As part of the 50 State Initiative in 2018, For Freedoms released a set of curatorial questions to the community. Museums, galleries, universities, and community organizations across the country responded with exhibitions reflecting on these questions. Through this process, spaces for the display of art became civic spaces where viewers could critically engage with art, art institutions, and the systems and structures that surround them.
Exhibitions connected to the 50 State Initiative respond to the following prompts:
1. As clay in the hands of the artist, Democracy, especially in America, proves malleable. Shaped by its founders, reshaped by its citizens over and over, it remains uncast, ever-evolving. Whose hands shape it now? Whose voices rise? Whose stay silent?
2. Art does not separate from power. Art is connected and networked and also messy. Art encourages social movement and enables participation. What do artists do that others do not? What is their special power? What does art offer to political speech? How can art make social action better?
3. In this moment, we aim to unite students, artists, citizens and arts institutions throughout the country in a simultaneous exploration of art and public life. What is the power of synchronicity, of unity? And what is the value of discord and disagreement?
OTHER QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
What most urgently needs to be addressed in your community?
How do local artists respond?
What programming are you already doing that responds to these ideas?
What do you want it to be? A symposium, a film series, a group or solo exhibition in a gallery or anything else you think would represent your institution's interests.