In the face of ridicule from its critics, the National Endowment for the Arts has withdrawn its backing from a project in which three conceptual artists hand out $10 bills to illegal immigrants near the Mexican border.
Noting that United States currency is neither supplies nor materials as specified in the grant to the sponsoring museum in San Diego, the endowment announced late Friday that the $4,500 in cash handouts was an “unallowable expense.”
One of the artists, Elizabeth Sisco, was quick to respond today, saying the decision was politically motivated and accusing the endowment of creating a fictional list of artistic materials that excludes cash.
“The $10 bills are the materials of the project,” Ms. Sisco said. “The conceptual network we have created showing the link between all taxpayers relies upon those $10 bills. They are like the bucket of paint that a muralist would go out and purchase, like the slab of bronze a sculptor would use.”
Josh Dare, a spokesman for the endowment, responded, “We don’t have a listing of supplies and/or materials; nor do we have a definition of supplies and/or materials.” But, he added, “We do not consider United States currency a supply or material.”…