The Vitality of Daring Artists Has Never Been More Important
The vitality of daring artists has never been more important than in this particular moment of turbulence in America.
We know these are trying times, and if you’re a person of color, a woman, an immigrant living in the U.S., if you’re Muslim or Jewish, a person with disabilities or if you’re part of the LGBTQ community, or someone who endeavors to act in ally-ship, this election result might feel like a personal attack. We acknowledge your feelings of vulnerability are not entirely unique to this moment, but that they may well be heightened right now. And while we are always striving to make ourselves better as an organization and as individuals in order to better serve our community, we felt it necessary to let you know that we are here for you.
Creative Capital was founded on a strong belief that artists’ voices should be heard and protected, no matter who maintains political power. Today, we take a moment to stand firmly behind this mission. We affirm our commitment to supporting artists as they build sustainable careers, form communities and movements, and use their practice to confront injustice. While we plan for the uncertainty of the coming years, we take solace in knowing that many of you are working hard every day to make this world a better, more inclusive place.
Below we share reactions to the election from artists we’ve supported and, with an eye to sustainability, resources for self-care and community building. We welcome you to share your own in the comments of this blog post or on Facebook.
– Suzy and the staff at Creative Capital.
I often feel unsafe, now I feel radically unsafe. I think many of us do. I’m not well today. The world is not well today. Fascism is back in fashion world wide and our collective technological advancements, make our tools for destruction and power mongering so much more toxic and dangerous than the last time the world took this turn. All of us who stand against and work against misogynistic xenophobic radicalism must hold each other close and work closely together. Do not let this split divide us, we need everbody to stand firm and in conviction. #notmypresident
This is the country we live in. Be in it. Don’t try to escape. First, be with your families. Be in the fear. Stare right into it. Then, calculate and get to work.
We cannot give up. We cannot be paralyzed by fear. But we must slow down. We must breathe deeply and give up the ghost of complacency. We have to be more resolved than ever to activate towards justice in ways many of us have never before. We have to do this from the deepest place of love. It will not be easy nor quick. We will have to stay awake and hold each other and be courageous in the face of great adversity and keep moving forward, and be kind to each other, and committed to justice and peace like never before. Spirit is calling us to task. We have felt tired because racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, anti-immigrant hatred and environmental destruction is exhausting. Now is the time to take a moment and breathe, grieve, rest, connect with loved ones and make a commitment to living a life that activates towards a level of justice and healing that we have never seen before, that we may not even believe is possible, but requires a kind of blind faith and commitment we haven’t been socialized to believe in. Do not isolate at this time. We are community. And if you feel that you don’t have community, reach out and change that. Do not let pessimism prevail over your determination and commitment to realize a just and loving world. Hold on. We cannot give up. We must continue to believe in our power to make things happen, even in this dark hour. Especially in this dark hour. Do not give up. I love you all. I love this earth. I love our people. I love spirit. I am pledging more than ever to act from love from spirit from love. Ase, aho, amen, aiybobo. Here we go.
Quintan Ana Wikswo
Wipe your tears and tell us all how you’re going to reinvent your life starting tomorrow morning and going on forever to become an indefatigable force for justice, love, equity, tolerance, and elevation. Where you gonna go volunteer? What job you going to quit? Where you gonna divest? What money you going to spend on donations instead of another smart phone? Let’s make a list.
Read more posts by Quintan
eteam—Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger
I am not in shock, or maybe I am, but I am also incredibly angry at our own ignoranceand our own arrogance and the bubble we live in. Facebook is not America. America is big and real and desperate and even though I am shaking in desperation doing it, I do respect the decision people have made, especially people in rural America and so called “uneducated white people.” Our stupid, elitist arrogance towards rural people, who in many cases are NOT at all what we call them, who are–at least as we got to know them on a personal level through our work—often open, even eager and yes–as desperate as we are—to enter a dialog with “the other” is what deepened a divide that now shows its disastrous results.
We know, we have each other and our creative community and our shared values are our most important base, but we can not stay among ourselves. We have to go out and listen and wonder and try to understand even though it might be impossible at times. There is SO MUCH we can learn in rural America and from rural Germany and rural Poland and rural Croatia and it’s not too late to do so.
There will be Trump voter’s remorse and doubts, everyone doubts—and I want to be ready and present for those moments, we need to continue to break down the barriers and engage in something “ongoing,” a back and forth, a give and take, a win and lose, some sort of exchange, a cry, a laugh, an absurd comedy…. anything that blurs and criss-crosses this fucking, corporate, money and fear-driven, artificial divide that exists between groups of people. We are the people. This is us. US!
From pain comes great art. Let’s get it in.
I will not leave this country. I will fight. There are 72 days until inauguration and we must shore up and protect what and whom we hold dear. Fellow cis-gendered white men, I’m looking at you. We did this. We need to be sensitive to those who have so much more to lose than a person like me. Now is not the time to drink and get high. Now is NOT the time to hide, or keep your head down. Now is the time to ask communities who are in the crosshairs (Muslim, LGBTQ, immigrant, everyone) WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? And then fucking do it. Donate to the ACLU, sign petitions, promote #Blacklivesmatter and see what they need, use the time you would spend looking at the Internet, feeding your depression and anxiety, to do something real and physical to mitigate this horrible future we’re moving towards.
Trump supporters will be emboldened. I have no intention of turning a blind eye to violence and aggression perpetrated by other white men. But we must do more than that, we must intervene, we must communicate, we must shield, and we must STAND in whatever way we can or we are indeed looking at 4 years of dismantling everything our collective ancestors worked so hard to achieve. We cannot go backwards. Check in with your POC friends. Listen to them. Make new POC friends. LISTEN to LGBTQ warriors and make their fight your fight. Do not mansplain and do not hide behind your privilege even though this misguided electorate has affirmed it. Cis-gendered white men you are not off the hook.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Mo(u)rning thoughts… eight years ago, as I was holding my son and feeling hope, some father across the values universe was holding his kid and shaking with rage and loss… probably feeling that America had abandoned him, the way many of us are feeling today… I can only assume that father spent his time integrating into a movement that reversed his Obama autumn shock… much like movement is the answer for those on the other end of today’s moral compass.
Patriarchy, white supremacy, militarism and sexism are the center, but they are not the sun. 20 million fewer people voted in this season than in 2012, and for those that did, the people who voted for Clinton STILL make up the popular majority. The margin of victory this morning includes the measure of our undocumented, the number of our unjustly incarcerated, the score of our apathetic, the sum total of the systemically marginalized, and of what’s left, Clinton voters were STILL the plurality. This morning WE are the CULTURAL majority, but the POLITICAL minority, a landscape echoing the South Africa that swallowed Mandela’s prime.
Trump’s victory was bred in the vitriol at the edge of Obama’s hope. Seasons change. We literally are on the edge now… as a majority, we will not be silent.
This morning I feel deep despair. But despair is no answer. “To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals–that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.”
There is no concession, but a renewed search to find means to embolden the process of struggle, resistance and critique, active before this election.
Our empire was already weakened by our policies, decades of endless war and injustice, against the most unfortunate, buried in our laws that shackled emancipation.
We must now heed the will of those unaware they have been suffocating on the spittle of their anger.
We must be ready soon to offer them relief and breath, as it is my belief…that they will be forsaken.
Onward with Courage.
Resources for Healing and Community
* Poems for coping
* Facing Race Conference
* The What Should I Do Before January Guide (with a Queer/Trans focus but applicable to everyone)
* Recess Art
* How to Use Creative in Organizing: A free webinar for artistic activism
* SURJ NYC: End White Silence
* Crunk Feminist Collective: Get Your People
* Start to Process the Election at these NYC Culture Spaces and Events
* Ground Rules for Dialogue
* Queens Museum: Open House for Unity
* Music Heals Mix by A-Trak
We welcome you to share your reactions and resources below in the comment section.