The election of Donald Trump as our 45th President shocked our nation and the world.
As artists, the wind has been knocked out of us particularly hard as we are made up of those very constituencies that Mr. Trump and his followers seem to despise, or at least disrespect, and who bore the brunt of the hate-mongering rhetoric that catapulted him to power: Women, GLBT, Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Latinos, the disabled, and many other categories of proud Americans who make our collective world better through their creative voice.
The arts now have an integral role to play in resisting the tide of fear and suspicion that threatens to wash away all that we have accomplished in our 240 years as a nation. We must fight the coming darkness by shining a light on our shared experience and resilience.
To that end, we launch today a new endeavor: Arts in the Age of Trump
We aim to gather and display our nation’s collective artistic response to this unique and troubling moment. The display will be virtual to start but we have ambitions to bring to life brick-and-mortar exhibitions, concerts, and other events.
We ask of you two things:
First: If you’ve made something, share it. If you’ve written a poem, song, play, or a great first line for a novel, send it to us. If you’ve hurled paint at a wall, wrestled a sculpture into shape, choreographed a fiery routine, show us. We’ll put it out there.
Second: If you have a big, crazy idea, pitch it. Artists change the world by changing the conversation. How can artists facilitate a new American conversation? One where we talk to, not past, each other. One where white working-class former steel workers in the rust belt talk to Latino immigrants in the southwest. One where the mothers, fathers, and neighbors of African-American victims of police shootings talk to career officers who walk the beat. What are your big ideas? And what do you need to make them a reality?
Finally: If you supported Mr. Trump and are excited for his victory, we also want to hear from you. Your voice is needed, too.
Sing out. And stay strong.