For Freedoms: Town Hall Series 2018
New York, NY
September – December 2018
For Freedoms was created in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman as a platform for civic engagement and discourse to encourage political participation through art. Their 50 State Initiative, a public art campaign consisting of concurrent billboards, exhibitions and Town Halls at over 200 institutions nationwide, launches this fall in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse.
VIA Art Fund’s 2018 grant to For Freedoms will support their 2018 Town Hall Series, bringing together thought leaders in art, design, policy making, and community organizations as well as the public to create the largest art world collaboration in history, reaching audiences in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Designed to be led by artists, placing their voices at the center of the discussions, each Town Hall addresses one of the Four Freedoms articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wartime address in 1941 in response to what it means to be an American: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. The Town Halls are centered around topics relating to social issues, with topics relating to freedom of religion, poverty, immigration, mass incarceration, and food security. The Town Halls create a space to engage as artistic practice and modeling how art and discourse can urge communities into greater action and participation.