Here’s a clear message from the White House to the arts: you’re not all that important.

While no official announcement has yet been made, the New York Times has reported that Chicago lawyer Kareem Dale, already on the White House staff as special assistant for disability policy, will also oversee arts and culture. If this is the senior level, near-cabinet-member position that the arts community’s been anticipating, it’s a huge disappointment.

No reflection on Mr. Dale or his qualifications, this is all about making the arts an add-on duty for someone already doing a very different job. One spin on this might be that it’s better than nothing. I say it’s a blatant public relations misstep.