News

Artist Feature: Evan Apodaca

By |2024-05-21T14:15:41-04:00May 21st, 2024|News|

In March 2023, a month after installing his artwork Monumental Interventions in a temporary exhibition at the San Diego Airport, Evan Apodaca received a letter from airport authorities informing him that the airport was terminating its contract with the artist and removing his work from view. Publicly, the airport stated that Apodaca’s then-final iteration of the project [...]

NCAC and Eleven Other Groups Rebuke Congressional Committees’ Request for Suspicious Activity Reports of Non-Profit Organizations

By |2024-05-17T10:18:33-04:00May 17th, 2024|News, Statement|

Today, along with eleven other free expression groups, NCAC issued a letter to two congressional committees regarding their request to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) of twenty groups that the committees alleged had supported or funded recent college protests.  NCAC's deep concern stems from both the breadth of the committees' requests for records (20 organizations, without [...]

NCAC objects to the removal of over 18 library books from Rutherford County Schools in Tennessee without adjudication from a committee of stakeholders

By |2024-05-16T10:24:44-04:00May 16th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board to urge Rutherford County Schools in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to return over 18 books removed from school libraries, considered to be obscene under Tennessee law. We advise that all challenged books be reviewed using standard policy that requires adjudication by a committee of diverse stakeholders. Read NCAC's full letter [...]

No to the Heckler’s Veto: Fear of Protest Should Not be a Reason to Silence Speakers

By |2024-04-19T12:59:23-04:00April 19th, 2024|Blog|

When political passions run high, disagreement is often expressed as vocal protest. Cultural institutions in a democratic society need to be prepared to manage such protests without silencing the voices they target. Instead, vague “safety concerns” are used to justify the suppression of speech within US cultural and educational institutions with alarming frequency.  On April 15th, the Provost and [...]

NCAC recommends policy changes to Roane County School District in Tennessee

By |2024-03-28T11:59:00-04:00March 26th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Roane County School District Board of Education in Kingston, Tennessee to recommend changes to their board policy.  After almost 200 challenged books were temporarily removed, NCAC encouraged the district to revise their policy to allow challenge books to remain on shelves during the reconsideration process. Read NCAC's full letter to [...]

NCAC protests the disposal of hundreds of school library books at New York City’s PS 55

By |2024-03-25T15:40:42-04:00March 25th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship urges the school administrators of PS 55, The Henry M. Boehm School in Staten Island, NY,  to follow NY DOE policy and return these discarded books back to shelves and uphold the First Amendment values of free inquiry and free access to information. Read NCAC's full letter to PS 55 here: Click here for a [...]

NCAC: ARTSPACE’S VAGUE POLICIES RESTRICTING “INAPPROPRIATE,” “SENSITIVE” ARTWORKS THREATEN ARTISTIC FREEDOM ACROSS THE U.S.

By |2024-03-20T13:09:03-04:00March 20th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) raised concerns today that Artspace, the nation’s leading developer of arts facilities, has repeatedly censored artworks presented on their properties. Since 2017, NCAC has been made aware of three incidents resulting in the removal of arts displays, as well as the 2023 ousting of an artist subtenant as punishment for an exhibition of [...]

National Coalition Against Censorship Applauds Public Art UHS in its Commitment to Complete Installation of Shahzia Sikander Exhibition

By |2024-03-18T18:14:57-04:00March 18th, 2024|News, Press Releases, Statement|

Following the protests that accompanied the initial installation of Shahzia Sikander's exhibition, Havah... to breathe, air, life on the University of Houston campus, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) expresses its relief that the Public Art of the University of Houston System plans to complete the exhibition display. While acknowledging this positive development, NCAC maintains concerns that Public Art [...]

St. Johns County School District in Florida improperly removes library books without following procedure

By |2024-03-07T13:03:29-05:00March 7th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board of St. Johns County School District in  St. Augustine, Florida to express our concern that the district is not following their policy when conducting reviews of books with sexual content. Read NCAC's full letter to the St. Johns County School District here: Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

National Organizations Sound the Alarm: Suppressing Art Because it Relates to Political Conflict Is a Violation of Artistic Freedom

By |2024-03-07T12:33:46-05:00March 7th, 2024|News, Statement|

National arts and civil rights organizations expressed deep concern today over the extent to which cultural institutions are halting the development of programs that can be interpreted as relating to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.  A rash of cancellations over the past few months has affected cultural programs and exhibitions that contain references to the conflict or that [...]

Unwavering Advocates: NCAC, FIRE And Other Free Speech Advocates Defend Free Speech at the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri

By |2024-03-20T10:13:59-04:00February 16th, 2024|News, Statement|

In a key legal filing last month, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), in collaboration with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and other free speech organizations, took a bold step in the ongoing battle for free speech. Together, they filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri, challenging government overreach and defending the [...]

NCAC Condemns Biden Administration’s Attempts to Coerce Amazon Into Censorship

By |2024-02-09T14:17:49-05:00February 9th, 2024|Press Releases|

Recent news reports have surfaced, revealing attempts by the Biden administration to pressure Amazon to censor controversial anti-vaccine books and search results. According to the reports, representatives of the Biden administration have urged Amazon executives to take action against books that the administration has deemed to contain misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and vaccines. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) condemns [...]

Echoes of McCarthy: Criticizing Israel and Charges of Antisemitism

By |2024-04-19T15:46:39-04:00January 25th, 2024|News|

Just two months before the long-planned February opening of Samia Halaby’s art retrospective, Indiana University (IU) abruptly canceled the show, citing vague concerns “about guaranteeing the integrity of the exhibit.” But the concerns had nothing to do with Halaby’s colorful abstractions. The last time abstract works were controversial in the United States was during the McCarthy era, when Congressman [...]

Rockingham County Public Schools in Virginia temporarily removes 57 books from school libraries without following policy procedures.

By |2024-01-23T10:34:00-05:00January 23rd, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to the Rockingham County School Board to protest their decision to temporarily remove 57 books from school libraries without following district’s policy for challenges and review. NCAC urges the Board to return the books to library shelves pending a formal review from a review committee. Read NCAC's full letter to [...]

NCAC urges Indiana University to Reschedule Exhibition of Abstract Artist Samia Halaby

By |2024-01-11T17:17:15-05:00January 11th, 2024|Letters, News|

Today, NCAC issued a letter of concern to the leadership of Indiana University, imploring the university to reverse its December 2023 decision to cancel the upcoming retrospective exhibition of renowned Palestinian-American abstract painter, Samia Halaby. “Samia Halaby: Centers of Energy” was to open in February at the university’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art and feature more than [...]

NCAC recommends policy improvements for a Wisconsin School District that received over 400 book challenges

By |2024-01-05T14:30:35-05:00January 5th, 2024|Letters, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Elkhorn Area School District in Wisconsin to recommend policy improvements after a local parent challenged 444 library books, which were temporarily removed. As a result, the district has considered policy revisions. To assist, we shared NCAC's guidelines and best-practices on book challenges with them. Read NCAC's full letter to the [...]

Iowa School District removes over 70 books without following proper review procedures

By |2024-01-02T12:03:29-05:00January 2nd, 2024|Letters, News|

The Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District in Grimes, Iowa has removed 73 books from school libraries in an attempt to comply with Iowa Senate File 496, which prohibits school libraries from having any materials with "descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act." The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board to urge them to improve their [...]

NCAC Condemns Greek Foreign Minister’s Censorship of NYC Artist

By |2023-12-21T14:12:47-05:00December 21st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) raised concerns today regarding the censorship of an exhibition at the Greek Consulate in New York. An artwork by New York-based artist Georgia Lale was removed on the order of Greece’s Foreign Minister, George Gerapetritis. Political criticism of one of Lale’s works grew following the exhibition’s opening last week, when the leader of the [...]

NCAC Joins EFF and Other Free Speech Organizations in Urging Supreme Court to Strike Down States’ Attempt to Regulate Social Media Speech

By |2023-12-14T10:53:21-05:00December 14th, 2023|Press Releases|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), in collaboration with five prominent organizations, including Electronic Frontier Foundation, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Authors Alliance, Fight for The Future, and First Amendment Coalition, have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down laws in Florida and Texas that empower states to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of [...]

NCAC objects to the removal of 75 books from school libraries in Hanover County, Virginia

By |2023-12-12T12:11:36-05:00December 12th, 2023|News|

In November, the district administration of Hanover County Public Schools in Virginia improperly ordered 75 books be removed from school libraries.  The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to the school board to urge them to rescind the order and to evaluate any challenged books using the proper criteria.  Read NCAC's full letter to the Hanover County Public [...]

NCAC recommends policy changes to North Syracuse Central School District in New York

By |2023-12-01T12:40:22-05:00December 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the North Syracuse Central School District in New York to encourage them to amend their policies. The suggested revisions will allow access to challenged materials to remain unrestricted during the review process.  Read NCAC's full letter to the North Syracuse Central School District here: Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

NCAC protests the removal of 33 books from high school library in Wisconsin

By |2023-11-30T14:05:42-05:00November 30th, 2023|News|

According to media reports, the superintendent of Wisconsin's Menomonee Falls Schools has removed 33 books from school libraries without following the district's challenge procedures.  The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board to urge them to conduct all book challenges in accordance with board policy, which requires that challenges be adjudicated by a committee of diverse [...]

NCAC protests improper removal of over 100 books in Kentucky school district

By |2023-11-08T14:44:47-05:00November 8th, 2023|News|

Boyle County Schools in Kentucky has improperly removed over 100 books because they claim they are required to do so under Kentucky law SB 150. The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to inform them that the law does not apply to library books and to demand that the books be returned. Read NCAC's full letter to the Boyle [...]

Middle East Conflict Fallout: A culture of fear and anger takes over US cultural institutions

By |2024-04-11T14:40:10-04:00November 8th, 2023|News|

Intimidation, doxing, blacklists, cancellations. In the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory bombardment of Gaza, a wave of extreme intolerance towards speech critical of Israel and supportive of Palestine has swept across cultural and educational institutions. In the United States and Europe, students and professors are being penalized, writers canceled, and artists censored for expressing [...]

Día de los Muertos altar sparks controversy over inclusion of Palestinian flag

By |2023-11-06T16:55:16-05:00November 6th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship is alarmed by the recent decision of El Museo del Barrio, a museum in upper Manhattan, to cancel the display of Recordar y Unificar, a Día de los Muertos altar it commissioned from artists Odalys Burgoa and Roy Baizan, for the sole reason that the work includes a scarf with the Palestinian flag on [...]

NCAC Proudly Announces Its Student Film Contest Winners

By |2023-11-07T16:57:17-05:00November 6th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its Youth Free Expression Student Film Contest. This year's competition brought together young filmmakers from all walks of life to celebrate and advocate for the unyielding power of free speech through creativity.  The contest, which invited students to submit three-minute films addressing themes [...]

A Massachusetts high school student was forced to remove clothing that expressed support for Palestine

By |2023-11-01T15:44:56-04:00November 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the principal of Framingham High School after receiving reports that the school forced a student to remove a shirt that expressed support for Palestine. We understand that in some schools, the student's shirts may indeed create a risk for substantial disruption, however, we urge the school to ensure that they have taken [...]

NCAC encourages Barbers Hill ISD in Texas to reform its hair length rules to respect student free expression

By |2023-11-01T14:41:54-04:00November 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to Barbers Hill ISD expressing concerns about the district's lack of respect for student free expression after a student was disciplined for violating the district hair length regulations.  NCAC urged them to change their policy to allow for more student free expression. Read NCAC's full letter to the Barbers Hill Independent School District [...]

The superintendent of Cobb County School District in Georgia has removed two books in violation of policy

By |2023-11-01T14:36:55-04:00October 31st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board of Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia to recommend improvements to their current policies after two books were inappropriately removed from school libraries.  Our letter outlines several violations of their procedures and shares several recommendations for improving the policy. Read NCAC's full letter to the Cobb County [...]

NCAC Introduces Student Advocates for Speech 2023 Cohorts

By |2023-10-27T11:56:59-04:00October 27th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has selected 15 exceptional high school students to participate in its 2023 Students Advocates for Speech (SAS) program, representing 11 states. These remarkable students, who come from California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas, are poised to impact their schools, districts, and communities [...]

NCAC Set to Host First Annual ‘Stand-Up for Free Speech’ Comedy Benefit

By |2023-10-25T12:46:42-04:00October 24th, 2023|Events, News|

NEW YORK— The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), in partnership with the New York Comedy Festival, is thrilled to announce the inaugural first annual comedy benefit, 'Stand-Up for Free Speech,’ hosted by Judy Gold. Event Tickets are $30, and all proceeds will support NCAC and its work to defend free speech.  'Stand-Up for Free Speech' will take place on [...]

Artistic Expression Under Fire: Controversy in the Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Library

By |2023-10-24T12:09:30-04:00October 24th, 2023|News|

In Brevard County, Florida, an artist and member of the Central Brevard Art Association (CBAA), John Cielukowski, participated in the Association's "Art in Public Spaces" initiative, which hangs art in publicly-owned buildings. For the Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Library, the artist submitted his painting A Mother's Love, which depicts a mother cow with an ear tag, separated from her [...]

NCAC recommends revisions to Sunapee, New Hampshire school district policy

By |2023-10-17T16:08:19-04:00October 17th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Sunapee School District Board to recommend revisions to a proposed book challenge policy. NCAC encourages the district to remove a provision that suspends access to challenged materials during the review process in order to prevent frivolous challenges. Read NCAC's full letter to the Sunapee School District here: Click here for [...]

NCAC’s Student Advocates for Speech leader Julia Garnett receives White House honor

By |2023-10-12T13:43:45-04:00October 11th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - In celebration of International Day of the Girl, First Lady Jill Biden will honor Julia Garnett, a 17-year-old Student Advocates for Speech (SAS) leader from Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Garnett is one of 15 young women selected by the White House Gender Policy Council who lead change and shape a brighter future in their communities across the United [...]

NCAC offers anti-censorship resources during Banned Books Week

By |2023-09-29T07:26:39-04:00September 29th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK— The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) offers anti-censorship resources as libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide celebrate Banned Books Week, October 1 – 7, 2003, a weeklong celebration of the freedom to read – at a time when book challenges and bans are at record levels. “With the continued rise of book censorship, there has never  been a more [...]

Over 150 books have been restricted at St. Tammany Parish Library in Louisiana | Updated

By |2023-10-26T14:16:58-04:00September 22nd, 2023|News|

Updated 10/25/2023 — The St. Tammany Parish Library Board of Control has voted unanimously to reverse their book review policy which had restricted access to over 150 books in line with NCAC's recommendations. 9/21/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the St. Tammany Parish Library in Covington, Louisiana after the library limited access to over 150 [...]

NCAC, ACLU-AZ caution of pyrrhic victory as Mesa vows tighter controls over its arts center

By |2023-09-12T18:00:44-04:00September 12th, 2023|News|

MESA, ARIZONA - Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona released a joint statement responding to the City of Mesa's pledge to exercise greater control over artistic content in future exhibitions at Mesa Arts Center, which may lead to the prohibition of artwork that is deemed "controversial" or "critical" of government agencies. This commitment comes on the heels of the local and national [...]

Fort Worth ISD has temporarily removed over 100 books in violation of district policy

By |2023-09-12T15:15:49-04:00September 12th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship wrote to the board of Fort Worth Independent School District urging them to return any books that were temporarily removed from school libraries. The district identified 118 books with potentially sexual or violent content and has removed them to determine if they are "developmentally appropriate." This removal violates the principles established in the district’s policy. NCAC [...]

NCAC urges Somerset Public Schools to repeal a new school rule which violates students’ free speech rights

By |2023-09-12T13:59:48-04:00September 12th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school committee of Somerset Public Schools concerning a new school rule, which violates students' free speech rights. The rule states that "any discussion of weapons (guns/knives/etc.) or making shooting gestures are not acceptable in school; this applies to real or toy weapons."  This rule goes far beyond the permissible limits [...]