Much emphasis was placed on getting tapes broadcast and cablecast in these programs, which beyond university contributions were solely funded by Rockefeller for a total of $274,000 between 1976 and 1981. By the early 1980s, according to Davis, it was clear that many more schools were beginning to set up video courses, and the program ended when the foundation ceased providing funds.
Throughout the 1970s, Klein functioned in many ways as a spokesperson for and supporter of artists in the face of the obstacles of public and commercial television systems, often getting involved in fierce letter exchanges with PBS when it rejected Rockefeller-supported independent projects. In 1976, he was one of the funders for the Ten Cities Project of Global Village, a five-year project consisting of meetings around the country designed to inform independent producers about the opportunities and problems of public television. John Reilly, director of Global Village, notes that while Klein was not one of the primary funders of this and other projects dealing with public television, he was one of the most influential and supportive participants, going to several meetings and talking to many people. In 1979, Klein organized with Reilly a conference of independent producers and public television representatives to address the issues of independents and public television, entitled "Independent Television Makers and Public Communications Policy." Klein had also orchestrated an earlier meeting at the foundation with representatives from commercial television and independents, giving independents unprecedented access to TV executives, because he knew, according to Reilly, that they would not refuse an invitation to the Rockefeller Foundation. "Howard was deeply involved and concerned about the relationship with public television and in lobbying these people," says Reilly. "He understood the influence of the Rockefeller Foundation, and he tried to make a difference. It is his political involvement that distinguishes him from other funders." 13
In the 1970s, public television evoked a promise that today seems no longer possible. In the early days of video art, it was the one mainstream manifestation of video that could be approached with the aim of changing institutions. While criticism about the limited access to many of these programs and facilities bears attention, these simply were not central issues in the early 1970s. Since that time, the media community has become increasingly geared toward peer panels of artists evaluating grants and more conscious of what access means. The issue of whether panels or individuals should award grants is raised in any evaluation of an individual like Klein, and indeed it did become a larger issue toward the end of his tenure at the Rockefeller Foundation.
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