03 Jun Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter
“Artists are here to disturb the peace. They have to disturb the peace. Otherwise, chaos.’’ James Baldwin
Art is never apolitical. And curation is never accidental. For 11 years, ArtBridge’s primary mission has been to transform the eyesore of construction fencing into a public platform for local artists. As NYC has over 300 street-level miles of construction, it’s a prominent mechanism to promote the voices of our city’s artists.
This past week’s violent suppression of peaceful protests is antithetical to that mission. It is a horrifying annihilation of our city’s and our country’s voices. And it furthers our resolve to promote artistic voices that, in Baldwin’s words, “disturb the peace.”
Sometimes our exhibitions have merely tried to create something beautiful; other times we’ve aimed to amplify the narratives of the marginalized.
The events of this past week, and the continual murder of innocent Black people, have made it quite clear to us: We at ArtBridge have an abject responsibility to employ public art as a mechanism to empower those who are disempowered; to uplift those who bear the heaviest weights; to shine lights on sociological corners that have been systemically darkened.
We will try. And we will continue to drive our ongoing NYCHA public art program towards these ends. But we also ask for your help to push us to achieve more.
We want your input on how we can best be an ally:
What sites are best located to amplify meaningful artistic voices?
Which community organizations should we partner with to create a genuine impact?
And which local artists can most effectively disturb the peace?
Executive Director, ArtBridge