Mrs. Rogers doesn't email me too often, When she does, I take notice.
The first time was in response to my inquiries about making "Mister Rogers & Me."
The second was a few summers ago in response to my inquiries as to whether she'd be in Nantucket over Labor Day.
The third was yesterday morning.
The email was a simple, forwarded email (the kind one gets from one's parents with all of the recipient's email addresses visible, and all of the forwarding information in the body) that read thusly:
If you are interested to join us, it takes only a few moments to add your signature to this petition to the President-Elect.
Hope springs eternal!
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What did Marni Nixon, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Jan Opalach, Marin Alsop, John Corigliano, David Amram, Branford Marsalis, James Moody, Harolyn Blackwell, Phil Woods, Tracey Moore, Jane Alexander and 10,000+ others sign?
The SECRETARY OF THE ARTS PETITION inspired by Quincy Jones.
This petition is the fastest way to demonstrate to Obama and Congress that the Arts in America matter, and they need to be supported during this financial crisis!
Apparently, Quincy suggested the new gig (beats "Arts Czar") on a November 15 interview on WNYC's "Soundcheck."
"My passion in life now, and one of the first conversations I'll have with President Obama," Jones said, "Is to beg for a Secretary of the Arts."
The Rogers passion is certainly the arts. In addition to being a television icon, Fred was a songwriter and pianist. Joanne is an accomplished concert pianist as well.
And it stands to reason, right? We have secretaries of agriculture, defense, labor, veteran's affairs. Heck, we have people looking after the "Office of National Drug Control Policy" and "Homeland Security." As a nation who's primary export is increasingly creative, intellectual property (Hollywood, Broadway, Silicon Valley), why not address the arts holistically?
The petition currently has 27664 signees. 27665 with my signature.
Hope does spring eternal. It must.