"An official at the White House Office of Public Engagement encouraged a group of artists on a conference call with the National Endowment for the Arts to produce works that supported the Obama administration's agenda, a transcript of the call reveals.
The 44-page transcript, which was posted Monday on BigGovernment.com, details an hour-long conference call on Aug. 10 hosted by the NEA, the White House Office of Public Engagement and United We Serve, a nationwide initiative launched by President Obama to increase volunteerism.
"We're going to need your help, and we're going to come at you with some specific 'asks' here," said Buffy Wicks, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. "But we know that you guys are ready for it and eager to participate, so one we want to thank you, and two, I hope you guys are ready."
Wicks, who did not respond to requests for comment, was one of several officials on the call -- along with then-NEA Director of Communications Yosi Sergant and Michael Skolnik, political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons -- seeking focused efforts by the artists in health care, energy and environment, education and community renewal."
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