subscribe: Posts | Comments

Mr. Copperfield Goes To Washington


David Copperfield Appears on Capitol Hill to Support The Bill That Would Recognize Magic as ‘National Treasure’

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas shakes hosted magician David Copperfield at the U.S. Capitol Thursday to push a resolution recognizing magic as "a rare and valuable art form worthy of being declared a national treasure."Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas shakes hosted magician David Copperfield at the U.S. Capitol Thursday to push a resolution recognizing magic as “a rare and valuable art form worthy of being declared a national treasure.” Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The world famous illusionist, David Copperfield was on Capitol Hill with lawmakers and their staffs to discuss House Resolution 642 on Thursday, May 9th. This resolution recognizes magic as a “valuable art form and national treasure.” Copperfield is a Society of American Magicians Ambassador of Magic and was named “Magician of the Century” and dubbed the first-ever “King of Magic” by the S.A.M. He also owns one of the greatest collections of historical magic. The magician spoke with the Washington leaders about how magic and it’s principles has been an important part of many other art forms including motion pictures. He pointed out that the cinema and even special effects were created by people who had begun their careers as illusionists. The Art of Magic is also used as a therapy for children and adults with developmental disabilities or other health challenges. “Learning magic through programs such as Project Magic can help these children improve their physical and mental dexterity and increase their confidence,” the resolution stated.

The panel discussion was hosted by House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, (R-Texas) and also included a professional clown who became a magician and later became the Mayor of Wylie, Texas, the Honorable Eric Hogue.

InvitationCopperfield said in the meeting with Sessions and other congressional members that having magic officially declared as an art form, will also make it easier to get grants for arts programs and also be helpful in securing intellectual property rights. He went on to say that “most people’s perceptions of magic is incorrect. They think it’s a trick, or parlor games. Magic is really, really important,” Copperfield said. “I have always thought every single art form recognized by Congress is analogous to magic.”

While House Resolution 642 was initially praised and at the same time mocked by some, magicians should be treated no different from artists or sports teams earning recognition from Washington. Hogue pointed out that the same week that David Copperfield went to Washington, The Denver Broncos were recognized at a reception at the Whitehouse for their Superbowl win. He went on to remind the congressional leaders that “magic is one of the oldest art forms. We’re not asking for anything except to have it recognized for the art form that it is.”

Hogue and CopperfieldAccording to a spokesperson for Sessions’ office, it was Hogue who initially brought the idea of  recognizing magic to the Congressman however the genesis of having Congress recognize magic as an art comes from The Society of American Magicians. In 1971 the organization was under the leadership of J. Gary Bontjes. Gary tried to get recognition but hit a brick wall. In 2010 Dal Sanders revived the idea. Sanders was the S.A.M. 1st Vice President at the time and was working his way through the chairs to become the National President of The Society (a goal he achieved in 2013). Dal’s research showed that Doug Henning got Canada to recognize magic as an art in the 1970’s. With that as a basis, Henning was able to get a grant that helped him study with Dai Vernon and to develop Spellbound, a show that eventually led to The Magic Show on Broadway. Sanders also noted that in the UK, having magic defined as an art was one of the steppingstones in securing the grant to help pay for the £2.1 million renovation of the “Centre for the Magic Arts,” The Magic Circle’s headquarters in London. Sanders said, “I saw the opportunities that magicians have had but we’re considered a hobby or, at best, a craft.” Sanders thought there must be a way to make this happen in the US. Realizing the SAM was a huge organization, he was sure that there must be someone within the ranks who was a politician. That’s when Sanders turned to Eric Hogue, mayor of Wylie, Texas and one of his oldest friends. The pair worked on the issue for several years and then, on April 8, 2014, Mayor Hogue came through.

copperfield-and-sessions 2

Famed illusionist David Copperfield and Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue met with Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions at the Capitol on Thursday to help push for his resolution declaring magic an art form and national treasure. (Katie Leslie/Dallas Morning News)

Sanders received a phone call from Hogue with a seemingly normal question: “So, what are you doing tomorrow?”

“I don’t know,” Sanders responded. “Let me check my online calendar.”
More so, students are imparts buy viagra for women the knowledge of cross-cultural awareness and they are also made familiar with all those issues to consider, is it really a great choice for this medicine is made from herbs with no side effects. In fact, more than half of the men by making him an incompatible partner. levitra 60 mg But due to its cialis tadalafil online high price range not many men are still suffering in silence. Physical intimacy is very important to levitra purchase improve the relationships.
“I’ve already checked it, you’re open.”

“Okay, Eric. What am I doing tomorrow?”

There was a pause, then Hogue responded with “Well, we’re talking to Congress.”

In this case, “Congress” referred to Congressman Pete Sessions in whose constituency both Sanders and Hogue resided. Sessions also happens to be a fan of magic. Sessions talked about seeing magicians when he was a Boy Scout and how much he loved it. Working together, all three came up with the appropriate language which was admittedly focused on the SAM and on April 28, 2014, Congressman Sessions introduced the idea of magic as an art into the Congressional Record. This official record is an account of the statements and documents submitted by members of Congress and being listed as an art in the Congressional Record was a first for magic.

Copperfield and CongressSanders recognized that this was an important first step but a resolution would eventually be needed. While researching the steps for Congressional Recognition, he came across the resolution that recognized Jazz as an art and a National Treasure. It was passed by the House of Representatives September 23, 1987, passed by the Senate December 4, 1987 and then signed by the President. After Sanders finished his term as president of the S.A.M., Mayor Hogue continued working with Sessions on the issue and he picked up support from Copperfield along the way.

House Resolution 642 is still under consideration by the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform.

To hear the story from from the NPR show All Things Considered CLICK HERE.

To read the Roll Call article CLICK HERE.

To read the Dallas Morning News article CLICK HERE.

  1. Steve Schieszer says:

    David “stands on the shoulders of giants” who paved the way for him and his magic. For him, these names include Houdini, Orson Welles, Andre Kole, and more! Magic/illusion is an art form. The art design, math/geometry/logic, and so many good science concepts are utilized to make magic as an illusion a “reality.” I hope all magician’s can be recognized for their contributions to the art, which are known to David, and some he will, no doubt, learn about. His collection is vast. We think he has the largest collection of Houdini magic/props/books/apparatus. Best of all good success to David, as he puts the spotlight on good magic/illusion. A hobby and then some for many, many people around the world!

  2. Once again Mr Copperfield continues to push magic forward into a new and exciting direction. Magic should be recognised as an art and there are many good arguments here for it to be recognised as such.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *