We believe citizenship is defined by participation, not by ideology.

Through non-partisan nationwide programming, we use art as a vehicle for participation to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values. We are a hub for artists, arts partners, and citizens who want to be more engaged in public life.

What we do

Billboards

For Freedoms outdoor activations invite artists to use the tools of art and advertising to encourage civic engagement. We believe that if artists’ voices replace advertising across the country, public discourse will become more nuanced.

Town Halls

Traditionally used by politicians as forums to connect with their constituencies, answer questions, and promote their campaigns, For Freedoms Town Halls provide safe platforms for conversations that seek to encourage a more active, collaborative, inclusive, and empathetic community. Town Halls bring together experts in various disciplines such as art, design, policy making, and community organizing in cities across the country to discuss issues related to freedom.

Exhibitions

For Freedoms exhibitions engage local perspectives on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: affirming the inalienable human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Lawn Signs and more...

Participate

In 2018, For Freedoms launched the largest creative collaboration in our nation's history, the
 50 State Initiative. During the midterm election season, we held over 600 concurrent decentralized public events across the country with over 250 partners that reflected a multiplicity of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art, education, commerce, and politics. On our platform, you’ll see all of the incredible activations that happened this past fall, in addition to others that the For Freedoms community continues to put on today.

50 STATE INITIATIVE & BEYOND

In 2018, For Freedoms launched the largest creative collaboration in our nation's history, the
 50 State Initiative. During the midterm election season, we held over 600 concurrent decentralized public events across the country with over 250 partners that reflected a multiplicity of voices and sparked a national dialogue about art, education, commerce, and politics. On our platform, you’ll see all of the incredible activations that happened this past fall, in addition to others that the For Freedoms community continues to put on today.

Community Feed

19
Sep
activation

PROTECTING VOTER RIGHTS FOCUS OF 2019 CONSTITUTION DAY SYMPOSIUM

As voting rights concerns remain at the forefront of American elections, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and the ACLU of Maryland will come together this fall for its annual Constitution Day symposium to tackle topics that have affected democracy for decades. Featuring Eric Gottesman, Courtland Cox, Bob Moses, and Nicole Hanson.
September 19, 2019
Public Program
gallery

Global

Abstract art paintings
artist

Nedeljkovic Danijela

Art paintings
21
Sep
activation

LOOKS OF FREEDOM: EXAMINING THE ROLE OF ARTISTS IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE

HOSTED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE JOYCE FOUNDATION at SAIC Sullivan Galleries at 33 S. State Street, 7th floorDOORS OPEN at 10 A.MCONVERSATION GOES FROM 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.LIGHT REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED.In partnership with the Joyce Foundation, For Freedoms will curate a town hall discussion in conjunction with LOOKS OF FREEDOM, a special projects exhibition at EXPO Chicago curated by Modou Dieng and Michelle Woo. The conversation will be framed around the notion of Freedom of Speech and the role of art and artists in creating a more equitable global community and marketplace. The program will feature curators Alexandria Eregbu of Envisioning Justice, Tempestt Hazel of Sixty Inches From Center, as well as For Freedoms artists Kellie Romany, Jamal Petermaan, and Malick Welli.Cover image by Malick Welli.
September 21, 2019
Town Hall
artist

Bonnie Donohue

I am an artist and a writer who works with photography, video, and installation. I have worked in regions of conflict, such as Northern Ireland during the hunger strikes, prior to the Peace Accords; in South Africa just before the end of apartheid; in Vieques Puerto Rico during and after the U.S. Navy's occupation of the island, and at the site of the former Iron Curtain, currently known as The European Green Belt.
gallery

Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from Lightwork at the University of Vermont

Light Work is pleased to announce Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from the Light Work Collection. The exhibition is guest-curated by For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States, co-founded in 2016 by former Light Work artists-in-residence Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas. Since then, For Freedoms has produced exhibitions, town hall meetings, and public art to spur greater participation in civic life. On their motivations for starting For Freedoms, Gottesman states, “Our hope was to spark dialogue about our collective civic responsibility to push for freedom and justice today, as those before us pushed for freedom and justice in their time through peaceful protest and political participation.” Borrowing its title from the Charles Biasiny-Rivera piece of the same name, Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul features more than forty photographs from the Light Work Collection that explore topics of politics, social justice, identity, and visibility. These subjects have remained significant for Light Work and many of the artists we have supported over our forty-five year history. The list of artists includes: Laura Aguilar, George Awde, Karl Baden, Lois Barden and Harry Littell, Claire Beckett, Charles Biasing-Rivera, Samantha Box, Deborah Bright, Chan Chao, Renee Cox, Rose Marie Cromwell, Jen Davis, Jess Dugan, John Edmonds, Amy Elkins, Nereyda Garcia Ferraz, Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Antony Gleaton, Jim Goldberg, David Graham, Mahtab Hussain, Osamu James Nakagawa, Tommy Kha, Pipo Nguyen-Duy, Deana Lawson, Mary Mattingly, Jackie Nickerson, Shelley Niro, Suzanne Opton, Kristine Potter, Ernesto Pujol, Irina Rozovsky, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Kanako Sasaki, Pacifico Silano, Clarissa Sligh, Beuford Smith, Amy Stein, Mila Teshaieva, Brian Ulrich, Ted Wathen, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Hank Willis Thomas, Pixy Yijun Liao. In addition to the selections of work on view at Light Work, we have collaborated with For Freedoms to display a series of billboards throughout the city of Syracuse created by internationally-renowned artists Zoe Buckman, Eric Gottesman, Carrie Mae Weems, and Hank Willis Thomas. These billboards use photography and text to address social issues and our political climate. This exhibition and related programming coincide with The 50 State Initiative, an ambitious new phase of For Freedoms Fall 2018 programming, during the lead-up to the midterm elections. Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of artists and institutional partners, including Light Work, who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions, and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered around the vital work of artists, these exhibitions, and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action.
27
Sep
activation

BE STRONG AND DO NOT BETRAY YOUR SOUL

The Fleming Museum of Art is pleased to announce the exhibition Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from the Light Work Collection, originally organized by Light Work, a nonprofit organization in Syracuse, New York, that provides direct support to artists working in the media of photography and digital imaging. The show was guest-curated by For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States, co-founded in 2016 by former Light Work artists-in-residence Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas. Since then, For Freedoms has produced exhibitions, town hall meetings, and public art to spur greater participation in civic life. On their motivation for starting For Freedoms, Gottesman states: “Our hope was to spark dialogue about our collective civic responsibility to push for freedom and justice today, as those before us pushed for freedom and justice in their time through peaceful protest and political participation.” https://www.uvm.edu/fleming/be-strong-and-do-not-betray-your-soul
September 27, 2019
Exhibition
partner

University of Vermont

The University of Vermont, officially The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university in Burlington, Vermont. It was founded in 1791 and is the state's land-grant university.
gallery

Looks of Freedom

An exploration of fiction, fantasy, and the future, the exhibition and its accompanying performances offer a stage to unpack and repack notions of blackness, brownness, queerness, and belonging in order to give these stories a form, resonance, and connection.
50StatePartner Exhibition
partner

Blackpuffin

A boutique company focusing on equal parts collaboration and strategy. Our mission is to produce an interactive platform for artists, businesses and collectors to engage and motivate each other through curating and advising.
50StatePartner
partner

New American Economy

New American Economy brings together a bipartisan group of mayors from across the country and business leaders from all sectors of the economy to raise awareness of the economic benefits of sensible immigration reform.
FreedomFromFear
artist

Robert King

Editor & Visual Director

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