We funded these creative activism projects aimed at celebrating voting rights and countering voter suppression. The projects are taking place before and on Election Day in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
1.Cirque d’Vote, by Emergency Circus, is organizing dozens of circus performers focused on bringing attention (and fun and joy) to early voting through street circus shows in at least 7 locations, including in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon. The group is also organizing performers in dozens of additional locations to perform for long lines on Election Day. By Emergency Circus, Clay Mazing, Maya Pen and others.
2. Courting Voters with Vote Fees: This North Carolina effort is focused on the approximate 100,000 formally incarcerated people who can now vote as of a few weeks ago but likely do not know their rights. This effort centers local BIPOC artists who are creating performances, designing billboards and bus ads and creating chalk pathways to early polling places. By Eliza Salmon and Rebekah Miel.
3. Float the Vote is organizing Detroit food and ice cream trucks to educate people about registration, early voting and polling locations. The trucks are decked out in art by local artists, and flanked by performers and voter ambassadors. Through local press coverage, social media, neighborhood flyers and the trucks themselves in neighborhoods throughout October, they’re building to an Election Day festival and a short documentary film. By Brandon Stuart, Christiana Beckley and others.
4. Songs for Good is organizing professional musicians and TikTok and Instagram influencers to create incredibly catchy songs and videos aimed at helping people understand the mechanics of how to vote locally, and to get people excited to share with their friends. #VoteWithMe #MyVoteMyJam
5. Project Your Vote: These striking large scale projections in multiple key locations are aimed at pointing voters to early voting polling locations and evoking the heroes of voting rights. So far, these projections are slated for MN, AZ, GA, MI, WI, NC. The organizers are aiming for projections in every state, and have created a toolkit and are calling for anyone with a projector to take part.
6. Draw Out the Vote: Georgia-based artists mobilize voters through videos with animated drawings to illustrate key voting-related issues (and most importantly, what viewers should *do* with this info), as well as related projection installation, art buttoning, and other actions that reinforce voter activity.
7. Voter Suppression Interventions: Yes Men and Good Liars perform satire to turn spotlight on suppression tactics and teach others to do the same.
8. Black Cowboys: creating a video to teach people about the issues: why, how, etc
9. Delivering Democracy: Imagine troupes of dancing mailboxes, amusing people in public spaces in different towns all across Pennsylvania, and then giving out flyers with useful and accurate information about how and where to vote by mail, to vote by drop box, and/or to vote in person. This is #DeliveringDemocracy, by L.M. Bogad and others. More info and full credits here.
10. My Vote Doesn’t Bite: The simple “I Voted” sticker given at polling places has become a signifier of participation, but during this critical moment in American history, political messaging demands a greater set of meanings. The text “My Vote Won’t Bite, Unless You Mess With It” is a declaration that lives up to this historic election: I’m not asking you if I can vote, I’m TELLING you I will, no matter what you do to try to stop me. These designs created for this project by Avram Finkelstein, a founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives, are on flags, posters and stickers for distribution in key places.
11. Cracking and Packing is an interactive mapmaking event about gerrymandering: the pervasive practice of politicians choosing their voters rather than the other way around. Through participatory drawing and map-drawing games, PACKING AND CRACKING uses critical cartography, gerrymandering history, and interviews with politicians and reformers today to show how easy and disenfranchising gerrymandering can be and ask what, if anything, we should do about it. By Rachel Gita Karp and Joseph Amodei.