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The general subject of my lecture today is the relationship between the First Amendment and public institutions of culture, which I take to be those sponsored and supported by the state with the clear purpose of preserving and promoting high culture in the United States. These include universities, museums, theaters, libraries, public broadcasting networks, programs for art in public places, and the national endowments for the arts and the humanities. All of these institutions or programs are vested with the responsibility of insuring the preservation of high human achievement in the areas to which they are devoted (knowledge, art, music, and so on), of transmitting those achievements to new generations, and of fostering or nurturing new achievements to add to these results of human labor over the centuries. Because all of this involves ideas and values, it is perfectly natural, indeed it is inevitable, that there are conflicts over who controls these institutions and what standards they employ. And because "speech" is involved, this in turn ignites conflicts with the First Amendment, which extols the virtues of an open marketplace of ideas and harbors a seemingly fathomless distrust· of government involvement in that marketplace. That, at least, is the new frontier of the First Amendment that I hope to explore with you this morning.


Constitutional Law | First Amendment | Law


© 1995 University of Cincinnati Law Review. This article has been published in the University of Cincinnati Law Review, Volume 63, Issue 3 and is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.