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
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 is urging United States Customs and Border Protection to respect the artistic expression of deported US military veterans and the First Amendment rights of a recognized public artist. USCBP is considering destroying a mural on the border wall dividing San Diego and Tijuana, following a visit to the area by President Trump.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and ArtsEverywhere have launched an online roundtable to investigate the intersections of art, freedom and the politics of social justice.
Despite winning an award in pre-show judging, a painting by blind painter Annie Young that takes on the difficult subject of police violence against people of color proved too controversial for display by the Burnsville Visual Arts Society at the Ames Center.
The University of Southern Maine has removed three works following a complaint to the university, citing the painter's previous conviction for sexual offenses. NCAC is urging the university to restore the works.
NCAC joins PEN America and 31 other prominent arts organizations in urging the Supreme Court to strike down the third version of the Trump travel ban issued in September 2017. The case will receive a hearing in the Supreme Court on April 25.
NJ Museum Cites Unconstitutional Legal Principle in Ejecting Artist from Show/ UPDATE: Decision Reversed
The Belskie Museum of Art in northern New Jersey has ejected an invited artist from its exhibit for painting on US flags.
(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 [...]
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.
Following a censorship incident last month, artists at Artspace Jackson Flats issued an open call for submissions for a new show, CENSORED; Artists Respond, that addresses contemporary, often negative reactions to the female body, particularly the nude in art.
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.
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, 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 National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has joined with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to express concern about the state of freedom of expression at Polk State College.
In a landmark case heard in Federal district court in Brooklyn, a judge has ruled that a New York real estate developer must pay millions in damages to a group of 21 graffiti artists to compensate for destroying their work under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA).
Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn, NY removed a work of student art last week after complaints that its message was offensive. NCAC opposes allowing a "hecker's veto" to chill this student's right to free expression.
After an artist was censored in Norfolk, VA, the public agency who shut down her show cancels all future art exhibitions.
A year into one the most divisive presidencies Americans have seen in their lifetimes, free speech is in crisis. NCAC's Director of Programs looks at the most representative issues affecting artistic freedom in the first year of the Trump administration.
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
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.
More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the removal of a Balthus painting in response to “the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day.” The Met has refused to remove the work.
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.
Johns Sims was finally able to present his work, "Confederate Flag: A Public Hanging", after years of forced adaptation and abridgment.
Paul Rucker's traveling exhibition REWIND, an urgently relevant multi-media installation that addresses the history of racial injustice in America, was closed to the public by York College of Pennsylvania, less than one week into its run. Paul sat down with NCAC to discuss the incident.
NCAC Criticizes American Jewish Historical Society’s Decision to Cancel Events Following Pressure Campaign
The AJHS has sent a chilling and un-democratic message that art and voices that dissent from pro-Israel orthodoxy are not to be tolerated.
Every time threats of violence succeed in silencing expression, our public sphere is impoverished and even more polarized.
In August, Artspace, a non-profit organization that manages spaces around the country where artists live and work, ordered the removal of an exhibition from the lobby of its property in Everett, Washington. The exhibition contained works by one of its residents, Steven Leyba, an artist of Native American and Jewish descent. Some of the works in the exhibition featured the swastika [...]
The brief argues that freedom of speech includes the ability to facilitate the free international exchange of people and ideas.
Artist Steven Leyba was ordered to remove his paintings despite the fact he was using the symbol to reclaim its original significance in Native American culture.
Efforts to blacklist an artist over a controversial painting are not conducive to the goal of overcoming racial inequity.
NCAC Releases Statement in Support of Lincoln Center’s Decision to Host ‘To the End of the Land’ Despite Calls to Cancel the Play
Were institutions like Lincoln Center to yield to calls for cancellation coming from the BDS movement or elsewhere, any ensuing conversation would be much impoverished and further polarized.
A Dispatch from documenta 14: An International Art Exhibition in Which Book Censorship Plays a Central Role
documenta 14, an art festival occurring every 5 years, puts the issue of book censorship front and center this year.
The discussion has brought to light the enduring lack of representation of Native artists in the art historical canon, in art museum exhibitions and in collections. However, it has also shown us a way forward.
The organizations express grave concern that the Executive Order will have a broad and far-reaching impact on artists’ freedom of movement and, as a result, will seriously inhibit creative freedom, collaboration, and the free flow of ideas.
NCAC Responds to Walker Art Center’s Statement Affirming Decision to Dismantle Controversial Sculpture
The Walker Art Center has responded to our criticism arguing "NCAC has placed undue emphasis on the work’s material structure over its concept." Read our new response.
DLDF Statement on the Withdrawal of Support from the Public Theater’s ‘Trump-like’ Production of Julius Caesar
"The fact is that, for hundreds of years, this particular play has been understood to be a critique of political violence, not an endorsement of it."
NCAC Releases Statement Criticizing Walker Art Center’s Decision to Destroy Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: Sculpture to be Ceremonially Buried
NCAC has issued a statement signed by several national and international organizations, opposing the Walker's decision to dismantle and destroy the controversial sculpture.
Mintcheva's essay examines and argues for the value of free expression in light of recent controversies over art and racially sensitive content, as well as over cultural appropriation, which have left people to question the usefulness of an absolutist defense of free speech.