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Congress Considers Magic As An Art


Eric Hogue and David CopperfieldS.A.M. member and Wylie, TX Mayor Eric Hogue has been working with illusionist David Copperfield and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas to help create a bill recognizing magic as a “rare and valuable art form and national treasure.” House Resolution No. 642 was introduced to Congress Monday, March 14, and is moving through the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The Society of Magicians has been working to get magic recognized as an art for more than 50 years,” said Hogue. “David (Copperfield) and I are excited this is close to becoming a reality. The resolution helps protect magicians’ intellectual property and obtain grant funding enabling them to perform in children’s hospitals or other charitable venues, like David Copperfield’s Project Magic.”

CongressionalRecord-page-001In 2009 Dal Sanders saw that it would benefit magicians across the United States if Congress would recognize magic as an art. Even though the Federal Government had rejected previous requests as “frivolous”, Sanders approached an old friend who he had known since they were in their 20s. That friend, Eric Hogue, was a politician and had successfully run for Mayor of Wylie, Texas (a small town outside of Dallas). Eric still loved magic and was a member of the Society of American Magicians and Dallas Assembly 13. Sanders asked Mayor Hogue for a Wylie City Proclamation for National Magic Week and the Art of Magic. When Eric realized the importance of recognizing Magic as an art he promised to help get this done. Over the next couple of years, they got very close to the goal several times. In 2013 the political environment and the government shutdown set them back. Dal personally thought that they were back to square one, but with Eric’s help and guidance, they were finally able to get Congressional Recognition of the Art of Magic.

Wylie Texas Mayor Eric Hogue, Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Dal Sanders working together to recognize The Art of Magic copyHowever, this was only the first step. The magicians followed the same playbook used by jazz enthusiasts that got the 100th Congress to Recognize Jazz as an art and a national treasure in H.R. 57 back in 1987. In 2015 David Copperfield volunteered to help this issue go further. That next step was to have Congress introduce and then pass a Resolution. Once that Bill passes the house it  would hopefully go to the Senate and finally to the President to sign. On Monday, Pete Sessions introduced that resolution.

Why is this important? When considered for grants, magic has been seen as a hobby, or at best a craft. Doug Henning won a grant from the Canadian government to study magic by convincing a panel of government officials that it should be considered an art form. That, of course, led to the show that would eventually become the Broadway hit, “The Magic Show.” In England, Members of The Magic Circle (an organization nearly as old as The Society of American Magicians), convinced Parliament to recognize magic as an art and that enabled them to build a beautiful headquarters in London where magicians can gather, study and preserve their magical artifacts.

This new resolution will recognize magic as a National Treasure and can help us explore how to protect our intellectual property from theft and gratuitous exposure. Magicians will apply for arts grants and not be turned down because magic isn’t considered an art.

To read the full text of HR-642 please click here.

SAM_Seal_EST_3colorIn 1902 the founders of the Society of American Magicians stated that the goal of the organization is to elevate and advance the art of magic. This in fact, should be the goal of all magicians. Magicians are finally receiving recognition from the U.S. Congress. Soon this new resolution will be passed by both the House and the Senate and that magicians everywhere will receive the recognition of their art.

Please contact your congressman and tell them that you agree that magic is a “rare and valuable art form and a national treasure” and it should be recognized as one of the arts and ask them to support HR-642.

You can find your Congressman by clicking here.

You can also copy and paste the following into your email;
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Please support House Resolution 642 to recognize the importance of Magic (sleight of hand, illusion, etc.) as an art form.
Thank you

Click Here for a link to the MTV article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the Wall Street Journal article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the Deadline article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the Huffington Post article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the QUARTZ article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the Daily Caller article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the U.S. News and World Report article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to The Business Insider article on this subject.

Click Here for a link to the Dallas Morning News article on this subject.


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