Petition Started to Make John Waters Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts 

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Filmmaker, writer and artist John Waters’ works have appeared on stage, screen and television. The Baltimore legend has also curated gallery exhibits from coast to coast. Given his background in the arts, some people think he belongs in government.

Petitioners have launched a drive on the website urging President-elect Donald Trump to make “the pope of trash” the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The online petition, entitled “Make John Waters chair of the NEA!,” was started by a Chicago-based artist named Sara H. after actor Sylvester Stallone was reportedly considered for the post but said he would turn it down.

“Dear Donald,” the petition states, “I heard that you were considering Sylvester Stallone as the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. While this is a really interesting pick, it opened my eyes to a new possibility for the best chair in NEA history: John Waters.”

“I feel there is no other person in America who is qualified to look after art in the Trump years,” she continued. “The pope of trash has made every kind of art imaginable from low budget films, to big budget blockbusters. Amazing!!! He’s shown his work in galleries, written books, had two of his scripts turn into Broadway shows, and even hitchhiked across the USA. Unstoppable!!!

The author of the petition also notes the proximity of Baltimore to D.C. “It’s meant to be,” she said. “As an artist, I trust that the director of Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Hairspray, and Crybaby will know exactly where our arts funding should be spent during your tenure. Donald, please consider John Waters to chair the NEA.”

It may be a long shot, since Waters supported Hillary Clinton for President. Then again, he has written about Republican Spiro Agnew, who was head of the PTA at what was then Dumbarton Junior High School and then was Baltimore County Executive before he resigned in disgrace as Vice President under Richard Nixon.

Trump, who becomes president on Jan. 20, has not settled on a chair for the NEA. Sara H. started the petition in December, and it has 41 supporters from all over the country as of today.

Petitioners are enthusiastic in supporting John Waters for the NEA.

“John Waters will curate the artistic vision of the Trump years to the absolute heights (or depths) to which they should be taken,” argues Margaret Kuker of Allston, Mass.

“This would improve the Arts in the U. S. bigly!” exclaims Lisa Powers of Urbana, Ill.

“John Waters will make art great again!” promises Laura Gilchrist of Ferndale, Mich.

“Bring back Mortville,” urges Nestor Brulee of New Orleans, La.

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts

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