remember when we all used to blog? well i’m gonna try to get back in the habit and stop relying on facebook so much.
in the last few days i have become aware of a few calls for art to inspire folks to get out to vote in the presidential election in november. which is, you know, kinda important. and i fully believe in the power of art to inspire, motivate and galvanize enthusiasm for the election.
the first one came out of the blue from one of my fellow artists for obama, from that grassroots movement of creatives (of which i was a part) that came together in 2008 to help elect barack obama, culminating in the manifest hope gallery show in DC during the inauguration. he’s spearheading an effort based on the concept of UNITY – http://time2unite.org/. here’s a snippet of the email he sent me:
I’m reaching out to ask you to join an army of artists, designers and creatives. Similar to the work we did in 2008 for the Obama campaign, I have hope that together we can inspire other artists and designers to express a single message we desperately need to hear. UNITE. IF WE UNITE, we can secure this election for a Biden/Harris victory and move past 45, and begin to heal this country. Whether you are a progressive activist, a part of the exhausted majority, or an ideal moderate, we need to all UNITE. We need to once again illustrate a word and begin the process of letting things manifest themselves. Let’s once again unleash our collective creativity.
i plan to create at least one design, if not more, and i just love the idea of a grassroots visual uprising to bring people together to defeat the fascist in the white house. i encourage you to do so too!
the second comes from a new nola local organization, creative community league, seeking designs for a GOTV postcard campaign. here’s the post directly from facebook:
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: $100 for a winning Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcard design
November elections are right around the corner! In an effort to support local Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns, Creative Community League will offer FREE GOTV postcards to advocates and allies working in Louisiana.To support local artists, Creative Community League invites artists and creators to submit a design for a 4×6 postcard. From the submissions, three designs will be chosen. Artists of winning designs will be awarded $100 each. Deadline to submit a design is August 30. Designs should be full-color, 3 1/4â€ W x 3 3/4â€ H, and 300 dpi. Please send the image as a pdf to Amanda Sanfilippo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launched in 2020, Creative Community League is an initiative that utilizes cultural strategies for movement building, supporting artists, storytelling, and other dynamic community engagement in moving reproductive and sexual awareness into creative spaces. Creative Community League is funded by the Packard Foundation. Visit us on Facebook at Creative Community League. For additional questions or if you would like a FREE order of 50 GOTV postcards, email Amy at email@example.com.
sounds like a cool idea and i’m excited to hear about the new local effort. i’ll see if can come up with something.
the third i just learned about this weekend while attending netroots nation at home, this year’s all-virtual iteration of the annual progressive activist gathering that i’ve always wanted to go to but never managed to afford. this year on a whim i decided to apply for a scholarship as even their reduced covid-affected rate was more than i could handle financially, and surprisingly, they approved me!
it was a great experience, i learned a ton, and i was able to take part in several design-related panels/trainings, amongst so many others. during one of the diy design sessions, i decided to post in the chat about the above UNITY call for art, and was immediately approached by a woman from people for the american way (PFAW), who recently launched their own national “art the vote” campaign with the theme of enough of trump. they’ve enlisted several big name artists like shepard fairey, carrie mae weems, jeffrey gibson, tatyana fazlalizadeh, ed ruscha, deborah kass, and others, and launched a kickstarter to fund billboards in key swing states featuring these artists’ works.
the kickstarter page explains that if they reach their goal – and they did, in fact they quadrupled it! – they will expand beyond the 12 artists they started with into other states. and so while i don’t see an explicit call for art on a grassroots level, i don’t see why folks shouldn’t use this theme to make your own version to spread wherever you live or online. i’ll update here if i learn anything more.**
so, there you have it. some inspiration. i frankly wanted to write this all down mostly for myself, so i’d remember to use these prompts to make something. it’s been hard over these last five months to feel inspired, frankly. but it’s time to get back to it, for my own mental health. i’ll show you whatever i come up with – you show me yours!
**edited 8/18 to add: upon reading the social media toolkit on the enough of trump website, i did find their “get involved” details:
Want to submit your own artistic entry? Make your own post on Twitter with whatever art youâ€™d like â€“ a drawing, song, poem, anything!Â
Make sure to tag @peoplefor AND use both #EnoughOfTrump and #ArtTheVote in your post so we can find your entries – and we might retweet you!
(When you submit content to PFAW, you grant PFAW permission and a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to post or display your content on PFAWâ€™s website and any other PFAW media platform. Content you submit must be your own original work and not the work of a third party.)