Legislatures across the country are cutting budgets, and often one of the first targets of these cost-cutting measures is arts programs. A politician in Minnesota recently made these attacks personal, targeting CBLDF Board Member, Newbery Medal winner, and best selling and critically acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, calling him a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”
The money in question is a fee Gaiman received from Minnesota’s Legacy fund for a four-hour speaking engagement. You can read more about the Legacy fund — which supports Minnesota Public Radio, public broadcasting, minority groups, various cultural heritage projects, and more — and the personal attack here and here.
Gaiman’s fans have taken this as a call-to-arms, taking the issue to their representatives and the Internet. They’ve demonstrated some astounding creativity and talent. Tracey Carlson channeled her concern into art, crafting an adorable handmade “pencil-necked” weasel that she asked to be auctioned to benefit the First Amendment work of CBLDF.
This is your opportunity to express your concern over the attacks on arts and free expression. When even well-known creators like Neil Gaiman aren’t immune to these attacks, we should recognize that the support of Free Speech is more tenuous than ever.
Please register your disdain for those who would stifle other’s speech, and show your support for Gaiman and the CBLDF by bidding on this adorable pencil-necked weasel now!