Arts Advocacy Program

NCAC Urges Queens Library to Restore Canceled Photography Exhibition

By |2019-02-26T15:18:06-04:00December 20th, 2018|Letters, News|

Image courtesy of Drew Kerr The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urges Queens Library to restore an exhibition of photographs it canceled and allow it to run for three weeks as originally planned. Drew Kerr’s exhibition, Faces of The 7 Train, consists of 32 black-and-white photographs that the artist shot of passengers on the 7 train over the course of [...]

Tumblr Adult Content Ban Will Chill Free Expression Online

By |2019-02-26T15:14:48-04:00December 19th, 2018|Blog, News|

On December 17th, Tumblr permanently banned adult content from its platform. Under the new community guidelines, any image that depicts sex acts, real-life human genitalia, or (with a few exceptions) female nipples will be hidden from public view. Despite the company’s claims, the new guidelines will not create a “better, more positive” Tumblr.

Smart Tactics: Curating Difficult Content

By |2018-10-29T18:08:38-04:00October 29th, 2018|Resources|

SMART TACTICS: Curating Difficult Content examines the internal and external pressures curators must navigate when considering potentially controversial material. Combining decades of advocacy experience with extensive interviews and curatorial surveys, this volume includes both a report on what happens behind the scenes in art institutions and a handbook for confronting the challenges of curating difficult content. 

University of Kentucky Unveils Installation to Encourage Dialogue about Race

By |2018-08-28T17:00:17-04:00August 28th, 2018|Blog|

The University of Kentucky has unveiled a new site-specific public artwork by Philadelphia artist Karyn Olivier, commissioned in response to a heated controversy around a fresco that students said was traumatizing, creating a model for balancing conflict and tensions around campus art.

NCAC Joins FIRE and the ACLU Urging the University of Kansas to Restore American Flag Artwork

By |2018-07-18T12:24:48-04:00July 16th, 2018|Blog|

NCAC has joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas in a letter to the University of Kansas (KU) strongly urging it to take a stand against censorship by restoring a public artwork that the university removed last week.

Kansas Governor and Secretary of State Pressure University to Remove Artwork | UPDATE: NCAC Co-Signs Joint Letter

By |2018-07-16T17:26:01-04:00July 12th, 2018|Blog, News, Press Releases|

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach separately pressured officials at the University of Kansas (KU) to remove an art display, threatening the free expression of the artist, curator and KU students.

NCAC Joins 32 Organizations in Amicus Brief to Strike Down the Trump Administration’s Travel Ban

By |2018-04-10T17:21:10-04:00April 10th, 2018|Blog, Press Releases|

(Photo: Masha George/Flickr/cc) NCAC joins PEN America and 31 other prominent arts organizations to jointly file a friend of the court brief in the case of State of Hawaii v. Trump, urging the Supreme Court to strike down the third version of the Trump travel ban issued on September 27, 2017. Executive Order (EO) 13780 bans all immigration from six majority Muslim [...]

Departure of MassArt Professor Saul Levine Raises Academic Freedom Concerns

By |2018-04-03T11:54:45-04:00April 3rd, 2018|Press Releases|

After anonymous complaints about brief images of sexual acts in an avant-garde film shown in class, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design launched a sexual harassment investigation. Saul Levine, the professor teaching the class and the target of the investigation, who is also a well-regarded avant-garde filmmaker, resigned in protest. This incident raises serious concerns beyond the individual case.

NCAC Opposes Michigan City’s Decision to Demolish Public Artwork

By |2018-04-04T10:12:39-04:00March 15th, 2018|Press Releases|

Early last Tuesday morning (March 6), the Kalamazoo City Commission voted 5-1 to remove Fountain of the Pioneers. The decision follows a flurry of recent protests by local activist groups, indigenous people, residents and historians. NCAC is concerned by the swiftness of this decision and cautions that such determinations should not be made in hasty emotional response to complaints.

Savannah Spirit: I Am a Camera

By |2019-03-22T17:07:06-04:00March 8th, 2018|Blog|

For the latest edition of our Arts Advocacy Podcast, we talked to the bi-coastal artist and photographer Savannah Spirit. Her sun-drenched nude self portraits are repeatedly flagged and removed as ‘obscene’ or ‘inappropriate’ by Instagram and Facebook. This interview discusses her frustration with social media and its necessity to artists working today.

Artspace Censors Nudes in Exhibition About Body Positivity

By |2019-03-07T22:30:37-04:00February 22nd, 2018|Blog|

Artspace, the self-described "non-profit real estate developer for the arts," creates affordable live-work spaces in a world where such spaces are rapidly disappearing. However, on more than one occasion, Artspace has censored works exhibited by residents on their premises. The most recent incident occurred in East Minneapolis.

The State of the First Amendment: 2017’s Top Free Speech Offenders and Defenders

By |2019-03-20T14:19:16-04:00December 20th, 2017|Blog|

During a year of marked ideological divisions, the right to free expression has been challenged by everyone from the alt-right to the far left. Our core values have been attacked by activists across the political spectrum. In this tumultuous year, we commend the allies who refuse to be silenced and continue to defend the right to free speech and its value to our society.

Sneaker Retailer Bricks Over Iconic ‘Spirit of Harlem’ Mural | UPDATE: Footaction Commits to Restoring Mural

By |2019-02-27T14:45:16-04:00December 6th, 2017|Blog|

A sneaker and apparel company has bricked over an iconic Harlem mural as they re-brand the exterior of their new store. Community members are concerned about the erasure of this tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and the the artists living and working in Harlem today and are questioning its legality.

NCAC Condemns Government Policy Depriving Americans of Access to Art by Guantanamo Detainees

By |2018-01-25T12:48:58-04:00November 28th, 2017|Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) vehemently objects to the violation of the public’s right to access art by Guantanamo detainees and thus fully participate in the political conversation around Guantanamo. The new directive also violates the human rights of the detainees under international norms and further destruction of the work would impermissibly suppress documents of historical importance.