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Rocco Landesman speaking at a school in Oakland, 2010
Photo by Mike Linksvayer

by Charlie Finch

A few months back I criticized National Endowment for the Arts czar and former Broadway mega-producer Rocco Landesman for essentially hiding out from the arts community by making stealth trips to tiny backwaters of American culture and abjuring the bold statement of vision needed to pump up the arts in a USA which doesn't appreciate the arts much anyway. As the great music critic Peter Guralnick once wrote in his survey of the blues, Feel Like Going Home: "What is popular has never corresponded to what is good. Or at least what is judged after the fact to be worthwhile rarely turns out to have been especially prized at the time."