National Endowment for the Arts Kicks Off $25,000 Logo Design Competition

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Nearly every government program might be seeing a trimming back of expenses next year, but before President Obama’s 2011 budget arrives, there’s some spending to do. The National Endowment for the Arts, and their new chairman Rocco Landesman, have launched a month-long design contest (pdf), on the hunt for a new logo “to represent the phrase ‘Art Works.’” The contest is open to anyone who wants to submit and the winner will receive a $25,000 grant to complete their design. Sounds like an appealing gig, but this is still a big government agency you’re dealing with (as well as a sizable chunk of money), so you’ll find a 33 page entry packet, complete with all the various rules, regulations, and an increasingly complicated batch of legal jargon (page 14 is when it starts to get really crazy). Yet for all that weighty bulk of info, they also take time to explain what right away what their clever motto means:

1. “Art Works” is a noun that refers to the works of art that artists create.

2. “Art Works” reminds us that a goal of art is to work on audiences and viewers to inspire, transport, and challenge them.

3. “Art Works” is a reminder that arts workers are real workers who are part of this country’s real economy. They earn salaries, support families, pay taxes. Artists are also entrepreneurs and placemakers, who revitalize towns, cities, and neighborhoods — both the economies and the ethos of them.

What about #4 about a guy named Art who has a job? Or #5, which concerns pieces of art that can be fashioned into methods of injecting intravenous drugs?