Friday, August 18, 2017

As communities are grappling with the existence and legacy of divisive monuments, Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued the following statement about the impact of public art, including monuments to the Confederacy, on the history and pride of diverse communities:
“For nearly 60 years, Americans for the Arts, with its member organizations, has been a fierce advocate for public art and how it can help transform, inspire, and educate communities. Americans for the Arts stands with community members who are coming together to have civil and just dialogues, and to meaningfully and honestly assess the value of their existing public art pieces, monuments, and memorials in telling the narratives that their communities desire and deserve today. Americans for the Arts stands in opposition to any form of violence, intimidation, or illegal activity that cuts short such community dialogue.
“We support ongoing community dialogue around truth, reconciliation, and removal and replacement of the various artistic and cultural vestiges of white supremacy and racism in the United States, and the installation of monuments commemorating narratives of emancipation, shared strength, and equity. We recommend that local arts agencies and other arts institutions join these dialogues in concert with affected communities. 
“Americans for the Arts strongly supports diversity, equity, and inclusion, and stands against racism, bigotry, and hatred. To support a full creative life for all, we commit to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable nation.”
Americans for the Arts' full Statement on the Intersection of the Arts, History, and Community Dialogue includes links to resources and tools for communities. For more on how to make the case for the arts and arts education, visit the Americans for the Arts Arts Mobilization Center