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The Dutch Initiate a Colorful Stand for the Arts (from Arts Watch)

An example of one Artbomb project.

On June 24, clouds of colorful smoke exploded throughout various arts locations across the globe in protest against the alarming budget cuts facing arts communities worldwide.

After the Dutch government proposed to cut nearly 40 percent of arts and cultural funding, arts activists in the Netherlands decided to call attention to this viral issue within the larger international community. They initiated Artbomb, a “peaceful art intervention” calling upon all individuals to set off bombs of colored smoke at their local arts and culture centers.

All participants were asked to submit their documentation to Artbomb’s official website as “a token of solidarity and a symbol of strength” for the world to see.

As written in their press release, “this visual act will be a sign of resistance against the growing disdain for the arts within societies and governments worldwide, and a sign of support for colleagues who face major cutbacks.”

Thousands of arts and cultural establishments, including museums, schools, and private organizations, went up in a beautiful array of vibrant and potent smoke, calling attention to the importance of their existence. To view the pictures and videos submitted by protestors all over the world, click here.

Artbomb brings consciousness to the fact that art and cultural organizations are tools for international exchange and are thus affected by one another. By reaching out to the larger community, Artbomb was able to create a striking visual statement about the value of arts and culture to any society regardless of size, location, demographic, economic status, etc.

This protest was truly successful in reaching a diverse audience with over 200 endorsers from the United States, China, India, Australia, Japan, Israel, Indonesia, Aruba, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, etc. Supporters from the U.S. include the P.P.O.W Gallery in New York, the Rhizome ArtBase in New York, and Yale University (an Americans for the Arts Member!) in Connecticut.

Artbomb serves as a great example of combining strength by reaching out to a larger community and using creativity to make a case for the arts.

What other creative outlets can we use to engage a broader audience and make a united statement?

*Arts Watch is the bi-weekly cultural policy publication of Americans for the Arts, covering news in a variety of categories. Subscribe to Arts Watch or follow @artswatch on Twitter to receive up-to-the-minute news.

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