We’re sure, that like us, you’ve been reading articles like this and this and tv segments like this that put in stark terms the likely confusion and chaos in the weeks after Election Day, when results will be delayed and contested. Experts are predicting grim scenarios.
As our current election efforts are activated, we invite you to look ahead, after election day. How can we counter tension, fear and maybe violence with actions that make this country a place where liberty and justice is for all? How do we give people the resilience and hope to defend the basic tenets of democracy? How do we respond with so many unknown factors?
As artistic activists, we happen to think you know some ways to use humor, beauty, joy, and community to do just that.
The Center for Artistic Activism’s Unstoppable Voters Project is accepting proposals (due Oct 15) that work toward some combination of at least two to three of the following aims:
- Lead with the values of democracy and the freedom of people to choose their leaders.
- Defend the election; support for election workers, patience with the vote counting process, and the time it takes to complete that process, tell the story of how the counting process really works.
- Help cultivate community, joy, patience, and a sense of unity to combat fear, uncertainty, violence.
- Show what a democracy and our country should be. Keep the conversation expansive, global, and hopeful on the future ahead, as opposed to countering nit-picky details about things like privacy sleeves and dates of ballot signatures. Lead with vision.
- Mobilize a massive response through creating participatory experiences with a low barrier to entry. For example, easily replicable, fun to do, can include children, include instructions, etc.
- Drain the power from confrontations attempting to stop ballot counting using humor to expose and nullify misinformation about the election process.
- Projects that are flexible, responsive, and can adapt to multiple scenarios and a shifting landscape.
We’re accepting initial letters of interest until October 15th at 11:59pm EDT.
We’ll be notifying finalists by October 21st. Funding is limited.
We’re looking to fund projects that are surprising and unusual, ambitious, and impactful.
Because the weeks after the election are so unpredictable and require flexibility, at this point we’re not seeking detailed, fixed project plans. For this application we want to know how you’d generally approach and adapt to a few possible scenarios. For each scenario, imagine you have a budget of $5000 or less.
Frequently asked questions are below, but reach out if something isn’t answered there.
Word counts are suggested maximums, but they are not enforced.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is there a bit more background information or articles I can read to understand why I am desperately needed after election day?
Q: Will center for artistic activism staff be helping me manage and realize this proposal?
A: No, design a project you will manage. Center for Artistic Activism will distribute funds, coordinate some of the communications between grantees and organizations, and provide communications resources, but this will be your project which you are responsible for. We’re happy to consult and advise when and where we can.
Q: What if i don’t live in a state with critical voter suppression problems?
A: If you don’t live in a key state, you can still come up with a project idea. In your proposal consider partnering with other artists and activists living in those states, or include budget in your project for travel, local organizers, or connect with voting groups working in those states, or find a way your project can operate remotely in some way.
Q: Can my project advocate for a particular candidate or party?
A: No. That is not the focus of this project or its aim. Also, we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and any grants we distribute absolutely may not advocate for a candidate or a bill.
Q: Who can I thank for supporting the Center for Artistic Activism to make this happen?
A: It’s Open Society Foundations and Andrea Soros Columbel.