Jan 02, 2009 — In our series "A Fresh Start," we're asking leading thinkers to share their thoughts on what Barack Obama's administration should be paying attention to as the president-elect takes office this month. In his public appearances, Obama has been known to quote poetry and harken back to his school music teacher. He likes the works of Stevie Wonder, Toni Morrison and Ernest Hemingway. Obama formed a national arts committee as part of his presidential campaign, to the delight of Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts. Not usually a hot-button topic in presidential politics, Obama has issued a comprehensive statement in support of arts and arts education in the U.S. Hitchens says she's hopeful that Obama will be true to his pledge of support for arts education.