Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental right and a key element in empowering communities, and in moving us toward sustainability and respect for diversity. Artists can create in ways that foster healthy, non-alienating relationships between people and their daily environments, communities, and the Earth. This can include both artists whose themes advocate compassion, nurturance, or cooperation; and artists whose creations unmask the often-obscure connections between various forms of violence, domination, and oppression, or effectively criticize aspects of the very community that supports their artistic activity. The arts can only perform their social function if they are completely free from outside control.
The Green Party supports:
- Alternative, community-based systems treating neither the artwork nor the artist as a commodity.
- Eliminating all laws that seek to restrict or censor artistic expression, including the withholding of government funds for political or moral content.
- Increased funding for the arts appropriate to their essential social role at local, state and federal levels of government.
- Community-funded programs employing local artists to enrich their communities through public art programs, including public performances, exhibitions, murals on public buildings, design or re-design of parks and public areas, storytelling and poetry reading, and publication.
- The establishment of non-profit public forums for local artists to display their talents and creations. Research, public dialogue, and trial experiments to develop alternative systems for the valuation and exchange of artworks and for the financial support of artists. Some examples include community subscriber support groups, artwork rental busts, cooperative support systems among artists, legal or financial incentives to donate to the arts or to donate artworks to public museums.
- Responsible choices of non-toxic, renewable, or recyclable materials. Funding sources not connected with social injustice or environmental destruction.
- Education programs in the community that will energize the creativity of every community member from the youngest to the oldest, including neglected groups such as teenagers, senior citizens, prisoners, immigrants, and drug addicts. These programs would provide materials and access to interested, qualified arts educators for every member of the community who demonstrates an interest.
- Funding and staffing to incorporate arts education into every school curriculum. We encourage local artists and the community to contribute time, experience, and resources to these efforts.
- Diversity in arts education in the schools including age-specific hands-on activities and appreciative theoretical approaches, exposure to the arts of various cultures and stylistic traditions, and experiences with a variety of media, techniques and contents.
- The integration of the arts and artistic teaching methods into other areas of the curriculum to promote a holistic perspective.
Campaign Question: Do we need to create a cabinet level department called Department of Art and Culture to accomplish these goals or would it be counter productive to freedom of artistic expression?