The NCAC spearheaded the initiative calling on the Board of Regents to enact an open procedure for responding to complaints, whether coming from the general public or from elected politicians. The Board of Regents is meeting Monday, January 31st, and will be discussing the Hide/Seek controversy.

Signatories include: International Association of Art Critics, American Book Sellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Association of American Publishers, DC Arts Center, Defending Dissent Foundation, The First Amendment Project, People for the American Way, Transformer, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and Washtington Project for the Arts.

Svetlana Mintcheva, NCAC Director of Programs, said, “Protests against the censorship of the Hide/Seek exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery have been vocal, visible, and have come from a wide variety of places including museums and foundations, as well as artists and activists. Yet David Wojnarowicz’ Fire in my Belly video has not been returned to the exhibition and further threats to the NEA, the NEH, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are already under way. In this climate, unless resolute action is taken to uphold free speech principles, the chill of self-censorship at the Smithsonian and similar public institutions seems likely to worsen.”

Download a pdf of the letter here.

See our response to the Board of Regents Advisory Panel report.