Occupy Museum's protest at MoMA. Image courtesy: Occupy Museums

Arts News Brief – May 7th, 2017

Music Festival Websites Campaign Against Sexual Assault

Image courtesy: BBC UK

In 2016, two women were raped at the UK’s Reading Festival. In response to this event, more than 25 UK music festivals will turn off their websites for a day on Monday in a zero-tolerance campaign resisting sexual assaults and rape culture.

The campaign, known as, Safer Spaces, is enacted by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), aiming to alter this year’s festival mindset to one that promotes safety and allows for festival-goers to be aware of on-site support and other services which will be available to sexual assault victims.

The campaign is supported by groups like Rape Crisis England & Wales, Girls Against and Safe Gigs for Women (SGFW). Bestival, Parklife and Secret Garden Party are some of the festivals taking part in the Safer Spaces campaign.

“This is something we should be talking about at festivals. We want people to look out for each other,” says Renae Brown, campaign manager at the AIF. The Safer Spaces campaign sends out a positive message and sheds light on an issue that must be talked about.

Anti-Debt Activists Host Rally Inside Whitney’s Biennial

Occupy Museum, Occupy Museums Whitney Biennial 2017 CV (2017). Image courtesy: Occupy Museums

Occupy Museums – an activist group calling out socioeconomic injustice propagated by institutions of art and culture – is staging an anti-debt themed rally, or “counter-commencement debtors ceremony” inside the Whitney’s Biennial during the museum’s open hours this Friday. The activist group aims to bring attention to the silent crisis that plagues many artists: the burden of debt suffocating many art-school graduates.

Occupy Museums currently has an installation, Debtfair (2017), on view as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. As part of their Debtfair installation, the collective has included a portfolio of the educational background of the artists taking part in the show, displaying estimates of the cost of their education and the potential profits companies like BlackRock (an investment management company based in NYC) make.

Larry Fink, President Trump’s adviser, also happens to be the chairman of BlackRock, who has been quoted in the Whitney installation, “The two greatest sources of wealth internationally today [are] contemporary art and apartments in Manhattan.”

NEA Survives Despite Trump’s Efforts to Defund the Arts

Image courtesy: Andrew Harrer – Pool/Getty Images

In March, President Donald Trump announced his intentions to defund both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in his proposed budget for the federal government.

Like many of Trump’s initiatives discussed and proposed in his first 100 days of office, this plan failed to pan out. US Congress passed a budget agreement on May 1st, allowing for NEA and NEH funding to continue, and even receive a fair increase in comparison to last year’s budget.

The budget allocates $150 million for the NEA and NEH each, marking a $2 million increase from 2016. Congress is expected to pass the bill this week, and the President is expected to sign it. The arts community has been vocal in its opposition to Trump’s efforts to defund the arts. Artists including Jasper Johns, Marina Abramovic, and Julian Schnabel among thousands who signed a petition urging the government to save the NEA and NEH.

 

 

 

About Dominic Lauren

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Dominic is a Greek/American writer & editor; English and Theatre Studies Graduate

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