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Women’s Cultural Organizations & the NEA in the early 1980s

Ariel Dougherty, 1979-1986, served as Development Director of Women’s Studio Workshop. She built the annual budget from just under $100K to almost $300K in addition to a capital campaign that facilitated the organization’s move from rented quarters into its own permanent home. She curated Women’s Work in Film & Video and occasionally made her own art.
@MediaEquity

In the autumn of 1980, at the height of Ronald Reagan’s bid for the presidency, The Heritage Foundation issued a scathing attack---out of the blue---against both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The report condemned any form of culture that had a social context (forget the fact that it all does!). For Dougherty alarm bells went off. The NEA budget continued to rise in the early 1980s, but the numbers of women’s cultural organizations supported by the federal agency began to decline. A chilling effect had begun. Dougherty did five things. In TWO DOCS: A & B, three are chronicled. 1. Analyzed four years of NEA support for women’s cultural organizations: that showed # of organizations received support; how much; & proportion of NEA budget. .......................... pages 2 - 5 2. Surveyed the field of Women’s Cultural Organizations [ see A. Women’s Art & NEA ] 3. Sought support from colleagues in artists’ space community. “You all are next!” 4. Designed TARTS/ Teaching Artists To Reach Technological Savvy, a network among four women’s arts organizations to encouraged alliances for a more sustainable common future; won an Apple Computer grant in their G Cycle. (see photo to far right, The Proposal) 5. Submitted Testimony in 1985 for NEA & NEH’s reauthorization. This lead to women’s inclusion as a “special constituency” for the first time ........ pages 6 & 7
B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s by Ariel Dougherty page 1

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 2

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 3

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 4

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 5

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 6

B Women’s Cultural / NEA 1980’s

by Ariel Dougherty

page 7

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