Mitt Romney said that if elected he’ll eliminate The National Endowment for the Arts, NPR and PBS. Acclaimed graffiti artist Saber–whose work was featured in two museum exhibitions, MoCA Los Angeles’s blockbuster “Art in the Streets” and “Street Cred” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art–is designing a sky-high protest of Rmoney’s plans to gut the arts in America:
This extreme conservative has no appreciation for the arts or American culture, despite the fact that creative people are the backbone of this country. It’s time to fight back and prevent these publicly funded and uniquely American organizations from being eliminated. To do this, I’m going to use the same tactic that I used last year that successfully generated much press and attention in both the real and internet worlds: BY TAKING OVER THE SKIES.
Last year, to protest Los Angeles’ moratorium on murals Saber raised funds for five skywriting planes to deliver a message to the City Council and Mayor Villaragosa. The words
#ART IS NOT A CRIME
#END THE MURAL MORATORIUM
hung in the blue skies above city hall.
Here’s Saber’s plan:
For over an hour, a fleet of skywriters will circle a major US city (or cities, depending on the amount raised), using 250 characters to create provocative statements that are visible from 20+ miles away. By incorporating social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I will generate global attention and direct personal involvement from supporters of the Arts, at all levels. The more money that is generated the more I can extend this project to other cities.
*I NEED YOUR HELP to hire the fleet and document the taking over of the American skies. Don’t let Mitt Romney eliminate these programs that help define our American cultural experience and that are vital to our country’s future. #DefendTheArts
Saber is soliciting donations ranging from $75 to $99,000, and donors who contribute before 12:01am on Saturday, September 21 will receive a limited edition print.
Saber points out why art is important for America:
1.Stronger communities . . . University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.
2.Arts are an Industry . . . Arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers, and consumers. Nonprofit arts organizations generate $135 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 4.1 million jobs and generating $22.3 billion in government revenue. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, promotes tourism, and advances our creativity-based economy.
3.Arts are an export industry . . . U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) grew to $64 billion in 2010, while imports were just $23 billion—a $41 billion arts trade surplus in 2010.
Saber also urges anyone interested in the arts in America to visit usa.arts.org to learn more about saving the arts.