Coordinating Our Responses to Cultural Emergencies

Edmund Cardoni
jason lazarus
Kenneth Bailey
Maysoun Wazwaz
Nicholas Wylie

Selected by Open Call
Organized by Nicholas Wylie/ Southern Exposure (SF)

How responsive are Common Field members and our allies able to be to cultural and social emergencies? How can we be more prepared and flexible so that when major cultural battles or flashpoint strike we can support each other in our tactical engagement in critical conversations?

We can expect that the rate of Trump-era cultural crises will continue to intensify and accelerate for at least the next three years. Artists, collectives and (some) cultural institutions have already responded admirably, have been coordinated and quick on their feet, especially in the first 100 days after inauguration. What can we learn from these responses and others in the past, and how to we support each other to prepare for to endure and thrive in the long stretch of resistance that is to come?

This working group will explore the formation of an alliance of Common Field members committed to planning for and responding to social and cultural emergencies. Such a group of artists and organizations would anticipate worst case possible scenarios (the eradication of the NEA, the full adoption of the Muslim Ban, threats to Women’s health and Trans health, the repeal of DACA, etc) and develop creative response plans that utilize the common resources of Field members - artists, community, voice, space, etc.

These ‘first responders’ will experiment with and share creative and pragmatic tactics of resistance that can be shared with the common field community and beyond. Is such a coordinated effort something people are interested in? What would it require? Could it be national or is regional a better way to start? What are the challenges in rural vs. urban settings? What are the hurdles and possibilities of this kind of network? What can the work of NAAO to engage in political lobbying and culture wars teach us about how to proceed?

Let’s work together to imagine crisis response solidarities for a slightly less daunting tomorrow!