Headlines: Petitions, Protests, POTUS
1) NEA Petitions on White House Website Not Counting SIgnatures
Two White House petitions urging Trump to preserve the NEA and federal arts funding are reportedly not registering new signatures. Both the petitions, currently “available” on the White House website, launched January 21st, the day after the inauguration, a few days after the new president announced his budget plan that would not include funding for the NEA or the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Though thousands of people have tweeted and posted on social media that they have signed the petitions, the numbers haven’t budged.
2) Artist Creates Website to Show All That NEA Funded Last Year
On that note, in case you were wondering why the NEA should be preserved in the first place, one artist, Tega Brain, has created a scrolling website that lists all of the items that the endowment funded in 2016 alone. The colorful website fills the screen with a changing selection of funded items that were officially published on the NEA website. The items include numerous theatrical performances, local art and music festivals, after-school programs for at-risk youth, and more.
3) Christo Pulls Out of Colorado Project in Protest
Christo has abruptly pulled out of a project into which he invested over 20 years and millions of dollars worth of his money, as a gesture of defiance to the new POTUS. The proposed project was supposed to take the form of a 42-mile silver canopy installed over a Colorado section of the Arkansas river. However, because that land is federally-owned, it is now under Trump’s jurisdiction - something that Christo is refusing to tolerate. The project was already facing opposition from Colorado residents who were concerned over its environmental impact - so perhaps it is best conceived as a middle-finger to the current president.
4) Responsible Art Market Aims to Stop Corruption and Money Laundering
Calling themselves the Responsible Art Market Initiative, a group of art dealers, lawyers and consultants are trying to improve the art market’s image. Following the seizure of a shipment of stolen Syrian antiquities at Geneva’s Free Port, the group decided it was time to come together and draw up a set of guidelines for the prevention of money laundering and illegitimate art trade. Switzerland’s contribution to the global art trade is comparatively small, but the Free Port is notable for being the world’s largest tax-free art storage facility - a fact which could make it vulnerable to unsavory activities.
5) A Selection of the Best J20 Women's March Posters
Finally, in case you missed it, here is Hyperallergic’s list of some of the best posters seen at the Women’s March inaugural protests. The signs range from humorous to incredibly poignant.