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The controversy in the United States surrounding the funding of ‘offensive‐ and ‘pornographic‐ works by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) has centered on whether or not the organization should espouse a morally conservative outlook in regard to the public funding of artistic works. However, the NEA arguably already pursues conservative policies rooted in its vision of the form, function, and outlook of the arts it exists to serve. The appointment of the actress Jane Alexander as chair of the NEA may have indicated that the organization would become more liberal in its moral stance, but the question remains: can government-supported art be anything but conservative? The following is a case study of one theatre's relationship to the NEA in the context of the Washington, DC, theatre community. The author, Mary C. Resing, is a former business manager of New Playwrights' Theatre in Washington, DC, and a former grant writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently working on her dissertation on the actress-manager Vera Kommissarzhevskaia.