Issue 76, Winter 1999/2000

NCAC celebrated 25 years of activism for free speech, artistic freedom, and the First Amendment with a gala party at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York City on November 29th. The party was attended by Judy Blume, Norman and Harriette Dorsen, Warhol Foundation president Arch Gillies, Agnes Gund, Judith Krug, Arnold Lehman, Barbara Pollack, Paulette Singer, Nadine Strossen, Ann Tanksley, Rachel Vail, Sam Weiner and other literary, artistic and First Amendment luminaries. Participants in a silent auction of challenged and banned books and artwork, took home a first edition of Blume’s Fudge-a-mania, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a lithograph by Art Spiegelman, a print and rare limited edition of Jock Sturges photographs, an etching by Ann Tanksley and many other art and literary treasures.

Party-goers received copies of NCAC’s 25th Anniversary brochure, highlighting significant censorship battles, and got to preview Tell It Like It Is, NCAC’s new 14-minute video about censorship produced by Lora Hays and Chris Pelzer.

The film expresses children’s views about the absurdity of censorship and their appreciation for the pleasures, joys and insights afforded them by books. Judy Blume tells of critics who believe her best-selling Superfudge is ‘immoral,’ ‘profane,’ and ‘offensive,’ and who would suppress any discussion of puberty. Young women describe how reassuring Blume’s books were to them as teenagers. David Klass, Robert Lipsyte, Betty Miles, Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson, and Rachel Vail are among the authors who talk about their works and the chilling effect of censorship on writers and readers. Tell It Like It Is is available from NCAC. Contact us for details.