Barack Obama by street artist Shepard Fairey.

The following is an excerpt; for full story, listen to audio.

Gioia was a Bush appointee, but he's down with a Democrat who reads poetry. On "Studio 360" he talks to host Kurt Andersen about where the arts in America are headed at this moment of flux.

On the news photo of the President-elect carrying a book of poetry by Derrick Wolcott, Gioia says: "I think it's a fine thing when a person of the White House reads poetry. We've had some great poetry fans in the White House: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John Kennedy. One wants a President who's engaged with culture as well as with business and politics."

As far as what he's expecting from the new President: "I'm expecting good things ... I feel like my vision of what the Federal cultural policy should be and his' aren't far apart. We've created a very strong base at the NEA, and I think there's enormous opportunity to build on it."

Gioia also reads a passage from Shakespeare that he thinks is apropos to the current situation in Washington.

Obama's appreciation of the arts is appreciated by many artists around the country, and some of them have left some messages for the President-elect on "Studio 360":

David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet, writer Cintra Wilson, and poet Edwin Torres:

To hear more artists' messages, visit the "Studio 360" website.

PRI's Peabody Award-winning "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen" from WNYC is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy — so let "Studio 360" steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.


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