The midterms are scheduled and so are the budgets for billboards by the political parties. These billboards will bear the names of the candidates who are up for the election. Breaking into these traditional campaign spree is For Freedoms, an organization which wants to use this opportunity not to promote specific parties but to encourage political participation and debate via art. For Freedoms has enlisted noted artists like Marilyn Minter, Sam Durant, and Theaster Gates to lead town halls and create public artworks. The organization has a total campaign budget of $1.5 million dollars. Eric Gottesman, one of the founders, said their intention is to bring art to public life during the time leading to midterms. He said that art belongs where public participation is.
For Freedoms Super PAC
Hank Willis Thomas and Gottesman co-founded For Freedoms as Super PAC in 2016. The inspiration came from the wartime speech “Four Freedoms” given by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. The organization, since its inception, has collected money for original public artworks and town halls with multiple views on the political issues of the day.
About 200 local partners have been enlisted by For Freedoms. These range from galleries to museums and universities. There will be collaboration on the task of free public programming. One example is educating the residents of a town about the local history concerning discrimination and public slavery. The knowledge will be imparted through art-making sessions and public dialogues. A community day will be held by Georgia's Telfair Museums. About 175 artists, including Emma Sulkowicz and Nina Chanel Abney, will participate in a number of ways all over the United States.
50 State Initiative
For Freedoms principal effort is directed towards the formally named 50 State Initiative. It consists of a fundraising campaign to install billboards all over the United States. Work will start from September. The fund will be collected from a total of 52 campaigns through Kickstarter. Each campaign will try to raise $3,000 for every state. The organization will also target the campaigns of Puerto Rico and Washington DC. A number of artists like Carrie Mae Weems, Tania Bruguera, and Trevor Paglen will contribute towards the billboards. These artists will concentrate on different facets. Bruguera will partner with Rhode Island School of Design to conceptualize and create billboards. Paglen's work will concentrate on data collection ethics. This 50 State Initiative has separate funding and is distinct from super PAC.