Arts Committee Members Resign, Call for Trump to do Likewise in Letter

Actor Kal Penn addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte N.C

Members of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities are taking a strong stance against Trump for his hate-mongering, with a mass resignation issued in a joint letter this morning. Those who stepped down include the artist Chuck Close, the author Jhumpa Lahiri, and the architect Thom Mayne.

"Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions", the members wrote.

The members also used the letter to slam Trump for policies they say threaten to diminish civil rights, damage the environment, cut funding to arts and risk the overall safety of the country.

The PCAH was created under President Ronald Reagan in 1982 with the goal of advising the White House on issues around arts and humanities, according to its website.

After members of two White House business groups, the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative and the Strategy & Policy Forum, started resigning over his comments about Charlottesville, Trump stopped more resignations by disbanding the panels.

Yet another presidential advisory group has deteriorated after Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.


The strongly worded letter said Mr Trump's values "are not American".

Some members of the arts and humanities commission quit after Trump's victory last fall, but the remaining commissioners agreed to continue in their roles until Trump named successors, according to the two people familiar with their plans. That means Melania Trump's name is at the top of the letter calling on her husband to resign. In response to President Trump's lack of response to the Charlottesville terrorists, the committee has also asked the President himself to resign.

"Effective immediately, please accept our resignation from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities", the members wote.

While Trump called Fields "disgrace" and condemned "those who cause violence...including the [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups", as, "repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he caught flak for blaming "both sides" for the violence that took place.

It ends: We must be better than this.

The committee works with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, along with other federal partners and the private sector. We are better than this. Art is about inclusion.

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