Sarah Palin’s slash and burn anti-art policy


Thanks, artnet for this harrowing account of the anti-art mayor of Wasilla, Alaska working her executive style magic.

Much of the copious news coverage swirling around Sarah Palin, Republican John McCain’s surprise pick for vice president, has focused on the relative inexperience of the freshman governor of Alaska and former mayor of Wasilla, a suburb of less than 10,000 people outside Anchorage. However, the 44-year-old Palin had proven experience with one thing during her brief tenure in government: slashing museum funding. As mayor of Wasilla, Palin quickly moved to cut the budget of the Dorothy G. Page Museum, a city-run institution that teaches Alaskan history and includes exhibits about the Gold Rush and the Iditarod.

According to a 1997 report in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin summarily fired museum director John Cooper (along with many other city officials. Palin, known for injecting her religious beliefs into government, also reportedly pressured town librarian Mary Ellen Baker to ban books, and then tried to fire the woman when she refused). Palin cut $32,000 from the Page Museum’s $200,000 budget, provoking the three 15-year employees of the museum, Ann Meyers, Opal Toomey and Esther West, to resign en masse. “They’d rather quit than continue working for a city that doesn’t want to preserve its history,” the Daily News reported. Wasilla was running a $4 million budget surplus at the time.


burn anti-art policy, features & interviews, reviews, sarah palin



Sign up to receive Artblog’s weekly newsletter and updates sent directly to your inbox.

Subscribe Today!