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About For Freedoms

For Freedoms started in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms seeks to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is deepened by participation, not by ideology. For Freedoms is part of a rich history of artists employing means of mass communication to provoke political discourse. For Freedoms believes art, and artists, play an important role in galvanizing our society towards a more representative and transparent government.

For Freedoms started in 2016, co-founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman as a platform for civic engagement, discourse and direct action for artists in the United States. The project is inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

50 State Initiative Project

Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced special exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards and lawn sign installations to spur greater participation in civic life. This year, For Freedoms launched its 50 State Initiative to encourage broad participation and inspire conversation around November’s midterm elections.

For Freedoms and the Nasher Museum

The Nasher Museum has connected with For Freedoms and the 50 State Initiative in conjunction with the major fall exhibition, People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection, which addresses issues ranging from identity to social justice and environmentalism. Visitors are invited to activate a 5-by-20-foot wall in the Great Hall. Durham artists Joan Yabani, an immigrant from Ghana, and Winnie Okwakol, an immigrant from Uganda, designed a jumbo coloring book mural that incorporates images relating to FDR’s “Four Freedoms” address. The artists also included iconic Durham landmarks, including the Lucky Strike water tower at American Tobacco Campus and a Black Wall Street historical marker. Their design also references works of art by Nina Chanel Abney, Hassan Hajjaj, Amy Sherald and Hank Willis Thomas, on view in People Get Ready.

Visitors are invited to color in the mural with colored pencils. Visitors are welcome to share photographs on social media using the hashtags #NasherMuseum and #ForFreedoms to connect with museum visitors around the country.

Visitors will also be invited to activate their own For Freedoms yard signs at two Free Family Day events this fall (Sept. 16, Oct. 28).

 

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