Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy Transcript: Joseph Riley (2010)
"Tonight I will seek to challenge you to include another art in your arts advocacy and passion, an art that is essential to the success of our culture and our country. It’s the art of making great and beautiful cities. I will be telling you some stories tonight about my city that are stories of universal principles that I believe can be applied to towns and cities in our country, and they must. The city should be a place where every citizen’s heart can sing. In the art of city-making, we should first seek to make no mistakes. This was a mistake: They demolished the Charleston Hotel, where the Democratic Convention of 1860, 150 years ago, met. They demolished it in 1960 because city leaders were convinced that in order to be a great city, you had to have a drive-in motel—there wasn’t a great city without a drive-in motel." [Excerpt from Transcript, p. 5]
About the lecture:
Nancy Hank served as president of Americans for the Arts (formerly the American Council for the Arts) from 1968 to 1969, when she was appointed chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, a position she served through 1977. During her eight-year tenure at the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency's budget grew 1,400 percent. Until her death 1983, Nancy Hanks worked hard to bring national prominence to the arts. The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy was established in 1988 to honor the memory of Nancy Hanks and to provide an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to the nation's well-being.
Transcript of Joseph Riley's lecture, for the 23rd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy on April 12, 2010.