Hundreds of Artists and Activists Lend Their Voices to Launch The Federation, a coalition committed to keeping cultural borders open #TheFederation #ArtUnites

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#TheFederation #ArtUnites

Hundreds of Artists and Activists Lend Their Voices to Launch The Federation, a coalition committed to keeping cultural borders open

Formed by Laurie Anderson, Laura Michalchyshyn, and Tanya Selvaratnam

Participating organizations include Brooklyn Public Library, globalFEST, PEN America, The Public Theater, SPOTIFY, StoryCorps, and more

The Federation to Spearhead Art Action Day on January 20, 2018

New York, NY — Today, hundreds of artists and activists will launch The Federation. Formed by Laurie Anderson, Laura Michalchyshyn, and Tanya Selvaratnam, The Federation is an unprecedented coalition of individuals and organizations that believe in the power of art and are committed to keeping cultural borders open. We are committed to combatting xenophobia and the threatened closing of physical borders.

For the launch, The Federation is partnering with the Film Society of Lincoln Center to host a free NYFF Live conversation during the New York Film Festival on October 11, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center’s Amphitheater. Panelists include Federation and New York Film Festival artists such as Alsarah, Laurie Anderson, Tanya Selvaratnam, Sara Driver, Eugene Hernandez, Kali Holloway, Emel Mathlouthi, Barbet Schroeder, and the conversation will culminate with a performance by the Resistance Revival Chorus. The event will be livestreamed on the New York Film Festival and Federation Facebook pages.

Additionally, The Federation will be spearheading Art Action Day on January 20, 2018 — a nationwide in-person and virtual coming together of artists and audiences to show that art unites. For Art Action Day, the coalition will encourage artists and cultural organizations to be louder and more visible than ever. A free downloadable Art Action Day Toolkit (available November 1) will provide resources and information so that communities around the country can engage in a variety of ways.

Participants in The Federation include artists and institutions who are for the first time coming together, such as Alsarah, The Ally Coalition, Laurie Anderson, Aubin Pictures, Shoja Azari, BRAVA, Nell Breyer, BRIC, Brooklyn Public Library, Danspace Project, Equality Now, Film Forum, Film Society of Lincoln Center, globalFEST, HERE, Judy Hussie-Taylor, INCITE (Columbia University), Joan Jonas, The Kitchen, Glenn Ligon, Emel Mathlouthi, Shirin Neshat, New York Live Arts, Mo Ogrodnik (New York University), PEN America, Performance Space 122, The Poetry Project, The Public Theater, React to Film, School of Visual Arts, SPOTIFY, St. Ann’s Warehouse, StoryCorps, Tamizdat, Tilt West, transmediale, Anne Waldman, The YES Lab, Anicka Yi, and dozens of national and international cultural organizations.

Laurie Anderson said, “As an activist and member of WAC and Occupy, I’m inspired by the direct action arm of the Federation.”

Philip Himberg, Artistic Director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, said, “Nobel Poet Seamus Heaney spoke of ‘gates unbarred’, and Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner encouraged ‘tellers at a time like this’. The Federation fully embraces and will potently activate the expression of inclusive creative voices across artistic disciplines and across our world.”

Claude Grunitzky, Founder and Chairman of TRUE Africa, said, “As a serial immigrant, who moved from Togo to Paris to London to New York to promote diversity in artistic expression through my media ventures, I realize that now is the time for action.”

Shanta Thake, Director of Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater and Co-Director of globalFEST, explained, “The arts have always been at the center of building and strengthening communities, uplifting voices and bending the arc of history towards justice. The Federation is an expression on behalf of the arts community to build bridges among us. In order to urgently defend and uphold freedom of expression through acts both simple and profound, we strive to tell the fullest living history of what it means to be American.”

As The Federation mission states, “We believe in the need to both heighten our sense of our shared humanity and to work for equality and justice. We believe in engaging audiences to secure an enduring democratic future. The arts must serve as a catalyst to achieve these goals.”

For more information or to join The Federation, please go to:



Art is essential to democracy.

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