An idea to support Folk Music

Here’s what I posted as a comment on a blog in conjunction to how the Obama administration
has reached out to the music community, asking us what the administration can do better to help serve
our field…:

I agree that to be a part of the dialogue, one has to approach this opening with care and finesse. If I may suggest an idea,
it would be astounding if, once a month, a different artist was allowed to present music for 30 minutes for a concert
on the White House lawn, or inside. Old Town School of Music, in conjunction with the International Folk Alliance,
could be the presenters, and this would build relationships and greater understanding of what folk music is and how
it sustains and endures people, not only in the United States, but around the world. PBS could be involved,
or a cable show, to share the music that the president/staff/guests are being treated to,
and it helps expose different artists to a greater audience. I think to build a relationship,
the music has to be present. Nothing speaks louder than the art itself, and what greater
gift to give to the nation, and it’s leader, than the very heartbeat of human creativity—
the human voice? Thank you for providing a format to discuss ideas.
Sara Hickman

2 Comments on “An idea to support Folk Music”

  • Mark Steckbeck


    Ms. Hickman,

    First, I appreciate greatly your voice. I first heard you sing on the Legacy CD (you song “Salvador”) and now have come to thoroughly enjoy “Simply.” Thanks for your contribution to my happiness, as I contributed to yours via cash. I love voluntary exchange.

    Second, I have a few questions about your idea above.

    Let’s say that I believe my profession is essential to furthering social cooperation and happiness. I therefore petition the Obama Administration to fund my “Teach Economics to the Layperson” talks that will meet in Old Town once a month to discuss economic ideas and free markets. The resources needed to run this program are not free; they’re taken from someone else (by force, mind you) to push my preferred agenda. Let’s further say that my program to pay for these resources is funded by increasing taxes on 5 million families in this country by, say, $1. It doesn’t seem like much, but let’s say that with that last dollar, if not taxed, 50,000 of those families would have purchased one song from iTunes. Now that it’s taxed away to fund my program, 50,000 fewer iTunes songs are sold.

    Would you agree that my agenda is beautiful for everyone since I am teaching people how to be better citizens through better understanding of economics? I mean, if people really wanted to learn economics they would have freely paid me for my services, but they didn’t and I therefore insist that it’s their oversight that needs correcting via government intervention. Everyone’s better off, right?

    Would you still have your same opinion if instead of funding my economics education program the money was instead used to fund, say, some folk music program on the White House lawn or in Old Town? We can’t have it all, so who gets to use the force of government to fund their favored program?

  • jsong


    right on. great suggestion. the obamas have already hosted musicians (i watched stevie wonder w.tributes – on pbs) and recently a poetry slam. i can definitely see them going for an idea like this.

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