A Manual For Art Freedom

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. – Oscar Wilde A Manual for Art Freedom/A Manual for Art Censorship Softcover: 40 pages; 14 color illustrations: Language: English; Dimensions: 6 x 8 inches Text by Svetlana Mintcheva; editing by Joy Garnett Design by Marshall Reese A publication of...

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BE HEARD! Protecting Your Protest Rights

As millions of American students assert their First Amendment rights in protests across the country, National Coalition Against Censorship partnered with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to release a new comic book to help protect students’ rights.

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Banned Books Week

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Internet Filters

NCAC's Internet Filters Resource page covers their impact and how they disproportionately harm the poor and LGBT teenagers.

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Under Fire: 5 Notable LGBTQ Books

While there is undoubtedly greater LGBT acceptance in the mainstream, there has been a rise in challenges to LGBT literature.

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Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy

NCAC has been joined by a number of large national arts organizations in drafting a set of recommendations for managing controversy at museums and other arts institutions. Read the best practices and background issues online.

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NCAC And FREEMUSE Universal Periodic Review Joint Submission

In a joint submission to the United Nation's Universal Periodic Review, NCAC and FREEMUSE maintain that "the right to artistic freedom and creativity is explicitly guaranteed by international instruments." The below submission outlines the protection of artistic freedom within two populations: young persons (under the age of 18) and incarcerated persons. The letter elaborates on...

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The Show Must Go On: A Toolkit for Organizing Against Theater Censorship in Public Schools

From Oedipus Rex to Cabaret, some of the most artistically rich theater has been disturbing, subversive, transformative--and often a target of censorship. This toolkit is designed to provide students the resources they will need to fight for free expression and artistic freedom in schools.

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Sample Drama Letter

Dear [school principal, board member, or superintendent]: I am writing to express concern about efforts to cancel the upcoming [date of production] production of [name of play] at [School Name].  I understand that the play has been challenged due to [state your knowledge of the complaints here]. I strongly urge you to reinstate this play...

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NCAC Joins Challenge to Punishment of Online, Off-Campus Speech

College students enjoy First Amendment protections for their online and off-campus speech. On November 24, NCAC co-signed an amicus brief defending a nursing student who was expelled from school due to some charged but ultimately innocuous comments he made on Facebook.

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1990 Wolf Trap Conference on Academic Freedom & Artistic Expression Statement

In 1990 the participants Wolf Trap Conference on Academic Freedom and Artistic Expression adopted a statement of four principles in support of artistic freedom on campus. It has been endorsed or adapted by many individual colleges and remains highly relevant to modern debates over offense and provocation.

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Banned Books Week 2015

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read. NCAC is proud to be a sponsor, along with longtime allies like the American Library Association, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the American Booksellers for Free Expression.    This year's theme is young adult literature, so from September 27 to October 3 we'll...

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NCAC to Dept. of Ed: Vague Definition of Harassment Under Title IX Threatens Student Free Speech

In comments filed with the a House subcommittee, NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin argued that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has offered poor guidance to institutions concerning harassment and civil rights law—leaving institutions vulnerable to costly investigations and possible litigation.

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NCAC Report: What’s All This About Trigger Warnings?

A broad national survey of college instructors reveals how the debate over trigger warnings is playing out in classrooms.

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Islam in the Classroom: Teaching About Religion Is Not Religious Indoctrination

A rising grassroots movement is seeking to restrict how Islam is discussed in textbooks and other public school curricula. This resource provides some background on the pertinent Constitutional issues involved.

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Islam: Indoctrination or Education? A Timeline

A timeline of complaints about Islamic indoctrination in American classrooms and textbooks.

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Museum Best Practices: Background

In February 2011, as censorship of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, provoked deep controversy nationwide, the NCAC and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics convened a group of arts professionals, consultants, and First Amendment lawyers for a closed policy session. The goal was to brainstorm on...

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Kids’ Right to Read Project Report 2013

Hot off the presses! Download the 2013 Kids' Right to Read Project Report today and learn more about banned books, what we're doing to protect the intellectual freedom of students and ways you can get involved.

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Kids’ Right to Read Project Report

Where are books banned and why? What does the Kids' Right to Read Project do to intercede? What can you do to help? Check out our new guide and learn more about the project that's working on the front lines of book censorship today. 

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NCAC testimony to US Commission on Civil Rights: Vague and Overbroad Definition of Bullying Threatens Students’ Constitutional Rights

Today we sent a letter to the US Commission on Civil Rights and Dept. of Education explaining why 1st Amendment principles must not be sacrificed to overreaching policies on bullying in schools.

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STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Free Expression at Risk, at Yale and Elsewhere

A number of recent incidents suggest that our long-standing commitment to the free exchange of ideas is in peril of falling victim to a spreading fear of violence.

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Feds Silence Scientists: An NCAC Report

The National Coalition Against Censorship issued a new report, entitled “Political Science,” detailing censorship of government scientists, suppression and distortion of research, and retaliation and intimidation in federal science agencies, and the serious First Amendment implications of such practices.

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Why the Departments of Education and Justice Must Retract Their Controversial ‘Blueprint’ and Protect Campus Speech

Following up on a 2011 letter to the US Commission on Civil Rights and Dept. of Education, NCAC joined a broad-based coalition of organization to protest the latest attempt by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to expand the definition of sexual harassment to include sexually-related speech...

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Visualizing Censorship

Infographics to help visualize how censorship battles are fought, lost, and won in America. We present: Mapping Book Censorship, A Short History of the Internet and Censorship, A Brief History of Music Censorship in the USA, A Brief History of Film Censorship in the USA, and a Timeline of Abstinence-Only Education Funding in America.

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Voices Against Book Censorship

The Kids’ Right to Read Project supports efforts to speak out against book censorship.  This page highlights the voices of individuals who have taken a strong stance in defense of the First Amendment right to read. 

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Network Neutrality and the Fight to Save the Internet: Background

The telecom companies are not interested in a "bottom-up" model that would continue to support innovation and participation in the Internet.

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Music Censorship In America

From Jazz to MIA, from the FCC to MTV!

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What is Censorship?

The word "censor" originated in ancient Rome, where the government appointed officials to take the census and to supervise public morals.

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Promoting First Amendment Values at School

Roles and Responsibilities A. School Officials, Boards and State Mandates The school board’s role is to define an educational philosophy that serves the needs of all its students and reflects community goals. In this process, most districts see a role for parents and other community members. Educational advisory boards can also assist educators in discerning...

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Guidelines for State Arts Agencies, Museums, University Galleries and Performance Spaces

NCAC encourages arts institutions to develop written selection policies that will guide them in showing or sponsoring art that may spark controversy in a particular community.

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Making Art After September 11th: the ART NOW Archive

An introduction to ART NOW: NCAC's archive of politically engaged art in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

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Anonymous Speech

Federal and state courts have struggled in recent years with the level of First Amendment protection to afford to anonymous online speech. In its recent decision in In re Anonymous Online Speakers, the Ninth Circuit suggested that anonymous commercial speech deserves less protection than anonymous political speech. The Fourth Circuit took a similar position a...

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LGBTQ Right to Read Resource Guide

This guide is intended to prepare you to talk about and respond to challenges aimed at materials by, for, or about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning youth.

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Student Expression In Schools in 2006

In 2006, there were plenty of cases involving youth and censorship, but most interesting (though not surprising) is the increase in incidents involving social networking sites, blogs, websites and the internet. Thus, it warrants its own page: Visit Student Online Expression in 2006 to view some. Below you will find an archive of articles or...

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Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression

Click here to buy. Introduction: Robert Atkins and Svetlana Mintcheva, "Censorship in Camouflage" 1. Introduction: Robert Atkins, "Money Talks: The Economic Foundations of Censorship" 2. Ruby Lerner, "Private Philanthropy and the Arts: Does Anybody Want An Artist in the House?" 3. Lawrence Soley, "Private Censorship, Corporate Power" 4. Siva Vaidhyanathan, "American Music Challenges the Copyright...

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NCAC Amici Curiae Brief in American Amusement Machine v. Kendrick

  AMERICAN AMUSEMENT MACHINE ASS'N, et al., Plaintiffs - Appellants, v. TERI KENDRICK, et al., Defendants - Appellees No. 00-3643 In the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit On Appeal From a Judgement of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division BRIEF AMICI CURIAE OF SCHOLARS...

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Abstinence Only Partner Organizations

The following organizations can provide more information about abstinence education and comprehensive sexuality education:   Advocates for Youth www.advocatesforyouth.org 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 200 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: 202/347-5700 Fax: 202/347-2263 e-mail: info@advocatesforyouth.org The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) www.agi-usa.org 120 Wall Street New York, NY 10005 Phone: 212/248-1111 Fax: 212/248-1951 e-mail: info@agi.usa.org American School...

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Censorship Tools Du Jour

A Background Paper Introduction "If you fail in industry self-regulation we will have to go the legislative route." Ira Magaziner, White House Internet adviser, in a November 1997 speech "Regulations that 'drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace' for the benefit of children risk destroying the very political system and cultural life' that they...

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NCAC Testimony before the NYS Task Force on Youth Violence

Testimony of National Coalition Against Censorship before the New York State Task Force on Youth Violence and the Entertainment Industry Good morning. My name is Joan Bertin. I am the Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship (“NCAC”). NCAC is an alliance of 48 national non-profit organizations, including religious, educational, professional, labor and civil...

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National Endowment for the Arts: Controversies in Free Speech

In 1964, the National Endowment for the Arts was conceived as part of President Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." NCAC's timeline of NEA controversies explains why politicians have since sought to abolish the agency.

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Censorship in Camouflage II: McDonalds or McDocumenta: Artistic Freedom in a Global Economy

  About Censorship in Camouflage   Censorship in Camouflage I: The Censor Within   Censorship in Camouflage I: Free Markets and Free Expression   Censorship in Camouflage II: McDonalds or McDocumenta: Artistic Freedom in a Global Economy (Panel) Censorship in Camouflage II: McDonalds or McDocumenta: Artistic Freedom in a Global Economy (Discussion) Censorship in Camouflage...

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War and Speech

"If given the truth, (the people) can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." — Abraham Lincoln NCAC launched "War and Speech" as a clearinghouse for information about free speech issues relating to the "War on Terror," including press freedom, government secrecy, and surveillance. We...

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Timeline of Abstinence-Only Education in U.S. Classrooms

A Brief Look at How Over $1.5 Billion in Federal Funds Have Been Spent on 26 Years of Censorship in Schools

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Abstinence Only: Joint Statement and Opposition

As individuals and organizations committed to the First Amendment and freedom of thought, inquiry, and speech, we oppose censorship as an affront to a core constitutional principle: that government may not control what individuals read, see, hear, think, and say. This principle is particularly critical in the educational setting, since the classroom is, in the...

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Endorsing Organizations

The following organizations signed on to the joint statement on abstinence-only sex education:  ACT UP/New York Advocates for Youth American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) American Medical Student Association Americans for Democratic Action Americans United for...

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Congressional Hearings Expose Censorship of Science

Click a hearing date below to read a summary of the proceedings: January 30, 2007: Committee Holds Hearing on Political Influence on Government Climate Change Scientists February 7, 2007: Climate Change Research and Scientific Integrity March 19, 200: Committee Examines Political Interference with Climate Science March 28, 2007: Shaping the Message Distorting the Science: Media...

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ASHCROFT vs ACLU

JOHN ASHCROFT, Petitioner v. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, et al., Respondents No. 00-1293 In the Supreme Court of the United States On Petition for Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit BRIEF AMICI CURIAE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF SEXUALITY, THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY OF HUMAN SEXUALITY,...

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Black Voices Silenced

black voices silenced   Marian Anderson was a critically-acclaimed singer in the mid-1900's in both the United States and overseas. With her popularity growing, Anderson attempted to perform in concert at the Constitution Hall in Washington, DC in 1939. However, the Daughters of the American Federation—who owned the Hall—refused to allow the concert to take...

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The African-American Experience in Literature

Books challenged in and/or removed from schools and libraries "Down These Mean Streets" - Piri Thomas "Black Boy" - Richard Wright "Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans" - Wallace Terry "Daddy Was a Numbers Runner" - Louis Meriwether "Blues for Mr. Charlie" - James Baldwin "The Destruction of African Civilization...

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The Struggle for Civil Rights and the First Amendment

While the NAACP is the nation's oldest civil-rights organization, few know of this organization's contributions to First Amendment law in this country.

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Abolition of Slavery & Free Speech

Blacks & whites who wrote about racial injustices in the turbulent 1800s were often times the victims of violent acts. Some examples: Elijah Parish Lovejoy was a Presbyterian clergyman who was well known for his opposition to slavery. He founded the St. Louis Observer which he often used to rail against the evils of slavery....

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In Celebration of Black History: Free Speech and the Struggle for Equality

"To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. It is just as criminal to rob a man of his right to speak and hear as it would be to rob him of his money" Frederick Douglass, "A Plea for Free Speech...

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Statement of Principles for Established Combat-Coverage Guidelines

In light of the ongoing war on terrorism and the potential for an attack on Iraq, the role of the press in informing the nation about public safety concerns and the military, diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence actions of the government continues to be tested in novel and profound ways. As advocates for journalists and...

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Free Expression After September 11th: An Online Index

There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and that this is not a time for remarks like that. It never is. — White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer We need honest, reasoned debate not fear mongering. To those who pit Americans against immigrants and citizens...

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A Brief History of Film Censorship

A visual timeline of film censorship in the USA. It's an overview of the ongoing battle between movements trying to suppress and control films, films that broke new grounds, and the emerging legal protections for film as expression protected under the First Amendment.

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Student Online Expression in 2006

In 2006 there were several cases of students disciplined by schools for activities on social networking sites such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com, among others. Here's a sampling of some of the most interesting incidents and analysis: December 29th, 2006 Teen expelled for rap lyrics reaches $60,000 settlement (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) PA — The Beaver County teen...

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Identifying What Is Harmful Or Inappropriate For Minors

White Paper Submitted to the Committee on Tools and Strategies for Protecting Kids From Pornography and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet Content

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Internet Filters

The report documents how the widespread use of filters limits the free exchange of ideas necessary in a healthy democracy. Despite some manufacturers' claims of improved technology, filters still must operate by "keywords," and they block massive amounts of valuable information about politics, religion, public health, and myriad other subjects.

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Remote Control: Indeceny Legislation Raises Fines and Fears

On June 7, Congress sent President Bush a bill to raise indecency fines 10-fold, from $32,500 per violation to $325,000. The major increase in fines, coupled with the ambiguity of the FCC’s definition of indecency, will undermine free speech as broadcast television and radio stations take heavy precautions to avoid violating the vaguely defined laws....

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NCAC Film on Art Censorship

Produced in 2005, The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance is NCAC's dvd highlighting art censorship controversies throughout the 20th century. It premiered at the art exhibit "Potentially Harmful: The Art of American Censorship" at Georgia State University.   Educators can order a copy by downloading this pdf form and sending it – along with...

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Decency, Arts, and the First Amendment: The Case of Rudy Giuliani

The Brooklyn Museum, 1999 and 2001 In two of his most prominent attacks on free expression, NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani targeted the Brooklyn Museum of Art.   In 1999 the mayor attempted to pull city funding from the Museum in response to its "Sensation" exhibit. He found one of the paintings in the show, Chris...

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Sex and Health Education

Sex and Health Ed

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Censorship of Science 2006-2008 (Update on “Political Science” Report)

CENSORSHIP OF SCIENCE 2006-2008 (Update on "Political Science: A Report on Science and Censorship")

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Science Resources and Publications

KP Resources page

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Science and the Policies of the Obama Administration

Restoring Science to its Rightful Place in the Obama Era

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A Selective Timeline of the Internet and Censorship

1958: The Internet (a collection of interconnected computer networks, linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, etc.) is pioneered by U.S. Department of Defense to safeguard against the possibility of communications being intercepted in the event of a nuclear attack.

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Global Gag Rule: The Use of AIDS Funding to Control International Reproductive Health Policy

Global Gag Rule:  The Use of AIDS Funding to Control International Reproductive Health Policy

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Internet Filters in schools and libraries

Have any of your internet searches at school ever been blocked? That is because of a law called the Children Internet Protection Act, passed in Dec. 2000, which requires schools and libraries receiving federal e-rate funding for Internet connections to filter out certain types of objectionable online content. CIPA survived a challenge in the Supreme...

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Free Speech Groups: U.S. Fails to Protect the Right to Access Culture

In a report to the United Nations, NCAC and Freemuse assess the United States' compliance with its human rights obligations. The free speech groups argue that the U.S. "must do more to protect the rights of youth in public primary and secondary schools as well as the rights of inmates in jails, prisons, and detention...

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Suppression of Gay/Straight Alliances on HS Campuses

Check out 2007 YFEN Film Contest Winner Gay/Straight Alliance By Jamie Li Students have been forming Gay/Straight Alliances that aim to create a safe, welcoming and accepting school environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students as well as straight students can address issues of harassment,...

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Abstinence-Only Education

In 1981, Congress passed the Adolescent Family Life Act, also known as the "chastity law," which funded educational programs to "promote self-discipline and other prudent approaches" to adolescent sex. Grant applications to create such programs poured in, and the dollars poured out — to churches and religious conservatives nationwide. A dozen years later, the U.S....

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Redacting the Science of Climate Change

This report, which presents and synthesizes the findings of a year-long investigation to determine the extent of political interference at federal climate science agencies, demonstrates how policies and practices have increasingly restricted the flow of scientific information emerging from publicly-funded climate change research.


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Government Secrecy Letters

Letters NCAC has signed expressing concerns about government secrecy.

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Graphic Novels: Suggestions for Librarians

The immediacy of graphic novels’ visual impact coupled with adult themes and concerns, however, sometimes confuse library patrons used to thinking of comics as the province solely of 10 or 12 year olds. The explosive growth of the medium combined with the appearance of more and more graphic novels for older teens and adults presents...

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Joint Letter: Any Federal Financial Industry Rescue Package Must Be Transparent

NCAC has released a response to the "Legislative Proposal for Treasury Authority to Purchase Mortgage-Related Assets". Concerned that the proposal would decrease transparency and accountability, the letter states "For the sake of democratic discourse, citizens deserve vigorous, timely, and accessible disclosure of all details surrounding any government decisions in response to financial market problems.

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Full Text of the So-Called “Academic Bill of Rights”

Read the full text of the "Academic Bill of Rights" here.

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Stem Cell Research and the First Amendment

Censoring Science: A Stem Cell Story analyzes First Amendment implications of federal and state policies controlling human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. You can download the article here.

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A Timeline of Legislation Aiming to Protect Youth Online

1996 The Communications Decency Act (CDA) is enacted, making it a crime to distribute online material deemed indecent or patently offensive to minors. 1997 In A.C.L.U. v Reno, the Supreme Court strikes down much of the CDA as unconstitutional censorship. 1998 The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) is enacted. This law amends the Communications Act...

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A Timeline of Video Game Controversies

Attempts to censor video games started in the mid-1970s. Our timeline charts this history.

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LGBTQ Book Bans and Challenges

List of LGBTQ Book Bans and Challenges

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Reports on the Effect of Conflict of Interest on Research

Public universities function as powerhouses in the production of scientific data. Research conducted at such universities and by private industry has a huge impact on public policy as well as the decisions we make about our health and environment. According to a 2009 report by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), U.S. universities...

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Medical Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting, the practice of publishing an article in which an outside writer has done extensive work on the article without being named on the publication, has become prevalent in the scientific community.

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Disease Mongering

There can and should be legitimate debate over whether certain conditions or symptoms should be treated with drugs. However, the debate may be skewed by the fact that pharmaceutical companies have a strong financial incentive to increase the markets for their products. Companies utilize multimillion dollar ad campaigns to change perceptions of disease held by...

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NCAC Amici Curiae Brief in Interactive Digital Software Assn v. St. Louis County

The following amicus brief for INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SOFTWARE ASS’N, et al. v. ST. LOUIS COUNTY, et al. concerns when, as in this case, a court relies on commonly held but mistaken beliefs about a proven causative link between violent entertainment and violent behavior to uphold a censorship law.

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Cyberbullying: How Widespread Is It?

A 2007 Pew Research Center study found that 32% of teenagers who used the Internet reported being the target of cyberbullying.   In December 2008, a task force headed by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard issued a report, which referred to studies that had found up to 46% of youth identifying as...

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Art and Culture Censorship Timeline

A timeline of arts and culture censorship from 1989-2017.

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The USA PATRIOT Act Six Months Later

A Statement by Members of the Free Expression Network Historically, in times of crisis in the United States, an understandable desire to protect the nation has led to efforts to curtail civil liberties, particularly the freedom of speech. In hindsight, these efforts have invariably proved to be both unwise and unnecessary. The issue is not...

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HOLDING v. NORTHWEST PUBLISHING

In this action, the plaintiffs alleged, inter alia, that the defendants reproduced and distributed works of art by M.C. Escher ("Escher"), the Dutch graphic artist, in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976 ("Copyright Act"), as amended, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, et seq.

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O’CONNOR and STROBL v. WASHBURN UNIVERSITY

Plaintiffs-appellants Dr. Thomas O'Connor and Andrew Strobl filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Washburn University, the Washburn Board of Regents, and Washburn President Dr. Jerry B. Farley individually and in his official capacity, claiming a statue placed on the Washburn campus violated their rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution....

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PEKER v. MASTERS COLLECTION

Plaintiffs H.E. Elya Peker ("Elya") and Katrina Peker, pro se, bring this action for copyright infringement against defendant Masters Collection ("Masters").

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RINGGOLD v. BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION

This appeal primarily concerns the scope of copyright protection for a poster of an artistic work that was used as set decoration for a television program.

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SANDOVAL v. NEW LINE CINEMA

Jorge Antonio Sandoval appeals from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sidney H. Stein, Judge) granting defendants'  motion for summary judgment and dismissing Sandoval's copyright infringement action.

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Significance: Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television, Inc.

“Church Picnic Story Quilt,” a silk screened quilt created by Faith Ringgold, is in the collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Significance: Sandoval v. New Line Cinema Corp.

Photographer Jorge Antonio Sandoval created a series of black and white self portraits between 1991 and 1994.

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Significance: Peker v. Masters Collection

H.E. Elya Peker, an artist, brought an action for copyright infringement against the Masters Collection.

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Significance: O’Connor v. Washburn University

In 2003, Washburn University, a public university in Topeka, Kansas, displayed five sculptures in an outdoor sculpture exhibition situated in a highly traveled campus location. One of the sculptures, Jerry Boyle’s Holier Than Thou. caused an uproar by both employees and students of the university claiming the statute was anti-Catholic.

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Significance: Cordon Holding C.B. v. Northwest Publishing Corporation

Northwest Publishing Corporation reproduced and sold works of art by the Dutch artist, M.C. Escher. Escher’s works of art were not copyrighted in the United States and were thus part of the public domain. 

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Significance: Dauman v. Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Andy Warhol created a series of images of Jacqueline Kennedy that he acquired from newspapers and magazines including, “A Sorrowing Family Marches Together,” a photograph by Henri Dauman published in the December 6, 1983 edition of Life magazine.

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DAUMAN v. THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION

DAUMAN v. THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS, INC. 1997 WL 337488 HENRI DAUMAN and TIME INC., Plaintiffs, - against - THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS, INC., THE ESTATE OF ANDY WARHOL, and THE ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM, Defendants. 96 Civ. 9219 (TPG) UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Censorship

Introduction | The First Amendment and Public Schools | Censorship | Student Protest Rights | How Big a Problem is Censorship? | Roles and Responsibilities | Censorship Policies | Resource Guide   A. Understanding Censorship: Censorship is not easy to define. According to Webster’s Dictionary, to "censor" means "to examine in order to suppress or delete...

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The First Amendment in Schools: How Big a Problem is Censorship

Introduction | The First Amendment and Public Schools | Censorship | How Big a Problem is Censorship? | Roles and Responsibilities | Censorship Policies | Resource Guide   A. The Numbers: Censorship occurs every day in this country. Sometimes it’s obvious even if no one uses the "C" word. Sometimes it’s invisible–when a teacher decides...

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The First Amendment in Schools: The First Amendment and Public Schools

Introduction | The First Amendment and Public Schools | Censorship | How Big a Problem is Censorship? | Roles and Responsibilities | Censorship Policies | Resource Guide   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Sex and Sexuality

Introduction: "Avoiding Censorship in Schools" | Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers' Rights | Parents' Rights   Sex is a contentious topic in this...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Roles and Responsibilities

Introduction | The First Amendment and Public Schools | Censorship | How Big a Problem is Censorship? | Roles and Responsibilities | Censorship Policies | Resource Guide   Promoting First Amendment Values at School A. School Officials, Boards and State Mandates: The school board’s role is to define an educational philosophy that serves the needs...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Censorship Policies

Introduction | The First Amendment and Public Schools | Censorship | How Big a Problem is Censorship? | Roles and Responsibilities | Censorship Policies | Resource Guide   Major Educational Organizations Take a Stand for the First Amendment Many national and international organizations concerned with elementary and secondary education have established guidelines on censorship issues...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Access to Information on the Internet

Introduction: "Avoiding Censorship in Schools"| Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers' Rights | Parents' Rights   The Internet is a powerful source of information...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Religious Expression in the Public Schools

Introduction: "Avoiding Censorship in Schools" | Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers' Rights | Parents' Rights   The First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty...

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The First Amendment in Schools: Resource Guide: Student Publications

Introduction: "Avoiding Censorship in Schools" | Religious Expression in the Public Schools | Sex and Sexuality Education | Harassment and Hate Speech | Student Publications | Student Expression: Web Pages, Dress Codes, and More | Access to Information on the Internet | Teachers' Rights | Parents' Rights   What role do student publications play in...

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Research Findings Suppressed by Government

According to our constitutional scheme, elected representatives are meant to carry out the will of the people. Regulatory agencies like the MMS, the EPA, and the FDA were established by our representatives to protect the people’s interests. They were not created to lend credibility to political agendas not otherwise supported by legitimate Science.

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Science Suppressed or Distorted Inside the Executive Branch

Perhaps the most egregious suppression of Science occurs when regulators and policymakers willfully silence, distort or ignore findings in fields such as Environmental Science, Health Science and military technology, effectively replacing the will of the people with the political, financial or ideological interests of another group.

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Manipulation of University and Industry Research

Research conducted at universities and by private industry has a huge impact on public policy as well as the decisions we make about our health and the environment.  Unfortunately, the integrity of this research is susceptible to the influence of private financial  interests, as well as to ideological pressures exercised by government.  On occasion, scientists...

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Censorship Hurts Women

We are feminists who believe the First Amendment is good for women. Women's freedom, equality, and safety are best served by the broadest availability of sexual speech -- that means Our Bodies, Ourselves, Debbie Does Dallas, lesbian strip shows, the novels of Judy Blume, and Andrea Dworkin's antiporn polemic Intercourse. To be sexually free, women...

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Science

If we want to act without damaging our environment, we need good information about how our actions will impact it. To make effective decisions about what to consume to stay healthy, we need good information about how our bodies will react to food and medicine.  “Science” is the logical pursuit of answers to our factual...

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Politics Interfering with Science in High School Education

The consensus of education professionals about high school curricula in the U.S. is often challenged by right-wing activists. As a result, what children learn is skewed in the name of promoting religious values. There are two main areas which are affected: Sex Education and the teaching of evolution in Biology classes .

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Supression of Millitary Technology Inside the Executive Branch

“Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” (Emphasis added) George Washington, Farewell Address (1796) Perhaps the most egregious suppression of Science occurs when regulators and policymakers...

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Research Findings Suppressed by Government – Environmental Science

“Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” (Emphasis added) George Washington, Farewell Address (1796) Perhaps the most egregious suppression of Science occurs when regulators and policymakers...

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Manipulation of Perceptions about Scientific Fact

The value of robust debate and public access to accurate scientific information is immeasurable. However, interested parties continue to find ways of stifling debate and manipulating the information that flows into society.

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Research Findings Suppressed by Government – Health Science

Supression of Health Science under the Bush administration

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Scientists Accused of Manipulating Information to Promote Their Position

Biases can also lead to distortion of Science at the hands of scientists themselves. For example, non-financial forms of conflict of interest include “white hat bias” (distortion of information for what is perceived as righteous ends), bias toward one’s own work, bias stemming from personal or institutional relationships, and bias stemming from religious or political...

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FDA and EPA – Failure to Provide Public Access to Information

The government has an affirmative responsibility to provide certain vital information to the public.  An explicit part of the mission of government agencies like the FDA and the EPA is to ensure public access to accurate, science-based information about food, medicine and the environment.  The government’s duty is miscarried when it fails to study an...

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Academic and Industry Research Distorted by Financial Interests

Public universities function as powerhouses in the production of scientific data. Research conducted at such universities and by private industry has a huge impact on public policy as well as the decisions we make about our health and environment. According to a 2009 report by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), U.S. universities...

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Ideological Pressures Exercised by Public Officials on Academic Research

Spurious investigation of UVA scientist sends a chilling message (2010) In May 2010, Union of concerned Scientists (UCS) reported that the University of Virginia was calling for an end to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's investigation of internationally respected climate scientist Michael Mann. Cuccinelli has a reputation as a hero among conservative tea party activists,...

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Censoring Science: Battle over Creationism

Creationism is a religious belief, not a scientific theory. It posits that a supernatural entity created the world and the organisms that inhabit it. Despite the fact that it is not based on science, proponents of creationism continually try to have it taught in science classes in public schools around the country. Although the battle...

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Sex (Mis)education

NCAC continues to be deeply concerned about public-funded sexuality education programs that restrict student's access to information and limit learning to one "approved" message about sexuality. The result of such programs is widespread censorship of material on contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual orientation. However, the new administration as well as local efforts have led...

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Overt Censorship of Science during the Bush Administration

Censorsing Science: A Stem Cell Story (2008) This report describes federal and state policies on human embryonic stem cell research to illustrate how the Constitution’s First Amendment protections of the free exchange of ideas, the right to petition the government and the expectation of government transparency are only as strong as our demand for their...

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Kurt Vonnegut: Remembering a Hero of Free Speech

Kurt Vonnegut, who died on April 11th at the age of 84, was many things in his life. A war veteran. A journalist. A great writer. A teacher of writing, expression, and thinking. A trained mechanical engineer. A scholar of anthropology and biochemistry. And a leader. For those who protect the First Amendment and Free...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Murals

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  **All material in this section is archived.  It was compiled in late 2003.**  Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film,...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Magazines

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    **All material in this section is archived.  It was compiled in late 2003.**  Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance |...

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Art Now: Visual Art

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    **All material in this section is archived.  It was compiled in late 2003.**  Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance |...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Web Sites

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Words

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art &

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Art Now: Theater, Performance Art and Protest

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art &

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Art Now: About

Is dissent unpatriotic? Is total support of the President the only acceptable response to the 2003 war with Iraq, to the curtailment of civil rights, to invasions of privacy, to the Patriot Act, and to the Total Information Awareness Program?

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Art Now: Visual Art: Sculpture and Installations

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art &

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Art Now: Visual Art: Poster Art

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Photography

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Participation Art Work

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Paintings and Collages

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Music

Artists Responding to the Political Present: Music

 

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Art Now: Visual Art: International Artwork of Protest

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art &

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Art Now: Internet and Electronica

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art

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Art Now: Visual Art: Flags and Quilts

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Visual Art: Group Exhibitions

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now   Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art & Protest...

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Art Now: Dance

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art

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Art Now: Film, Video, TV

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art

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Art Now: Events

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now    Artists Respond to the Political Present Events | Dance | Film, Video, TV | Internet & Electronica | Music | Theater, Performance Art

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Events

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Visual Art

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Film, Video, TV, Internet

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the immediate...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Performance, Music, Dance

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the immediate...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Words

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Audio

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the...

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Art Now: Responses to 9/11: Comics

Art Now Home | About Art Now | Artists Respond to the Political Present | Approaching the Aftermath & Commemorating Sept. 11 | Related Sites & Resources | Contact Art Now  Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath **All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the immediate...

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Censorpedia: NCAC’s Wiki of Censorship History

Censorpedia (wiki.ncac.org) is a participatory wiki of censorship incidents from the Iron Age to the 21st Century. The archive builds on the The File Room, an internationally renowned 1994 art project by Muntadas, and contains over 1000 censorship incidents from around the world, some dating back to the 5th c. BC, others documenting ongoing censorship battles. . Seen here:...

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Timelines of Censorship

Covering art, video games, music and more: Selective Timeline of the Internet and Censorship Timeline of Legislation Aiming to Protect Youth Online Timeline of Video Game Controversies Timeline of Art and Culture Censorship Interactive Timeline of Music Censorship in America Timeline of Abstinence-Only Education in U.S. Classrooms Timeline of Film Censorship

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NCAC Amici Curiae Brief in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association

In an affirmation of core First Amendment principles, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to strike down a California statute that restricted minors' access to violent video games. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, noted that video games are protected expression and are "'as much entitled to the protection of free speech as the best of...

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NCAC Backgrounder: A Primer on Sex, Sexuality, and The Law

Words like “obscenity” and “pornography” are frequently used without understanding of their legal significance. But understanding they mean is essential to knowing what is protected by the First Amendment.

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NCAC Analysis: The First Amendment and School Policies on Harassment and Bullying

Some school policies to deal with harassment and bullying "stretch the definition of harassment to encompass protected speech and threaten the delicate balance the Supreme Court has struck between the right to equality and the First Amendment right to free speech."

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NCAC Analysis: Hate Speech in Schools

Eliminating discrimination in education is of the highest priority. Accomplishing this without creating an educational culture repressive of speech and ideas – including those that are sometimes objectionable – is obviously one of the public schools’ most delicate, and important, tasks.

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YFEP Resources and Publications

Publications FAQ Workshops YFEP Voices For Free Speech Organizations that Defend Youth Rights Youth Media/Arts Projects Online Communities and Campaigns Publications The First Amendment in Schools Book Censorship Toolkit Kids' Right to Read Project report Abstinence Only Education Workshops As part of a larger effort to educate students and educators about censorship and how it...

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Arts Advocacy Resources and Publications

  Art Law Library  Research topics, read summaries of defining cases in art law, and find full texts of the court opinions. The glossary defines some of the specialized terms used in the text. Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy  This non-binding document offers guidance to an institution concerned about or confronted with accusations of...

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“Academic Bill Of Rights” – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Contrary to what the name suggests, the "Academic Bill of Rights" would restrict, not enhance, academic freedom and intellectual activity.   Some useful background A proposal to adopt an "Academic Bill of Rights" has recently swept state legislature.   The proposal is the brainchild of David Horowitz, a writer and activist who openly claims authorship,...

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Academic Freedom Concerns Raised by Yale’s Singapore Campus

In December 2012, NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin co-signed this open letter from the American Association of University Professors to the Yale Community. The letter was written by a subcommittee and approved by the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom & Tenure. It serves as an example of the many concerns raised by universities establishing...

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Depictions of Animal Cruelty: NCAC’s Amicus Curiae Brief in U.S. v. Stevens

In a 2009 friend-of-the-court brief filed in an important Supreme Court free speech case, the National Coalition Against Censorship, joined by the College Art Association, warned that a law banning depictions of animal cruelty violates the First Amendment right to free speech and that the exemption it provides for work with “serious value” rings hollow,...

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Mexican American Studies Ban in Tucson Unified School District: Response and Resources

NCAC stands with dozens of national organizations that have joined together to protest the banning of books used for the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). This is censorship at its most brazen. Officials at the state and local level are responsible for this unacceptable restriction on the educational opportunities...

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Symbols Into Soldiers: Art, Censorship and Religion

Originally published on artsfreedom.org. Download a PDF. Notwithstanding almost two and a half centuries of separation of church and state, religious groups in the US have never given up the desire to impose their values and beliefs on society at large. Controversies around art with religious content persist with some regularity, generally spurred by private...

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Four Key Reforms for NSA Surveillance

Originally published by Harley Geiger for the Center for Democracy and Technology Some degree of government surveillance and secrecy is necessary to protect against national security threats. However, overbroad government power to conduct mass surveillance with minimal transparency threatens Constitutional freedoms and inhibits meaningful public debate. Here are four – but not the only – needed national security...

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Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won’t Stop Gun Violence

Published by the Media Coalition (PDF) Media Coalition released a report in response to recent claims that media causes violence. The report looks at social science research studying the link between aggressive behavior and video games with violent images and finds that the data on the claimed harms of violent video games are highly controvertible,...

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Comments on Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 168, Investigation of Video Games

NCAC urges the joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies not to approve Senate Bill No. 168, which would “establish a special commission to investigate video games as a form of media and as a training tool.” In our view, the proposal is constitutionally flawed and seriously misguided.

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Why Two Hundred Twenty-Eight Scholars Cautioned the APA

By Michael Venables, originally published on Forbes. Update, Oct. 2. I received the communication below from the APA Office of Public Affairs regarding the APA’s timeline in setting up the task force that is currently reviewing the 2005 policy statement. Also reiterated in the communication was what the task force’s scope will be as far as...

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Art Censorship in 2011: Nudity, Sexuality, Religion, Politics, and… Meat?!

2012 has already brought a few cases of censored art to our attention: Microsoft Skydrive froze UK blogger Michael Ohajuru's storage account because Modigliani’s painting “Reclining Nude” violated Microsoft's Code of Conduct which prohibits images that “depict nudity of any sort”; and ?zmir Metropolitan Municipality removed three photographs (below) from the exhibition “Ayk?r?” (Contrary) at the ?zmir Art Center in...

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Facebook “True Threat” Case: NCAC Joins Brief to Supreme Court

When are threats on social media 'true' threats, and what can courts do to protect free speech? NCAC joined the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Elonis v. United States.

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The National Campaign for Freedom of Expression

Assisting artists and organizations facing attacks on their artistic freedom is at the core of NCFE’s mission. NCFE was founded in 1990 in response to attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The organization originated as a weekly conference call among arts activists who were concerned that...

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