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The Gift of Art

Art is a universal tool that can spread both political and opinion based ideas non violently. If we can distribute art materials to people who do not have access to them, we are supplying them with an opportunity to express their ideas publicly. -Wells College Innovation Lab (Kelly, Ethan, Corey, Zach, Anastasia)

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Written by DeletedUser

Many people have been arrested due to their "unlawful" opinion sharing in the public eye. By providing art materials to these people, we are opening a doorway for them to express their difference in opinion with the government in a nonviolent manner. 

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

Our idea starts with a "home base" in well-developed countries (United States, Australia, England, France, etc.) that will accumulate art supplies (such as spray paint, chalk, poster board, etc). There will eventually be a headquarters on every continent. We will then set up satellite locations in countries that have high percentages of unlawful detention. The art supplies will be sent from the headquarters to the satellite locations. The satellite locations are not branches from our own organization, but they are underground or refugee spaces (town halls, community organizations, or even home addresses of community leaders). It would be the Underground Railroad for art! News would be spread by word of mouth and by using the 'International symbol for unlawful detainment" that was proposed by Jason George. These donations will be classified as "gifts" so that taxes will not apply. We would need volunteers in the satellite locations that would be willing to act as a go-between for "The Gift of Art" and the people that are in need of art supplies.

How could this idea also be adapted to work in low-tech situations?

This is already pretty low-tech...


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Utilizing art as therapy for family and networks of those detained could provide significant healing / process of emotions. And given permission, some of this artwork could be distributed on other channels.

Relevant example: I recently visited a native american reservation and found that one of the most moving things I experienced there was a book of children's drawings on their life on the reservation. They were compiled years later - i.e. not created for publication. But the honesty and simple messages really struck home - more than any higher end / glossy publication.

Maybe, along with the art supplies, descriptions of how to use art for the people directly effected to process and express their experiences would be powerful - and/or training local people to facilitate this.

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