Art Censorship

National Coalition Against Censorship Launches Map Tracking Art Censorship Since October 7th

By |2024-07-18T16:16:22-04:00July 18th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) announces the launch of a new resource, Art Censorship Index: Post-October 7th, documenting the recent spike in censorship of art and artists invoking Israel or Palestine.  Artworks and artists referencing the subject of Israel and Palestine have long been subjects of controversy and/or censorship, but following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and [...]

NCAC, PEN America, and ACLU-FL: DeSantis’s Veto of Florida Arts Funding Raises First Amendment Concerns

By |2024-07-18T12:15:43-04:00July 17th, 2024|News|

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore Today the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), PEN America, and the ACLU of Florida (ACLU-FL) condemned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s veto of the entirety of the state’s annual arts budget, because the governor stated the decision was based on his distaste for certain types of artistic expression. In particular, the governor [...]

NCAC Decries Exhibition Cancellation at Craft Alliance

By |2024-07-10T14:14:19-04:00July 10th, 2024|News, Statement|

Dani Collette and Allora McCullough, Planting Seeds, Sprouting Hope, 2024, Installation view. Today the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) expressed alarm at the cancellation of an exhibition at Craft Alliance, an art organization in St. Louis, MO. Following a complaint from a volunteer, the venue asserted that the project, which draws attention to the plight [...]

NCAC URGES CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS NOT TO ABANDON KEHINDE WILEY EXHIBITIONS IN FACE OF ALLEGATIONS

By |2024-06-24T15:03:22-04:00June 21st, 2024|News, Statement|

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan  https://www.tedeytan.com/2018/03/02/25277 The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) raised objections today regarding recent announcements by the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Minneapolis Museum of Art, and the Joslyn Art Museum to postpone or cancel planned exhibitions featuring work by renowned American artist Kehinde Wiley. In recent weeks the artist’s behavior and moral integrity [...]

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 [...]

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

By |2024-07-17T16:03:18-04:00April 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: 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 [...]

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 [...]

Echoes of McCarthy: Criticizing Israel and Charges of Antisemitism

By |2024-07-17T16:00:40-04:00January 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 [...]

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 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 [...]

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 [...]

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, 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 [...]

Free speech community demands Daytona State College reschedule “Stranger Fruit” exhibition

By |2023-09-11T12:12:48-04:00September 11th, 2023|News|

As nonpartisan organizations dedicated to freedom of speech, thought, and inquiry, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU-FL), and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) are deeply disturbed by reports indicating that Daytona State College canceled an upcoming exhibition at the school's Southeast Museum of Photography because it refers to [...]

NCAC, ACLU of Arizona, demand the immediate rescheduling of exhibit that features Shepard Fairey’s “My Florist is a Dick”

By |2023-08-11T11:23:02-04:00August 10th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - In a joint letter, the National Coalition Against Censorship’s (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona demand that officials in Mesa, Arizona, allow the opening of an art exhibit, Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent, which includes a controversial work, My Florist is a Dick, by renowned artist Shepard Fairey. City officials [...]

NCAC, ACLU NorCal encourage the City of San Mateo, California, to reinstate Public Art Exhibit Program | Updated

By |2023-08-08T10:02:42-04:00July 28th, 2023|News|

Update 8/7/2023: The City of San Mateo has responded that it will reinstate its public exhibition programs after it establishes a more detailed review policy for the artworks that are invited for display. The City also confirms Mr. Rios' exhibition was met with "concerns from members of the public and City staff that the display was not supportive of [...]

Lee Rowland named National Coalition Against Censorship Executive Director

By |2023-08-08T11:42:45-04:00July 24th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), an alliance of 59 national non-profit organizations, today announced that Lee Rowland, the policy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, will become its new executive director. She replaces Christopher Finan, who is retiring.  Rowland will assume her new duties on September 13, 2023. “The NCAC board of directors [...]

Free speech community opposes Rockwell Falls Public Library Board’s attack on First Amendment rights in Lake Luzerne, New York

By |2023-07-14T12:14:11-04:00July 14th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and members of the free speech community are alarmed by the Rockwell Falls Public Library Board's postponement and subsequent cancellation of an April 15 Drag Queen Story Hour, as well as recent suggestions from board members to remove any books that encompass LGBTQ+ themes or topics that purportedly relate to Critical Race Theory. [...]

ELLIS Alicante and Don’t Delete Art collaborate on the intersection between AI and Art

By |2023-07-10T18:54:55-04:00July 10th, 2023|News|

The collaboration will focus on online protection of artistic freedom  Alicante, 10 of July 2023– The ELLIS Alicante Foundation in Spain and the Don’t Delete Art initiative in the USA have joined forces to foster the responsible development of trustworthy, human-centric Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the context of art. Both institutions have pledged to give visibility to the negative [...]

NCAC calls on Chevron to return public art installation | Updated

By |2023-09-28T11:18:14-04:00June 29th, 2023|News|

Updated 9/27/2023 – On June 12, 2023 Chevron acknowledged that it had destroyed the Fencelines community art project, which the company has characterized as an act of vandalism installed solely along their properties. On June 28, however, the City of Richmond affirmed the assertions of project organizers, that a majority of the work was installed with permission on city-owned [...]

Santa Barbara, California, High School Removes Artwork After Religious Controversy

By |2023-06-20T11:22:37-04:00June 20th, 2023|Letters, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Santa Barbara Unified School District in California following news reports that Andres Serrano's artwork "Immersion (Piss Christ)" was removed from the curriculum of a course at Dos Pueblos High School. The district removed the image because some community members found it hurtful. NCAC urges the district to return the image [...]

Through Don’t Delete Art Manifesto, Free Speech Orgs Combat Social Media Policies that Suppress Artistic Expression

By |2023-06-15T10:28:23-04:00June 15th, 2023|News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK— Don’t Delete Art (DDA)—a collaborative initiative uniting advocacy groups and artists in the defense of artistic freedom online—held A Day of Action today in New York City and online. The actions are an extension of the group’s Manifesto campaign, which urges social media companies to integrate artistic perspectives into content moderation policies. The day's activities are documented [...]

Legal Filing Argues that Netflix Can’t be Held Liable for Depicting Suicide in its Series 13 Reasons Why Under the First Amendment

By |2024-04-09T14:43:51-04:00June 13th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

(NEW YORK) – PEN America, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) on Monday jointly filed an amicus brief to support the First Amendment rights of Netflix in a lawsuit over the series 13 Reasons Why, which depicted suicide. Netflix is being sued for damages following a 15-year-old girl’s [...]

Artists, Free Speech Orgs to Protest Suppression of Artistic Expression by Social Media Companies

By |2023-06-08T10:56:45-04:00June 8th, 2023|News, Press Releases|

New York, NY— Don’t Delete Art (DDA)—a collaborative initiative uniting advocacy groups and artists in the defense of artistic freedom online—will lead A Day of Action on June 15, 2023, in New York City and on social media. The actions are an extension of the DDA Manifesto campaign, which urges social media companies to update their content moderation policies [...]

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority removes video installation from airport exhibition

By |2023-04-28T16:34:52-04:00April 20th, 2023|News|

Artwork credit: Evan Apodaca, Monumental Interventions, 2023 (Video still). The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has contacted the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to express concerns over the removal of artwork by artist Evan Apodaca from an exhibition at San Diego Regional Airport. Apodaca's video installation titled Monumental Interventions explores San Diego's monuments and the role of the [...]

National film contest seeks submissions on how youth deal with conflicting ideas

By |2023-04-25T14:49:44-04:00April 18th, 2023|News, Press Releases, Videos|

NEW YORK – As proven by the recent uptick in book banning, people often want to silence ideas that they feel are harmful or offensive. Daily, youth are confronted with views they disagree with, from school censorship to online hate speech. How are youth and young adults coping with conflicting viewpoints? The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) wants [...]

NCAC protests decision to remove eight books from the school library in a Maine school district

By |2023-04-20T14:09:51-04:00April 17th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Board of Directors at Maine School Administrative District #6 in Buxton, Maine, to protest the decision to suspend its policy for reviewing book challenges to remove eight books from the school library before reviewing a complaint.  Removed titles include Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, [...]

NCAC protests Sioux City Community Schools’ removal of This Book is Gay from libraries | Updated

By |2023-04-12T13:06:12-04:00April 6th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 4/12/2023 – The District Board President has responded to our letter. His email stated:  Primarily, the book presented safety issues as it describes how to access unsuitable websites and other “hookup” processes. It is completely inappropriate for our students.   As a result of the safety issues, we determined that the inappropriate book would be pulled.  The book [...]

NCAC offers school admin Guidelines for Developing Policies on The Display of Student Art

By |2023-04-03T16:42:57-04:00April 3rd, 2023|News, Resources|

As challenges to school library books and instructional materials are on the rise across the country, artistic censorship in schools has received less attention. However, school districts everywhere are struggling with increased political scrutiny on curricular and extracurricular artistic expression. School administrators are increasingly feeling pressured to censor or alter visual art with potential "controversial" or "problematic" subject matter. [...]

West Texas A&M University president bans student drag performances

By |2023-04-12T10:54:01-04:00April 3rd, 2023|News|

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has delivered a letter to the Board of Regents at Texas A&M University System to express its concern regarding  West Texas A&M President Walter Wendler's decisions to cancel A Fool’s Drag Race and place a ban on all future campus drag performances. According to Wendler, all drag shows are an assault on human dignity [...]

NCAC encourages Canby School District in Oregon to update their book challenge policy | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:37:04-05:00March 30th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 11/28/23 - Canby School District officials voted to return eleven out of the twelve challenged books to school libraries. 3/30/23 - The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to the Canby School District in Canby, Oregon expressing our concerns with their instructional material reconsideration procedures. We encourage the Canby School Board to consider amending their policy [...]

NCAC recommends a substantial change to proposed library media policy at Volusia County Schools in Florida

By |2023-03-27T16:59:50-04:00March 27th, 2023|Issues, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to Volusia County Schools in DeLand, Florida, to suggest an important change to proposed amendments for the district's Library Media Selection policy. In a letter to the district, NCAC expresses our concern regarding an addition to the district policy, which states that a "principal may direct the removal of material he/she [...]

NCAC urges Martin County School District to improve book challenge policy after removal of 100 books

By |2023-03-24T13:49:47-04:00March 24th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has encouraged the school board of Martin County School District to amend their book challenge policy following the removal of nearly 100 books from school libraries. NCAC shared our Material Review and Policy Guidelines and Examples, a resource to help school officials address the problem of book challenges. Read NCAC's [...]

NCAC protests viewpoint discrimination in Greenville County Public Libraries proposed policy | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:34:14-05:00March 24th, 2023|News|

Updated 3/31/2023 – The Greenville County Library board passes its amended collections policy removing language targeting gender. On 3/24/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to the Greenville County Library System in Greenville, South Carolina, expressing our concerns with a proposed change to their library collection policy which would limit access to children's [...]

Book Challenges Nearly Doubled From 2021

By |2023-03-24T13:55:12-04:00March 24th, 2023|Banned Books Week, In The News, News|

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA), founder of Unite Against Book Bans, released new data documenting* 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles [...]

NCAC Joins PEN America and other free speech groups to oppose proposed TikTok ban

By |2023-03-24T10:13:31-04:00March 23rd, 2023|Letters, News, Press Releases|

The NCAC has joined PEN America and more than a dozen other civil liberties, digital rights, and anti-censorship organizations in a joint letter to oppose proposed federal legislation and a wholesale ban on the social media platform TikTok. The joint letter acknowledges the platform's national security and user privacy concerns. It also encourages lawmakers to explore viable solutions to prevent jeopardizing [...]

Free speech groups condemn suppression of LGBTQ expression in Florida

By |2024-06-17T15:19:06-04:00March 22nd, 2023|In The News, News, Press Releases, Statement|

UPDATE 1/10/2024: On November 29, 2023, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced a settlement with Hyatt Regency Miami, requiring the latter to pay a $5,000 fine and prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from attending performances with “specific sexual activities” as defined by Florida State Law. NEW YORK - As organizations dedicated to the freedom of [...]