Look, part of our mandate is to provide employment for, you know, there are so many actors, actresses, singers, dancers, artists, etcetera out of work. This is a way of providing employment. So that we do not fund rank and file artists, because first of all we run in to trouble with the unions. You're competing with them.” So that's one thing. The other thing is once we'd started that way, I wanted to milk more of the top talent to get them to work this way. I think that's one area that we have made a very distinct contribution. I use to have long talks abroad with the representatives of labor in Sweden, I remember, with the top people. I was rather sharp with them because I'd seen their stuff. I said, “You can do much better than this. There must be professional people, but your stuff doesn't have a sock to it.”

Q:

But in terms of creating a workers' culture --

Foner:

Working people performing, that kind of thing?

Q:

Or things being more accessible. We're just talking about the posters being -- the posters were for people like myself. I have two or three or four of them, you know. And I'm not saying necessarily that the calendar is more accessible to workers, although there is a tendency when things are made that way then here you buy it because it's your friend, or somebody you know, or somebody with whom you identify. I wonder in your thinking -- I mean I think this is an important question that we really only touched on.

Foner:

I have some views on that. I think that that should also be done. I don't eliminate that at all. I think it should be done, it should be attempted to be done. But I don't think that anybody should think that they're going to produce great artists that way, because some



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