Arts and Entertainment
The development of the arts in America - music, dance, architecture, the visual arts, and literature - has been marked by a tension between two strong sources of inspiration: European sophistication and domestic originality. Frequently, the best American artists have managed to harness both sources. However, the 20th century has been one in which artists in the United States have broken free from Old World antecedents, taking the various cultural disciplines in new directions with impressive, innovative results.
Music, film, theater, dance, architecture and other artistic expressions have been enhanced and transformed. A rejuvenation in music, new directions in modern dance, drama drawn from the U.S. heartland, independent filmmaking across the landscape, the globalization of the visual arts - all of these are part of the contemporary scene in the United States.
While the arts and popular culture of the United States continue to engage substantial attention, energy and resources from society both at home and abroad, this happens largely outside the direction of government. The United States has no "ministry of culture," thus reflecting the conviction that there are important areas of national life where government should have little or no role.
(abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials)
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) - The National Endowment for the Arts provides national recognition and support to significant projects of artistic excellence, thus preserving and enhancing the nation's diverse cultural heritage.
- Museums in the U.S.A. - links to hundreds of American museums
- MuseumLink: U.S. Museums by State
- American Authors on the Web - a comprehensive resource on American writers, from the colonial period to the present
- Outline of American Literature, published by the Bureau of International Information Programs/U.S. Department of State
- Electronic Archives for Teaching the American Literatures - contain essays, syllabi, bibliographies, and other resources for teaching the multiple literatures of the United States