<strong>David Marcus</strong> image

David Marcus is a theater artist and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Marcus’s writing has also appeared in numerous publications, including National Review, New York Times, New York Post, and City Journal. Marcus is the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn-based theater project. His plays have appeared on the stages of Bowery Poetry Club, D-Lounge, and Galapagos Art Space. A former member of the Bat Acting Company at the Flea Theater, he has performed at the Kennedy Center and Theater for the New City, among many others. Marcus brings a conservative perspective to his journalism as well as to his art, using both as means to examine various issues faced by artists and the nation at large today.

Featured Writings and Talks

As Trump Mulls Funding Cuts for the Arts, an Artist Argues Against the NEA
Enter Stage Right
Four Questions for the New NEA Chair
Ending Federal Funding Will be the Best Thing for The Arts in Decades
De Blasio’s Cultural Inquisition

David Marcus on...

Government funding for the arts

I'm much more comfortable with the government funding infrastructure than I am with programming. I don't want the government picking winners and losers because, frankly, I don't think they're very good at it.

Do I want the government zoning an area for art? Absolutely. Do I want them to build multi-unit spaces that artists can use? For sure.

Why technologists need arts education

There are enormous, absolutely terrifying questions in tech today, involving biohacking, genetic manipulation. And I'm not talking about things that are happening in 50 years. I'm talking about things that are happening in 5 years, or that maybe in China are happening right now.

I don't think that people who have even the best STEM education in the world are getting the tools to grapple with those kinds of ethical questions. So, you need artists, you need philosophers, you need writers. You need the people like George Orwell, who can say before it happens: "Hey guys, something scary’s is going on. We better get in front of it."

The importance of seeing art in person

I remember being young and just not understanding the appeal of Mondrian. I saw it in books and I was like it's like squares and lines, what is this? And then at the Philadelphia Museum of Art they have a wonderful room of Mondrian and I saw it. The intersections of the lines were pulsing and there was all this movement. None of that happened on the printed page and I imagine none of that would happen on the computer screen but when you're standing across from it, it's truly remarkable.

Moderator

Secretary David J. Skorton, M.D. image

Dr. David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. Skorton, a board-certified cardiologist, previously was the president of Cornell University, a position he held from July 2006. He was also a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Cornell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering. An ardent and nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, Skorton has called for a national dialogue to emphasize the importance of funding for these disciplines.

Follow Secretary Skorton on Twitter

Panelists

Rebecca Rabinow image
Rebecca Rabinow

Director of the Menil Collection

Peter Schjeldahl image
Peter Schjeldahl

Senior art critic at The New Yorker

María Magdalena Campos-Pons image
María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Cuban-born artist

David Marcus image
David Marcus

Theater artist and a senior contributor to The Federalist

(Banner image: Nam June Paik, "Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii" Smithsonian American Art Museum, © Nam June Paik Estate, Gift of the artist)