A great example of how Quincy’s quest to create a secretary of arts position in the U.S. has gone from a dream to a serious discussion occurred at the opening press conference of the Sundance Film Festival, Thursday (January 15) in Park City, Utah.

During the press conference, Sundance founder Robert Redford was “asked whether he could become a potential arts czar, which has become a pet cause of entertainment mogul Quincy Jones,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Redford responded with a “succinct ‘no,’” according to The Reporter, and that’s certainly his prerogative. Yet the mere fact that the concept is up for discussion at a major entertainment news conference is amazing. We’re thrilled by the support for the petition — started New York bassists Jaime Austria and Peter Weitzner – continues to receive.

As of this writing, the number of signees on the petition has eclipsed the 125,000 mark. To put that in perspective, on Thursday (January 15) it was at 100,000, on Tuesday (January 13) it had 80,000 signees, and when we first reported on it in late November, there were just 1,000 signatures. According to data provided by Austria, on Monday (January 12) alone, the petition racked up nearly 20,000 new signees.

Aside from the snowballing signatures, the petition also continues to garner media coverage, both pro and con. Rolling Stone picks up the story today and NPR’s Morning Edition and Psychology Today blogger Cathy Malchiodi have thoughtful pieces about the debate over government involvement in the arts and whether such a position is needed. (Malchiodi even posted a video clip from Q’s book signing that we shot. We’ve posted it again below).

You can read The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sundance coverage here. (Quincy and the secretary of arts concept are mentioned in the third paragraph from the bottom.)

Read Rolling Stone‘s coverage here.

Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition segment here.

Check out Psychology Today‘s blog by Cathy Malchiodi here.

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