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Unstoppable Voters 2021

Our Unstoppable Voters project is fighting voter suppression through creativity, joy, humor, and innovation.

Find out more at:
Unstoppable Voters Info Session
Friday, May 21, 3-3:45pm EST
Register via Zoom

We support and fund wild, experimental, funny and joyful projects and help make them more impactful through training, research and community building.

If you can’t make it at this time, register anyway, and we’ll send notes afterwards, and a recording.

Who’s This For?

For Voter Advocacy Organizations

If you work for an organization and want support to make fresh, fun voter campaigns, get in touch, and attend the info session.

For Artists and Creative People

If you want to use your creative skills to help defend democracy, join the info session.

For Anyone Who Cares about U.S. Democracy

If you like this idea and want to support it, join the info session to learn more and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for updates soon. And donate!

What is Unstoppable Voters?

Unstoppable Voters celebrates voting rights and counters U.S. voter suppression through experimental, innovative advocacy. It is run by the Center for Artistic Activism, a leader in the field of research and training around creative campaigns. Effective advocacy must be waged on multiple fronts, and we bring a focus on the cultural change that is critical. We also bring new voices to advocacy – artists, cultural workers, and other creatives who contribute unique perspectives and revitalize movements with joy, humor and art. You may have seen our work in the press right before and after the 2020 election, like the feature in CBS This Morning.

If you’re not sure creative activism is effective, just look to our most recent huge win: we started the Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 campaign last year, to use creative activism to make COVID vaccines free and accessible globally–and the Biden administration just announced its historic support for what we’ve been fighting for!

Here’s what will happen in the next few months:

Creative Activism + Voting Info Session – May 21

This is the kickoff. We’ll discuss creative activism responses to voter suppression and how you can help. The session will include an extravaganza of voting rights experts. We’ll talk about how organizations, artists, activists and others can be involved.

Unstoppable Voters Workshop – Mid-June (exact dates TBA)

A three-session, online workshop where participants learn our trade secrets about creative activism, and refine ideas for anti-voter suppression projects. Great for staff and volunteers at voter advocacy orgs, for artists, creatives, and more. This is a chance to experience our popular Creative Activism Academy training that we’ve been honing for 12+ years in workshops around the world. You’ll learn lots of examples of inspiring and truly effective creative actions, plus processes and tools you can apply to your own work. Applications for the workshop will open by May 21.

Applications open for funding Unstoppable Voters Projects – June 11-25

We invite you to submit your best, wildest, most impactful project ideas. 

You do not need to participate in the workshop to submit an application, but it will help you refine your proposal and make it more successful!

We’re especially looking for projects that:
  • Are creative, risk-taking, innovative ideas that might not be supported elsewhere
  • Feel relevant, exciting, pressing, and get new people to show up and get out
  • Motivate people to act on calls from advocacy organizations
  • Help advocacy organizations do a great job engaging people in voting issues
  • Help other people express themselves through creative activism
  • Are collaborations between artists and voting advocacy organizations
  • Are nonpartisan
Some questions that we have, and that you can ask yourself:
  • Will it have real impact against voter suppression, especially in key states like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona? Does it align with real needs in communities most impacted by voter suppression? 
  • Does it do more than “raise awareness,” meaning, the project has strong potential to change people’s behavior? 
  • Does it empower and create community? Does it welcome people to participate? 

How does this work for advocacy organizations?

In 2021 we are providing creative advocacy support – funding, artist fellows, training, outreach – to organizations working against voter suppression. Right now, thanks to a generous funder, we can give some of this support for free to a small number of advocacy organizations.

Some of the benefits that orgs see when they work with us are increased engagement among new audiences, more high-quality volunteer assistance, new leadership skills and organizing confidence among staff and volunteers, and more creative and successful campaigns. 

How will it work? One or some of your staff should join the info session and sign up for the workshop. Or contact us.

Past Unstoppable Voters Projects

Some of the projects from 2020: 

Cirque d’Vote organized dozens of circus performances at early voting locations and on Election Day. Courting Voters with Court Fees was a North Carolina effort focused on the approximate 100,000 formerly incarcerated people who could newly vote. Float the Vote organized Detroit food and ice cream trucks to educate people about registration, early voting and polling locations.  #MyJamMyVote was a songwriting contest to amplify civic engagement in the 2020 election cycle. Project Your Vote projected voting information and narrative imagery in dozens of locations. Drawing Out the Vote was a voter mobilization campaign in Georgia that used music and animation to illustrate Fair Fight’s information about voting access. Voter Suppression Interventions drew attention to voter suppression tactics through satirical interventions and videos. Fuck Talking, Go Vote mobilized diverse cowboys and cowgirls across the country in 11 rides to the ballot boxes before election day. Delivering Democracy were troupes of dancing mailboxes throughout Pennsylvania. My Vote Won’t Bite took the form of stickers, flags, and posters in a dozen locations. Packing and Cracking is an interactive mapmaking event about gerrymandering. 

More details about these and other Unstoppable Voters projects are here.


Unstoppable Voters is a project of the Center for Artistic Activism and has been made possible through the generous support of Andrea Soros Colombel and Open Society Foundations.

Thank you hugely to our generous Unstoppable Voters anchor funder Andrea Soros Colombel for knowing that artistic activism is the future of advocacy, and for caring so deeply about democracy.

The photos on this page are from the Unstoppable Voters projects in 2020.

Big Win for Vaccine Access!

Care Bears hold a banner aloft reading "Sharing is Caring"

This week pharmaceutical corporations lost out to Care Bears and the power of creative activism.

On Wednesday May 5, we saw our past year of creative organizing around equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines pay off in a big way.

As you know, the Center for Artistic Activism been working alongside the access to medicines movement over the past year. Through our collaborative project Free the Vaccine for COVID-19, we’ve been helping hundreds of people use creative activism to get the COVID-19 free and accessible around the world. It was looking grim, as pharmaceutical corporations were successfully making billions of dollars while billions of people outside first world countries have not had access to life-saving vaccines. 

But on Wednesday we learned that President Biden has indeed listened to our demands to support the TRIPs Waiver, and favors waiving protections on vaccine patents so that poor countries can produce the vaccines. This is a huge win for the movement and for everyone.

And since May 5th, more countries have signed on to support equitable vaccine distribution, and our collaborators have been all over the news, from the UK to Japan to Australia. The artificially inflated stock prices (propped up by monopoly agreements and government supported research costs) even seemed to begin to correct themselves.

How did artistic activism help create this huge change?

  • We created an Advocacy Innovation Lab where people were educated on access to medicines issues and artistic activism skills in a accessible and communal way.
    We helped health access organizations develop and implement new creative strategies, from ambitious objectives through surprising tactics.
  • Instead of the usual body bags and “you say X, we say Y” chants, there have been Care Bears, Dolly Parton parody songs, delicious food, and Go-Go Bands.
  • We energized hundreds of new people – artists, grandmothers, sheet metal workers and so many more – in a vibrant, global, and online community to contribute their creativity and skills over thousands of hours in the past year. While in quarantine.

Photos from our May 5 Action in DC

This was a group effort of Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 and the People’s Vaccine coalition. Photos by Nicholas Moreland.

New work from Jean Stephens

Through the Hedgerow, Jean Stephens, encaustic on board, 8″ x 8″

Jean Stephens has one of her newest paintings on view at the Annual Spring Member’s Exhibition at Mill Art Center and Gallery in Honeoye Falls. It’s a small landscape in encaustic, Through the Hedgerow, an example of how she’s working more loosely with her medium, with impressive results. It’s a more experimental phase for her, part of a transformation in her work over the past couple years, and she’s getting some remarkable results. The show includes the work of a couple dozen member artists, all of it interesting. Stephens also has an excellent figure drawing chosen for a national show at Main Street Arts, on view now as well in Clifton Springs, juried by Steffi Chappell, assistant curator at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. Both exhibitions close on June 11.

Call to Watercolor Artists – Central Art Supply

Central Art Supply logo

541.773.1444   101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon 97501   centralartsupply.com
MON-FRI: 10-6 | SAT: 10-5


Central Art Gallery

CALL TO WATERCOLOR ARTISTS!


Central Art Gallery in Downtown Medford invites all watercolor artists to submit a portfolio of watercolor paintings for the upcoming Third Friday exhibit on July 16, 2021. This will be a group show to coincide with World Watercolor Month.

If you would like your work considered for the show, please submit up to six digital images and a brief biography here.  

The deadline to submit for this show is June 6, 2021.  For more information on our gallery please visit  centralartsupply.com


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The Poet Wonders

Nationally, it has been poetry month, but personally, it has been gardening month (with plenty of gravel schlepping!). In the realm of poetry, my collection Hope of Stones was nominated as a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. I wait to hear the results. In the realm of gardening, I planted seeds. I wait to see the results. 

 

I’ve always honored the timeless metaphor of a garden, but it’s one thing to write about it. It’s another to prepare the soil and plant the physical seeds. 

 

Since I’ve spent far more time with a shovel than a pen this month, I thought I’d pull out a poem from Hope of Stones. Unlike the opening line, it is still the “month of April & maybes.” So much waiting. And even more than the results of the book awards, I am excited to see what this coming harvest season will bring. 

 

The Poet Wonders

Oregon, October

 

The more I wonder, the more I love.—Alice Walker

 

It is no longer the month of April & maybes. 

It’s October & root vegetables—the soil-

pulled concretions of harvest. What we seeded 

in spring has grown up & down & waits 

for us to lift it from the skin of earth. 

 

How silent prayer was revelation & heresy.

 

The clouds roll in. The leaves redden. 

The cat’s coat thickens. We gather 

the tangible close & prepare for cold. 

 

How physics is the science of prayer.

 

One friend is dying. Another is trying to love 

someone who doesn’t love her back. 

 

I visit the first friend, & we sit on his deck 

watching tractors in the adjacent forest dig 

foundations for new houses he will never see. 

 

I visit the other friend & notice the old 

potatoes she keeps on a shelf. They’ve 

shriveled a bit but have new eyes—new shoots 

already looking for somewhere else to grow.  

 

How a perennial can inspire prayer.

 

Bartlett Pears, Redux

Bartlett Pears, 12″ x 16″, oil on linen

My life the past two years has toggled between slow-burning family emergencies punctuated by intervals of regular, predictable daily hours of painting. The crises have morphed into ongoing obligations to care for family members who need assistance, but this is a shift toward regularity that allows me to restore the concentrated, monotonous, repetitive attention essential for painting. I’m finally emerging from unpredictable interruptions and, if I’m lucky, I’m hoping I can look forward to quite a few years of being able to put in significant daily hours of work.  It’s what I need to finish a suite of paintings I started more than two years ago: images of salt-water taffy I haven’t been posting because I want to complete most of the whole series in order to decide what to put on view. I’ve completed only ten of these paintings so far—even the smaller ones have taken four to six weeks, with six weeks as the average for painting the largest of them. Even at that deliberate rate, I should have completed far more than ten, but for the entire summer two years ago while providing care for my father I was unable to sit at the easel and then I had several months helping my brother get my mom’s life in order in his absence. Then my son and daughter-in-law left California to stay here in Rochester during the pandemic, finally deciding to actually move here when Laura realized she could work remotely as a video producer—which Matthew may be able to do as well once they hire help for childcare. A freak automobile accident created a situation similar to what we faced with my father two years ago—but Laura eventually recovered enough for them to buy and move into a home a mile away. And then she had a baby, their second son. Her recovery and the new grandchild are a blessing, but also—in a wonderful way—it has provided fresh excuses to do things other than paint. All of this has prompted me to go dormant for periods on Instagram and this blog, still working pretty diligently, but not communicating much about what I’ve been doing.

Next month I should be able to restore the daily/hourly discipline I enjoyed two years ago and eventually finish my series of salt-water taffy paintings and offer them as a solo show. Meanwhile, as a balance to the deliberate, painstaking work on the salt-water taffy paintings—they are not hyper-realistic; the marks are visible up close, as usual, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse (in my view)—I’ve started a side practice of doing small, traditional paintings with a quicker, more painterly technique. As the first in this line, last week I finished a second version of a painting I did more than a dozen years ago, two Bartlett pears in a small metal dish. It’s a second version of the first painting I ever entered into a juried exhibition—my first entry was also my first acceptance—at the Arkell Museum. This version required four days, but could have been finished in two. I’m pleased with the results, but it was a fascinating learning experience. At every turn in the process, I recognized my ability to get the image convincingly close to the original painting, but also saw how impossible it was to duplicate the exact tone of the original paint. There’s an almost greenish undertone at the bottom of the foreground pear, in the dents, a marvelous cool tone I came up with mixing who-knows-what color into another. It was enjoyable to look at my past work and react the way I do when I see work that impresses me from other painters: How did that happen? The impression this painting gives, now that it’s complete, is virtually identical to what I see when I glance at a photograph of the first painting, but in each detail, the color is slightly different from what I mixed while painting the first version. The relationship among all the tones is what holds up between the earlier painting and this new one. I did this once before—doing a second version of an earlier painting—with a small painting of a sugar bowl I exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art. In that case, I discovered that I actually preferred the second version to the first. I don’t plan on doing a slew of new versions of old paintings. I want to embark on a new set of small, simple still lifes—with a less assiduous attention to photographic detail, more emphasis on “putting one spot of color next to another spot of color” in a way that captures how light falls on various colors and forms. I hope to make the character of the paint on the surface of the canvas part of what gives the viewer pleasure. What I’m hoping is to experience the pleasure of actually finishing a painting a bit more often than the taffy paintings have afforded.

We’ll see if successive efforts lead me toward some insights I can apply to the more strenuous project of the large taffy paintings—I’m already discovering many new things to keep in mind in those paintings, new personal guidelines I discovered as I finished the tenth one a month ago. Also, I’m planning to have a new studio built as an addition to our home this summer as well—so, in preparation for the construction I’ve moved into a more confined space at the moment, while looking forward to the largest and brightest studio I will have ever had. I’m determined not to let the construction distract me from my own work, but I know how that goes, based on the past two years . . .

Hiring: Assistant Director of Finance, HR, Operations

We’re hiring! We’re looking for a part-time Assistant Director for Finance, Human Resources, and Business Operations to help with budgets, contracts, hiring, and non-profit administration work. This is a remote position at approximately 10-15 hours per week to start, but the amount of time may be negotiable and flexible for the right person. Must have experience with nonprofit administration. We’d love someone in the NYC / upstate area, but we’re open. Check out the full job description below and on idealist.org. You can apply by sending materials to directors at C4AA.org.


Help with budget, finances, hiring, and operations at a small, growing nonprofit dedicated to helping people use art and creativity to effect social change.

The Assistant Director oversees Finance, Human Resources, and Business Operations, including budget planning, development, implementation, analysis, transaction reconciliation and reporting; identifying and addressing fiscal opportunities, challenges, and risks. The Assistant Director advises on resource allocation and financial planning. Exercising initiative and independent oversight, the Assistant Director works with C4AA’s leadership to facilitate the allocation of resources to advance our mission. The Assistant Director provides the strategic vision for the human resources function across the organization and is responsible for C4AA employee growth strategy, providing guidance around building a strong organizational infrastructure to support our continued growth.  

Most work will be done remotely, with occasional in-person meetings in NYC or the Hudson Valley if possible. Work times are mostly flexible. 

Center for Artistic Activism is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and seeks staff, contractors and partners who reflect the diversity of the people we serve. At the Center for Artistic Activism, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

The primary responsibilities of the Assistant Director are:

FINANCE

  • Lead development of annual operating and capital budgets with executive team, and Board to support C4AA’s tactical and strategic initiatives;
  • Provide leadership and ensure monitoring and review of operating and budgets, and completion of monthly report to President and quarterly reports to Finance Committee;
  • Supervise accountant and bookkeeper and staff to ensure accurate and efficient processes for payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable, account reconciliation, preparation of financial reports for grant applications and reports, and maintenance of financial records, including all contractual agreements between C4AA and outside parties and organizations;
  • Maintain internal control systems to assure integrity of financial transactions to prevent errors, omissions and possible fraudulent activity
  • Oversee development and security of financial management systems and technology;
  • Serve as primary liaison with outside auditor and C4AA’s Financial Committee in the preparation and completion of annual audited financial statements and all necessary federal and state filings.

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Build an employment environment in full compliance with federal, state, and local legal requirements by studying existing and new legislation; anticipating legislation; enforcing adherence requirements; advising the President and Board; on needed actions, and overseeing C4AA’s Personnel Policies Manual;
  • Oversee staff recruiting, retention, performance review and disciplinary processes to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work place;
  • Manage employee health and retirement benefits;
  • Partner with management to resolve employee relation issues; provide coaching and counseling to management and staff; collaborate with legal counsel on issues as appropriate;
  • Support Directors and Board Chair in DEI training and other skill building for Board and staff.

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

  • Direct staff in monitoring and reporting on progress toward achieving the goals of C4AA’s five-year strategic plan and annual work plan;
  • Support Directors in managing operations 
  • Direct C4AA in maintenance of all insurance policies and riders;
  • Support and advise Board and Directors in Strategic Planning as relates to business operations.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 5 years experience in non-profit or for-profit management and/or finance/HR, with a comprehensive understanding of financial processes and national standards in human resources and a track record of excellence in organizational and financial management, supervising staff, and creative problem solving;
  • B.A. degree and advanced degree in nonprofit administration, business, organizational management, accounting, or economics preferred;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively in one-on-one and group settings;
  • Belief in the necessity of creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work place and evidence of pursuing these goals;
  • An eye for innovation and an adaptable and nimble approach;
  • Possesses high ethical standards. Respects the confidentiality of information or concerns shared by others. Interprets and understands policies and applicable laws and regulations to ensure personal and unit compliance;
  • A collaborative, understanding, flexible, fun and relaxed team player who enjoys their work and wants to be part of our mission.
About the Center for Artistic Activism

C4AA is a NY state nonprofit formed in 2009. We help people organizations and individuals create impactful social change through art, culture and creativity. We have trained thousands of people in 30 countries. We are a small organization of 2 full-time staff, and 2 part-time staff, but growing as more and more people see the incredible possibilities inherent in innovative methods for advocacy. We are funded through a combination of grants, contracts, and individual donations. We work remotely from our homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Beacon, and Catskill, NY but meet up at least monthly and travel often in non-pandemic times. We have not had a person in this position previously – we are looking for the right person to help us grow. Learn more about us at c4aa.org

May 5: DC Rally for a People’s Vaccine

Participants walking down the street in DC with signs

Haga clic aquí para leer este mensaje en español.

A global pandemic requires a global solution. Yet we’re allowing pharmaceutical corporations to profit off the pandemic and public research. Their monopolies prevent generic producers, and limit production and access to these life saving medications for our neighbors in other parts of the world. These policies prolong the pandemic and allow virus variants to spread.

We know governments can do much more to end the global pandemic, including sharing vaccine recipes and helping the world make billions more doses.   

Join us May 5th in Washington, DC for a Rally for a People’s Vaccine

We’ll call on the Biden administration to ensure urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 treatments and vaccines for everyone, everywhere.  

Rally for a People’s Vaccine (October 2020), Washington DC

What can you expect?

Well, if you want everyone to have access to delicious pie, you wouldn’t ship pies around the world, you’d share the recipe! That’s what we are asking the Biden administration, pharmaceutical corporations and the WTO – put our tax-payer funded research to use! Share the vaccine recipe, technology, and know-how with the world so we can scale up manufacturing, increase access and curb the pandemic!

So expect some pie and ice cream at this event! There will also be music from Long Live Go-Go, and dancing to our Jonas Salk Remix!

RSVP and see you there!

Call to Artists: Chelsea International Fine Art Competition

Call For Artists
The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition
Early Bird Entry ends May 3rd – Enter Soon!
 
Agora Gallery is searching for artists from around the world, at any stage of their career working in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media, and print.

Artists have a chance to participate in a juried exhibition in New York City’s Chelsea Art District and to be showcased and promoted online and in print.  A distinguished panel of jurors is selected to judge, presenting more than $70,000 in awards.

This is an exceptional opportunity for artists to gain exposure while developing a professional presence in the art world.

Enter Now: https://www.nyartcompetitions.com/cifac/
Early Bird entry ends May 3rd.  Upload up to 7 images for only a $45 Entry Fee.

Competition Opens: May 4th, 2021
Submission Deadline: August 3rd, 2021
Juried Results: September 7th, 2021

Oregon Fringe Festival Opening Celebration

Join the Oregon Fringe Festival on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening of this year’s festival!

Dean Kyle, Ashland, Oregon percussionist
Dean Kyle, percussionist

Meet artists and producers and enjoy an evening of performances and visual arts exhibitions, a mixed drink demonstration from Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge, and Garden, Honorarium Recipient Awards from Festival Director, Paige Gerhard, and more…

Performances will feature Alexandra Doyle and Lily Gelfand, dancer and composer from Brooklyn, NY, and Dean Kyle, percussionist from Ashland, OR.

(Ashland, Ore.) Each spring, the Oregon Center for the Arts produces the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF), a multi-day event bringing together emerging creators and real-world artistic practitioners to share their respective experiences and to engage with each other’s work. The festival’s mission is simple: to provide a boundary-breaking platform for free expression and to celebrate unconventional art and unconventional spaces.

This year, we are excited to announce that the OFF will feature over 50 acts from over 40 different artists. From live virtual performances to artist lectures/workshops, an extensive virtual gallery, and outdoor art installations, viewers will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of creative work.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend our events. If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation(s) in order to participate in this festival, then please contact Disability Resources at [email protected] in advance.

The OFF is committed to providing a boundary-breaking platform for free expression that amplifies the voices of those who are all too unrepresented in the creative arts industry. A lens focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion will filter our selection process for all projects submitted.

Alexandra Doyle and Lily Gelfand
Alexandra Doyle and Lily Gelfand

– OCA at SOU –

About the Oregon Center for the Arts:

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University serves as a creative catalyst for the mixture of students, educators, and artists from the state, the nation and the world. The beautiful Southern Oregon mountain setting provides a special place to learn, explore and train in all of the arts disciplines.

Visit: oca.sou.edu

About Southern Oregon University:

Southern Oregon University is 175 acres of beautifully maintained campus with outstanding facilities, occupied by a committed and well-respected faculty and talented students. SOU’s vision is to be an inclusive, sustainable university for the future. Faculty, staff and leadership collaborate to achieve those ideals, and are united in their dedication to the students who will create lives of purpose and fulfill our region’s

promise. SOU enhances the economic, cultural and social well-being of southern Oregon, and helps its students learn the skills to work both independently and collaboratively, be adaptable and embrace creativity. Its diversity gives SOU both texture and strength. Students’ thoughtfully shared points of view are valued and respected.

Visit: sou.edu